Two big-wheeled totes are on a shelf at the back end of the shop on a top-shelf. One is empty, it may never be filled. The other is 80% stocked for blackouts, not to be confused with an evacuation pack which is in the closet next to the upstairs sliding glass door. Mrs. Lebec and I have always been prepared but not to this level; we actually have two evacuation backpacks. One is lent out to a neighbor who has a daycare business in her home, she needed one to pass the inspections; I’ve just not requested it back and I’m not sure I will.
Yellow and black were chosen due to its distinctive appearance, in other words it will be easier for a grand-kid to find in the dark recesses in the back of the shop opposite the Earthworm Farm.
While shopping for new totes to support the worm colonies I came across this tote with a handle and wheels, I thought it was perfect for a blackout box. It’s fairly simple to stock a box, more practical as well it eliminates searching high and low for a flashlight. We decided to have a two-phase blackout preparation. In the house, we have rechargeable lanterns and flashlights, water in 5-gallon jugs. We have re-chargeable cell phone, and computer chargers, 17 re-charges total, it’s important in this day and age. It is the basic needs when the blackout first is started, it will serve for the first night; but then comes the morning.
At first light I head to the shop in my scooter, connect the wagon to the back and load the black/yellow box in it returning back up on the levee and the main entrance. It’s 1/8th of a mile from the shop to the door upstairs due to the round-about way I have to go. Coffee is first on the agenda, the box holds all we need to make it, after the first cup or three Mrs. Lebec and I are re-born. Brewed on the camp stove that is unpacked from the box then connected to a gas bottle from the box and lit with the included matches in a zip lock bag. To clean our hands are sanitary wipes, an absolute must-have for all the reasons you’re thinking about.
No utensils, food, (other than Swiss Miss) or items with expiration dates are in the blackout box. The pantry is part of the kit as well, we have three weeks of food stocked up. It’s only for blackouts, most of them don’t last over 3 days at most but it’s prudent to have one month’s supply. We actually have more than 3 weeks but that is what is designated, after a few days canned chili may become a bit worn. Our pellet stove is able to run on a 12-volt car battery, easily charged by connecting it with jumper cables to the truck. Firewood and homemade fire starters are stockpiled, not in huge amounts but enough to get us by for a month in the wood-burning stove; it will be used after the pellets are depleted of which we normally have a month’s supply.
That’s the idea anyway, have enough to be comfortable; everyone’s needs are different. Water, Coffee, First Aid, lighting, communications, and a camp stove is what we need.
Most of the stuff was already in the house; it just wasn’t organized. Camping gear works great and is available at yard sales everywhere. Cheap flashlights, a few cell phone charges, water, and a stove it doesn’t have to be stored in a box, but it’s convenient when it is.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance