Thursday, April 17, 2003

Emergency preparation:

The current lorry strike almost paralyses Tamilnadu and the shortage of all essential stuff is maddening.

Would be a good time to be prepared for atleast an year by stocking essentials.

Basic Foods for Home Storage
(Per adult for one year. )

(wheat, rice, spaghetti)(180 kg) = Rs.3600
(dry beans, peas, lentils)(30 kg) = Rs.1200
Powdered Milk 16 pounds (7 kg) = Rs. 420
Sugar (30 kg) = Rs.900
Cooking Oil (10 liters) = Rs.500
Salt (4 kg) =- Rs.50
Alcohol : 12 Full bottles

Water( For 2 weeks) (50 liters) Rs.30*27 =1200
total cost per adult per year = Rs. 7870= Rs. 20 a day

( It is impractical to store a year's supply of water. 50 litres per person is a suggested minimum reserve)

Storing and using water:
An adult needs 2 Litre per day per person for drinking, 2 Litres for other purposes.

water that tastes flat can be aerated by pouring the water back and forth between the container and a clear bottle

To increase the shelf life of water stored in translucent containers , group the containers together in dark plastic bags to keep out the light. Store the water supply away from gasoline, kerosene, pesticides or other chemicals. Plastic water storage bottles can allow the vapors from these chemicals to enter the bottle and contaminate the water.

There are two ways of treating water: boiling or adding bleach. If the water looks cloudy, filter it before purifying. First, let the water sit undisturbed so that all suspended particles settle to the bottom. Then filter the water through layers of clean cotton or paper towels, cheesecloth, or coffee filters.

Boiling is the safest method of purifying water. Place the water in a clean saucepan or other cooking container. Bring the water to a rolling boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes, keeping in mind that some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking, keeping it covered during cooling.

Other stuff to store in emergencies :

Add packets of seeds for Living storage

Other stuff to store in an Emergency :
Matches, candles, lanterns, flashlights, and battery-operated lighting equipment
A battery-operated radio
Knives, a hatchet, a shovel, and other tools
Medicine, blankets, and a first-aid kit
Mess kits or paper cups, paper plates, and plastic utensils
A manual can opener
Wheat grinder
Plastic garbage bags and a plastic bucket
Soap, tooth brushes, toothpaste, and supplies for dentures and contact lenses
Toilet paper and sanitary items
Books or games for children

Food storage tips :

Protect food storage from heat. Store all products away from heat and sunlight

Protect food from moisture. Store products on shelves or raised platforms, rather than directly in contact with concrete floors or walls

Protect products from rodents and insects

How long do foods last ? (when stored in a cool, dry place under ideal conditions)

Sugar 20+ years
Wheat 20+ years
Fruit Drink Mix 8-10 years
Dry Beans 6-8 years
Spaghetti 6-8 years
Macaroni 6-8 years
Chopped Dry Onions 6-8 years
Hot Cocoa 3-4 years
Rolled Oats 4-5 years
White Flour 5 years
Soup Mix 4-5 years
Rice 3-4 years
Nonfat Dry Milk 2-3 years

Storage Tips :
All food contains bacteria and mold spores, and most food contains insect eggs. Given the right environment, these microorganisms will start to grow and destroy the food. The main conditions that can cause insects and microorganisms to grow are moisture and heat.

If products are not properly packaged, they can absorb moisture out of the air. When the moisture reaches a level of 12% to 18%, product breakdown will accelerate. Make sure to store food in a dry place.

Heat is also a major cause of deterioration in food quality. Store all products away from heat ducts, clothes dryers, sunlight, chimneys and other sources of heat.

Oldest products should be used first to maintain freshness

Storing Petrol/Diesel/Kerosene

Kerosene is normally processed to remove compounds that form sticky gums, thus extending its storage life.

Petrol and petroleum vapour is highly flammable. Even a small spark from a light switch or mobile phone is enough to ignite fumes from the fuel and cause a fire or explosion.

All containers in which petroleum spirit is kept must be of metal or plastic. Metal containers should not exceed 23 litres capacity . Plastic containers should not exceed 5 litres capacity .These containers should be designed for the purpose and must be fitted with a screw-cap or closure to prevent leakage of liquid or vapour. Empty containers must be securely stoppered and kept in a safe place

The storage place must be well ventilated

Always have a fire extinguisher, sand for absorbing spillages, snd no naked fire capable of igniting inflammable vapour.

Diesel requirement : 1 litre a day = 400 litres per year for car = Rs.10000

Petrol 1 litre a week = 52 litres/year for the bike = Rs. 1500

Petrol vapour can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and exposure to high concentrations, particularly in confined spaces, can cause dizziness and unconsciousness. Do not swallow petrol or attempt to use the mouth to siphon it This can result in petrol entering the lungs or stomach, which can be fatal.

Petrol vapour does not disperse easily and may also travel long distances. It tends to sink to the lowest possible level and may collect in tanks, cavities, drains, pits, or other enclosed areas, where there is little air movement


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