Letter Re: Earthquake Preparedness and Charity

I just thought I’d share some notes on my efforts. In the suburban setting I currently live in, I feel that my biggest day-to-day threat would be from a major earthquake hitting nearby. I would view this as a short-term emergency (2 weeks, perhaps) with somewhat localized impact. While there could be mass looting and rioting, I don’t feel it’s that likely in my particular neighborhood, although I do maintain a stock of arms, a bullhorn, spotlight, extra batteries, etc.
My current target is to have a 1-month supply of food items, with a mix of ready-to-eat canned foods and bulk rice and beans. I have purchased three 20 pound propane tanks for the barbeque, and an adapter hose so that I can run my small coleman stove off them, in addition to stocking extra 1 pound cylinders for camping. I also purchased a 6 gallon turkey fryer set. I’m already into camping and Ham radio, so I’m mostly covered on shelter and communications.
My plan for an earthquake or other natural disaster is to help myself, then my elderly immediate neighbors, collaborate with a couple of other neighbors and possibly set up to distribute meals to the surrounding survivors.
The turkey cooker, with rice, beans and assorted canned goods to throw in could allow me to supply several daily “gumbo” type hot meals to 20+ people. I think by design it would use gas more efficiently than trying to cook on the barbeque.
I consume mostly fresh foods, so my plan is to every one to two years simply give my canned stuff to the food bank or Boy Scout canned food drive and buy more.
All of this, (with the exception of guns, ham radio gear and other valuables) together with approximately 70 gallons of water, is housed outside in a shed, which should offer some protection from my house falling on it and spoiling or making it inaccessible.
  [Note from JWR: Make sure that your shed stays cool.  Heat kills the nutritive value of canned food quickly!]
Some quick notes on “store bought” preparations:
– A case of Top Ramen just fits inside a 5 gallon bucket
– A 25 pound sack of rice from the asian store fits with a little room left over.
– The medium-size Rubbermaid bins can hold a flat of bottled water, plus about 2/3 lighter stuff on top (gotta be able to lift it).
– Get some #10 cans, even if you don’t think you’ll use them. A Hobo stove constructed from one will allow you to cook over salvaged bits of wood and wreckage. Make sure to have a hacksaw, pliers and can opener on hand [to make a hobo stove.]
– If you stock bleach for disinfecting water, take a Sharpie marker and write the formula (drops per gallon, teaspoons per 5 gallons, etc.) on
the bottle. This way, there will be no question when you need it.

I’m sure there are things that I’m missing, but at least it’s a start. – John in California