Thursday, March 24, 2011

Being Prepared

I'm one of those people that means to get all the appropriate survival items on hand in case of emergencies, but never quite gets around to actually buying them. So when the first earthquake struck, we weren't particulary well prepared. Cellphones were used as torches, and I had to listen to the radio on my car for updates.

So I prepared a very short list of must have items that are really useful in an emergency, to get for any future emergencies. If you're like me, and you also mean to get a kit prepared, but just haven't got around to it yet, I thought this would be a good starting point. For information on everything you might need, here is the Civil Defence guide.

Water for drinking. Really quite important when you don't have running water.
A torch with batteries that work. Because it gets really dark at night when there is no power.
Hand sanitiser. Rather useful for washing your hands when you don't have running water.
A battery operated radio. Useful for finding out what's going on when you don't have usual means of information.

There is lots of discussion on the interwebs about useful things to have on hand so I won't go into detail about every single thing you need. There is one thing I found came is handy after the second earthquake was the really thick rubber/plastic coated gardening gloves used for pruning roses. If you have lots of broken glass to pick up, these are great, as cutting yourself on broken glass is not really something you want to happen at this stage.

If you're without power for a prolonged period of time, you're going to need an alternative source of lighting in the evenings. The two most common choices to use are camp lanterns and candles. Camp lanterns are good because they have a much lower fire risk, and are easy to carry. However they can produce a harsh light, and the warm glow of a candle can be much more comforting.

If you're thinking of stocking up on candles for your emergency kit, I would recommend container candles, rather than the traditional candle stick in a candle holder. This is because they are much more stable, and less likely to tip over if knocked, or there is a strong aftershock. In my Felt store, I have two kinds of candles I would recommend for emergencies above all others. These are the tin candles, and the recycled glass bottle candles. Both are made from soy wax, last for ages, have good stability and don't drip, due to being a container. Another advantage of soy is that if the container does tip and spill the wax, it does wash out in hot soapy water. The tin candles would be the safest of the two, as they are wider than they are tall, and won't break if they do fall on the ground. The glass candles are really good for light, as the light shines through the glass, all the way to the bottom of the candle.

These candles are available in scented, unscented and essential oil scented options. I have finally listed my new essential oil candles. You might like to pick a soothing scent to help calm those rattled nerves! If you would like a different scent to something I have listed, just let me know and I will tell you if I can make it up in the scent (or unscented) you are after.

Also, don't forget I am donating 10% of all sales in my Felt store till the end of the month to the Red Cross earthquake appeal. I have raised $15.50 so far through my fundraising efforts, and would love to increase this total before the end of the month.


  1. Great tips from one very much 'in the know' - thanks Rose.

  2. It's really interesting to think about what you really really need - good list. Someone I spoke to from Chrsitchurch also said actual cash was gold as there is no Eftpos, and to make sure your mobile phone is charged at all times. Your candles would make any disaster bearable x