toilet paper http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1312/all en-US "Can you spare a square?" 5 quick tips on toilet paper usage. http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1402812403_b598732dd3.jpg" alt="TP attacked" title="TP attacked" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That classic scene from Seinfeld got me thinking over the weekend. Is there a strategy for using toilet paper? Is it worth our time? But when I spend money to literally flush the product down the drain, I often wonder…how much should I be flushing? Am I wasting money?</p> <p>As an adult, I had never given it much thought until a comedian I was listening to pointed out that even hardnosed conservationists seem to forget their scruples in the stall. Why use a few sheets when a massive wad of paper will do the job just as well?</p> <p>My mother worked out, pretty quickly, that regardless of how good the toilet paper was that she bought, we’d use the same amount; way too much. So instead of buying the luxurious double rolls with extra absorbency, she’d get standard rolls. And as kids, we never really noticed the difference, and would still pull armfuls of paper from the roll, leaving the cardboard tube spinning on the holder for a good 10 seconds. </p> <p>So, what to do? Pardon the pun, but even to a frugal guy like me it seems a little anal to have a toilet paper strategy. I mean, I don’t have much of a life but I’m not at the point where I’m counting TP sheets…at least, not yet. But there are a few things I can suggest, especially with kids around. </p> <p>1) Think twice about getting those expensive, luxurious rolls of paper for the kids&#39; bathroom. Regular paper works just as well, and kids will use either one with zeal.</p> <p>2) Consider having a box of baby wipes in the bathroom. On those times when things get a little messy (stomach flu anyone?) a baby wipe or two will do the work of handfuls of toilet paper. They’re designed to handle much bigger messes than regular TP.</p> <p><em>NOTE: As many readers have pointed out, buy FLUSHABLE wipes. Kandoo and Cottonelle are popular, but many stores (Walgreens for instance) now carry their own brand of flushable wipes for a nice saving.  </em></p> <p>3) Buy standard sized rolls. Double rolls actually run down quicker than two standard rolls. The reason being, we see more of the roll and subconsciously use more because there’s plenty. It’s the reason you keep seeing manufacturers up the size of the roll, so that now we need extra equipment to fit these jumbo sized rolls onto the holder. </p> <p>4) Go with store brand. As I’ve said many times, there is very little difference, if any, between name brand and store brand; especially in this instance when it all ends up being flushed down the drain anyway. </p> <p>5) Practice restraint. There’s no reason at all to attack the roll and pull masses of paper away with the force of Rambo starting a speedboat. Grab what you need and nothing more.</p> <p>These few simple tips will save you money on a product every single one of us uses on a daily basis. Let’s save a few trees and a few bucks at the same time.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-only-what-you-need">Use only what you need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs General Tips Green Living Shopping bathroom habits name brand store brand toilet paper Tue, 20 May 2008 16:02:00 +0000 Paul Michael 2107 at http://www.wisebread.com A year without toilet paper - The Interview http://www.wisebread.com/a-year-without-toilet-paper-the-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-year-without-toilet-paper-the-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/noimpact.jpg" alt="no impact " title="no impact" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="200" height="135" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You wouldn&#39;t necessarily know it from watching him on his appearance on <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/energy/2007/04/10/stephen-colbert-vs-no-impact-man/">The Colbert Report</a>. He comes across as a soft-spoken, good-natured guy, for sure. But he must have a very impenetrable hide to still be blogging after being on the receiving end of the recent <a href="http://gawker.com/news/green-freaks/no-impact-man-is-amazingly-still-married-284524.php">Gawker snarkfest</a> about his family&#39;s infamous experiment, a year of extremely low-impact living in Manhattan. </p> <p>This enviro-aesetic lifefstyle includes giving up toilet paper, consuming only food that has been grown within a 250-mile radius, avoiding all carbon-producing forms of transportation, no air conditioning (in New York! in the summer!), and buying nothing new.</p> <p>I wrote a rather <a href="/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal">critical blog post</a> about Beavan&#39;s adventure last March, after reading about his family&#39;s exploits (can you use that term when talking about someone who DOESN&#39;T exploit stuff?) in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/garden/22impact.html?pagewanted=1&amp;ei=5088&amp;en=e775250d1fe1ae13&amp;ex=1332216000">New York Times</a>. If you had asked me then, I would have said that Beavan&#39;s experiment was all a publicity stunt, and that the extreme conditions that he and his family were subjecting themselves to were really overkill. In fact, I did say something along those lines, but with more sarcasm. Many other people responded in a similar fashion.</p> <p>Months later, after having written a few blog posts of my own that caused people to freak out (&quot;How DARE you criticize <a href="/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt">baby carrots</a>?! Do you want us ALL to be obese?&quot;) because their lifestyle choices were being challenged, and nobody likes that. In addition, I&#39;ve learned about the dangers of plastics, both to our <a href="/is-plastic-killing-us-the-true-cost-of-convenience">bodily health</a> and to the environment at large. My stance towards Beavan&#39;s experiment softened considerably. </p> <p>For one thing, it&#39;s really hard to pick on someone who is just trying something, while sharing the experience with the world. Anyone who talks to Beavan, or reads his blog, <a href="http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/">No Impact Man</a>, can tell that he&#39;s not the type of guy to foist his ideas on anyone. He&#39;s just an environmentally-conscious guy who got sick of talking the talk, and decided to walk the walk. Plus, he&#39;s got a sense of humor about the whole thing.</p> <p>I recently asked Beavan, whose blog is also a part of the <a href="http://liferemix.net/">Life Remix Network</a>, to answer a few questions about how is experiment is progressing, and how he feels about the furor surrounding his attempt to decrease his impact on our planet.</p> <p>--------------</p> <p><strong>What has been the overall response been to your experiment? The internet can be a vicious place, and I&#39;m sure you&#39;ve received a fair share of malicious criticism. But your own site seems to have many supportive readers. Do you find that the reaction is about 50/50?</strong></p> <p>What you can&#39;t see is the emails I get. I&#39;ve become so used to getting supportive email that it is quite a shock when something critical comes in. People come to the blog, I think, because they sense for themselves that there may be a way to live that is not so frantic and consumption-based that can both be kinder to the planet and make us happier.</p> <p><strong>How do you deal with some of the attacks leveled at your family? Is it difficult to balance sharing your life and protecting your own emotions?</strong></p> <p>By concentrating on the huge level of support and on my mission with this project, which is to allow people to examine the lessons I&#39;m learning this year as one method to make more positive choices for themselves. My style is not for everyone, though, and that&#39;s okay.</p> <p><strong>I imagine it&#39;s nice to avoid having to buy lead-painted toys from China for a while. Do you find it easier to raise a child in your apartment now than it was before? Are there challenges with the experiment specifically related to child-rearing?</strong></p> <p>With no TV or electricity or video games, this experiment has meant that Isabella gets so much more of our attention than she might have otherwise. We play, we ride around on our bikes, we go to the park, we splash in the fountain. This is the biggest gift of the project.</p> <p><strong>Has this endeavour helped you to save money, or is it more costly in the end? Fluorescent light bulbs, for instance, are quite expensive.</strong></p> <p>CFLs, over their lifetime, work out cheaper, thanks to electricity savings (though of course we don&#39;t use electricity right now). Our grocery bill is higher, but our restaurant bill is lower. We don&#39;t fly or drive. We&#39;re saving money and eating better and getting more exercise and feeling healthier and sleeping more.</p> <p><strong>When your year is up, do you think that you will continue to practice any parts of this experiment? Are there any aspects of this lifestyle that are more difficult than others?</strong></p> <p>Which bit shall I give up? Spending time with Isabella or eating better? Just joking, but honestly, much of what we&#39;ve changed we&#39;ll keep. But probably not all. Still, that&#39;s all hypothetical. We&#39;re not there yet.</p> <p><strong>Do you feel like this lifestyle is made easier due to your work-at-home status? Could a family with two parents who work outside the home, making a net income of $60K, engage in the same kind of practices?</strong></p> <p>I&#39;m not hoping to make everyone live like me. I&#39;m just hoping people might feel encouraged about the possibility of finding their own suitable options that might both be better for the planet and make them happier.</p> <p><strong>Many people have questioned your motives in this experiment, suggesting that you&#39;re only doing it to sell books. Also, there&#39;s been a bit of snarking in the blogosphere that your book is going to &quot;kill millions of trees&quot;. How to you respond to those attacks? Is there any validity in them?</strong></p> <p>There might be easier ways to sell books! The good news, for me, is that <a href="http://www.fsgbooks.com/">FSG</a> plans to publish my book by the most sustainable method they can find. I&#39;m happy about that. Every time a book like mine gets published in a sustainable way helps smooth the way for the publishing industry to eventually publish all books sustainably.</p> <p><strong>How do you apply the no-impact lifestyle to your dog? What do you feed her, and how difficult is it to clean up after her without using SOMETHING plastic?</strong></p> <p>I pick up her poop with found plastic bags. </p> <p><strong>Overall, are you enjoying your new lifestyle? Are there some aspects to it that you just can&#39;t WAIT to finish up? </strong></p> <p>Although the experiment will be officially over in November, the investigation may never end. It&#39;s fascinating and satisfying to take the life you&#39;ve inherited from your past and your culture, to question the underlying assumptions, and see how you put it back together when you choose deliberately.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-year-without-toilet-paper-the-interview">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-reasons-to-compost">10 Frugal Reasons to Compost</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-mulch-a-beginners-guide-for-the-lazy-composter">How to Make Your Own Mulch: A Beginner&#039;s Guide for the Lazy Composter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage">&quot;Can you spare a square?&quot; 5 quick tips on toilet paper usage.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-house-with-dr-bronner">Cleaning House With Dr. Bronner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-helpful-and-weird-uses-for-hair-and-excess-pet-fur">9 Helpful (and Weird) Uses for Hair and Excess Pet Fur</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living carbon footprint CFL Colin Beaven compost environmentally friendly Gawker low impact no impact man pets toilet paper Thu, 16 Aug 2007 23:16:09 +0000 Andrea Karim 1011 at http://www.wisebread.com Life Without Toiletpaper - Bum Deal? http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/toiletpaper.jpg" alt=" " width="180" height="200" /></p> <p>How far would you go to save the world?</p> <p>Upon reading the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/garden/22impact.html?pagewanted=1&amp;_r=2">New York Times article</a> about the Beaven-Conlin household in Manhattan, I started to get a little queasy. The article delves a bit into the lives of a couple and their young daughter, yuppies who live affluent lives in New York City. They&#39;ve taken the idea behind <a href="http://sfcompact.blogspot.com/">The Compact</a>, and then taken it a LOT farther. They are trying to live for one year with absolute minimal impact on the environment.</p> <p>Their toddler wears organic cotton diapers. The family eats all organic food, grown within a 250-mile radius of the city. They bake their own bread, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and don&#39;t buy much outside of groceries.</p> <p>That sounds responsible, right? Then it gets better. They don&#39;t use toilet paper (the details of how they avoid this are not pretty, and no, they did not have the good sense to invest in a bidet). They compost INSIDE their apartment. They use no spices but have made an exception for salt, which they apparently think of as an indulgence in baking rather than something that <a href="http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1997/797_salt.html">humans need in order to survive</a>.</p> <p>I think that the idea behind what the Beaven-Conlin family is trying is wonderful. And even though we all agree that we should use less, buy less, and pollute less, how many of us really <strong>do much of anything to accomplish this</strong>? </p> <p class="blockquote">The dishwasher is off, along with the microwave, the coffee machine and the food processor. Planes, trains, automobiles and that elevator are out, but the family is still doing laundry in the washing machines in the basement of the building. And they have not had the heart to take away the vacuum from their cleaning lady, who comes weekly (this week they took away her paper towels).</p> <p>I consider myself an environmentalist, but I just ate a sandwich out of a styrofoam container and then threw it away, because you can&#39;t recycle styrofoam in Seattle and I got tired of hauling bags of it to my parents&#39; place across the mountains for recycling. </p> <p>I drive 20 miles to work, because my job is located quite far from the job that I had when I bought my home (telecommuting is not an option with this firm, and taking the bus would take me close to 2.5 hours each way). If there is anyone who eats food grown farther from where they live, I don&#39;t know who it could be. I have a ridiculous appetite for tropical fruit and exotic spices.</p> <p>In the NY Times article, Colin Beaven states that the experiment that his family is trying is &quot;also very urban. It’s a critical twist in the old wilderness adage: Leave only footprints, take only photographs. But how do you translate that into Manhattan?&quot;</p> <p>Well, I&#39;d argue that that&#39;s easier in Manhattan than a lot of other places. Because Manhattan is rife with foodies, you can find farmers markets open year-round. You can buy organic milk in reusable glass bottles. There aren&#39;t many places in the five boroughs that you can&#39;t walk or bike to. I used to live in Brooklyn and work in Chelsea, and I would walk from dinner with friends in Midtown back home. It took a while (and wasn&#39;t always voluntary; sometimes I&#39;d run out of money and not be able to get subway fair), but it was very doable. Come to think of it, I never went to Staten Island, so maybe you can&#39;t get there by bike or on foot.</p> <p>People who live outside of large metropolitan areas with stellar public transportation (you know, normal people who can&#39;t afford huge apartments, or even studios, in swanky downtown areas) don&#39;t have the luxury of riding their Razor scooters to work. Not only would that be impossible, but they&#39;d probably get their butts kicked by their work buddies. Hell, my neighbors are very swishy, and I think they&#39;d probably call me a sissy if I broke out a Razor scooter and started scooting around Seattle.</p> <p>Now, the No Impact Family is not saying that everyone else has to live like this, and they are obviously trying it as an experiment. I think these kinds of revolutionary try-it-and-see experiments are brilliant, and I certainly applaud their efforts, even if I think the lifestyle might be too extreme for many of us (I am NOT making my own vinegar, thank you).</p> <p>Also, I think some of the moves are a little odd. For instance, <em>Ms. Conlin takes her lunch to work every day in a mason jar</em>. </p> <p>A mason jar. </p> <p>What&#39;s wrong with Tupperware? Yes, it&#39;s plastic, but it&#39;s not like you throw it out. A mason jar is heavy and awkward and breakable. I love using mason jars for preserves and pickles, but it&#39;s not up there on my list of potential lunchboxes. Why stop at a mason jar? Why not just put your lunch in a soapstone box that you carved yourself and tie it up in leather than you tanned out of from Central Park squirrel hides? Think of the shoulder muscles you&#39;d develop!</p> <p>Also, she gave up coffee. Well, that&#39;s just plain sick. I mean, if you don&#39;t want to go to Starbucks or even an independent coffeshop every day, that&#39;s fine. But there&#39;s nothing wrong with a French press. It&#39;s French! The French love suffering (or is that Russians?), so it totally fits in with the lifestyle.</p> <p>There was a telling little bit of the story that got me thinking, though:</p> <p class="blockquote">Ms. Conlin... did describe, in loving detail, a serious shopping binge that predated No Impact and made the whole thing doable, she said. “It was my last hurrah,” she explained. It included two pairs of calf-high Chloe boots (one of which was paid for, she said, with her mother’s bingo winnings) and added up to two weeks’ salary, after taxes and her 401(k) contribution. </p> <p>What? You know, maybe these people really need to try this. I don&#39;t know how much Conlin makes at Business Week, because she could be an intern, but I&#39;m guessing from her apartment location and her good taste in boots that that was pretty much a $3000 shopping spree. That&#39;s a guess, yes, but still. Two weeks salary? Doesn&#39;t something like that sort of defeat the purpose of no impact living?</p> <p>Perhaps I&#39;m being too touchy on the subject because I realize that if I used one-tenth of the discipline that this family is showing, I could make a major impact on my life, but by golly, I hate the stairs. </p> <p>And bidets are really, really pricey. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-the-government-pays-you-to-live-green">11 Ways the Government Pays You to Live Green</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/only-celebrate-a-few-select-birthdays">Only Celebrate A Few Select Birthdays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/opting-out-of-the-money-economy">Opting out of the money economy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/urban-composting-it-can-be-done">Urban Composting - It CAN be done!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle An Incovenient Truth compost environment no impact reduce reuse recycle The Compact toilet paper Walden waste Thu, 22 Mar 2007 19:53:53 +0000 Andrea Karim 384 at http://www.wisebread.com Do You Need a Disaster Survival Kit? http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008339727Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've always thought of disaster preparedness as something for the highly paranoid or mildly insane. But something about today's news (coverage of a Mid East weapons bazaar, <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2159935/nav/tap1/">heat beaming guns</a>, Iran not backing down from its nuclear program, and my general feeling about our federal government's competency in the face of major disasters) has made me a little spooked and slightly morbid. If nothing else, it has led me to believe that <strong>better safe than sorry</strong> is a mantra that I should be chanting all day.</p> <p>Let's just say that, should some disaster befall my fair city in the next 24 hours, I would probably not be ready to handle my own survival in the face of such an occurrence. But all of that is about to change, because tonight is my Disaster Preparedness Night, in which I assemble my very own survival kit, that will hopefully see me through any major emergency.</p> <p>A while back, Slate offered a series of articles on how to survive disasters. The one on <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2148772/entry/2148774/">nuclear disaster</a> was actually almost comforting, but some of the others, like the one about avian flu, were more disturbing, and didn't really go much beyond &quot;See your doctor, get a flu shot, we are ALL GOING TO DIE AAAAAAAUUUGH!&quot; However, it never hurts (although it might frighten) to read about what we need to do to be safe and sound should we ever find ourselves facing something like Hurricane Katrina.</p> <h2>Earthquakes</h2> <p>Earthquakes, like all disasters, require preparedness and resilience. In terms of preventing disaster, there's not much you can do beyond getting a fair warning. David Shenk (the author of the Slate.com series) offers the possibility of installing an <a href="http://www.quakealarm.com/">Earthquake alarm</a>. It will apparently only give you a few seconds warning (and false alarms might be annoying), but it's better than nothing.</p> <h3>Nuclear Disaster/Dirty Bombs</h3> <p>From the Slate.com article:</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;This would <strong>not</strong> be the end of the world,&quot; nuclear expert Charles Ferguson emphasized to me as we talked through the sequence of post-atomic events. &quot;We can deal with this kind of horrific attack, and a little preparation can go a long way to increasing your chances of survival.&quot; It's a shocking, unnerving reality that one can rationally prepare for a nuclear blast. But all it really takes is a trip to the grocery store, a few clicks on the Internet, and short conversations with your boss and your wife.</p> </blockquote> <p>In terms of getting a fair warning, Shenk recommends the pricey <a href="http://www.nukepills.com/radiation-detector.htm#5">keychain radiation detector</a>, whose makers claim can warn you about radioactive isotopes before you are exposed to dangerous levels. In terms of surviving the disaster itself, it turns out that if you aren't incinerated straight away, your chances are pretty good as long as you can make it down to your basement and hole up for a few days until the radiation settles.</p> <h2>General Readiness</h2> <p>Anyway, a common theme to be found in most articles of this nature are: be ready. Have supplies. Stay calm. Make sure that rescuers can find you (hang something outside that indicates that you are present inside, assuming that you ARE inside).</p> <p>I've looked around the web in search of some <a href="http://www.moreprepared.com/backpack-emergency-survival-p-274.html">good survival kits</a>, and there are some <a href="http://www.survivalsuppliers.com/products/earthquake_products/earthquake_kits.html">reasonably-priced</a> ones to be found, but honestly, you can put one together on your own. None of them include items that you can't find on your own, although you run the risk of never assembling such a kit on your own if you are as lazy as I am. Also, the kits obviously don't contain water, so you have to get that ready on your own.</p> <p>Here's what our federal government has to say about surviving disasters:</p> <blockquote><p>When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: <strong>fresh water, food, clean air and warmth</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>The following list of items is from the <a href="http://www.ready.gov/">Ready.gov</a> website &mdash; I've shortened some of the descriptions in the interest of space.</p> <ul> <li>Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation</li> <li>Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food (Andrea's note: Power Bars/Cliff Bars and a jar of peanut butter &mdash; you're golden)</li> <li>Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both</li> <li>Flashlight and extra batteries</li> <li>First aid kit</li> <li>Whistle to signal for help</li> <li>Dust masks, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place</li> <li>Baby wipes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation</li> <li>Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities</li> <li>Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)</li> <li>Local maps</li> <li>Prescription medications and glasses</li> <li><a href="http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/pets.html">Pet food and extra water for your pet</a></li> <li>Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container</li> <li>Cash or traveler's checks and change</li> <li>First aid book</li> <li>Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.</li> <li>Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper (you can also buy water-sanitizing tablets).</li> <li>Fire extinguisher</li> <li>Matches, stored in a waterproof container</li> <li>Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items</li> <li>Paper towels</li> <li>Paper and pencil</li> <li>Infant formula and diapers</li> <li>Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children</li> </ul> <p>I would also add:</p> <ul> <li>Superglue (good for everything &mdash; remember, it was developed to seal flesh wounds)</li> <li>Ionic breeze or other odor-neutralizing device</li> <li>Banner or flag to alert rescuers to your whereabouts</li> <li>Ice chest or cooler for medications that require chilling</li> <li>If you can, a bottle of prescription antibiotics</li> <li>An extra bucket (for whatever)</li> <li>Long-range walkie talkies in case family members have to separate, extra batteries</li> </ul> <p>Most of this stuff you can probably find around your house, except for a hand-crank radio. I didn't know that those existed.</p> <p>A key to having a good survival kit is maintaining it &mdash; making sure that the spare batteries are changed out once a year, not taking the spare cash out and spending it, checking to see that the energy bars and peanut butter hasn't gone bad, etc.</p> <p>Also, make sure to have a <a href="http://www.ready.gov/america/makeaplan/index.html">coherent plan</a>. Where should family members convene, if possible, during an emergency? You can get a a href=&quot;http://www.areyouprepared.com/emergency_guidebook.html#&quot;&gt;free disaster preparedness guidebook.</p> <p>As with all the sad things in life (disaster, death, taxes) it's better to plan ahead of time, and to spend a little extra on being prepared, than to pay the price for not thinking about the future.</p> <h2>Location, Location, You Get the Idea</h2> <p>One difficult aspect of putting together an emergency survival kit is figuring out where to store everything. If you have an actual house, you might have luck figuring out where to put jugs of water, but I live in a townhouse, and I don't have a lot of storage space. I finally settled in storing a bit of water on my bottom level and a bit more on my main level in a cabinet that I barely use. I might disperse some of the other kit components as well.</p> <p>I'll post pictures, and prices, when I'm finished putting it all together. I've got a budget for it, too &mdash; I'm not going to spend over $50 for all of these items. I will either buy them second hand or pilfer what I have around the house. I'll let you know how it goes, but in the meantime, I urge all of you to consider getting something similar, if you don't already have one.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-disaster-survival-kit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore">5 Emergency Situations You Must Prepare For (and 5 You Can Ignore)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-preparedness-for-your-freezer">Emergency Preparedness For Your Freezer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-food-supplies-for-the-lazy-skinflint">Emergency food supplies for the lazy skinflint</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-generators">The 5 Best Generators</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks attack dirty bomb disaster earthquake emergency flood hurricane medical supplies prepare ready government terrorist toilet paper water Tue, 20 Feb 2007 18:38:43 +0000 Andrea Karim 288 at http://www.wisebread.com