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Shelter in Place

By Staff | Jan 29, 2020

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary Several residents took notes during Flanagan’s presentation on self sufficiency this month. In case of emergency, store drinking water, and keep one liter of water per person per day for sanitation purposes.

MUNCY-A very informative program was given Wednesday Jan. 16 at the Muncy Public Library on “Emergency Preparedness” by Michael Flanagan, a retired law enforcement officer. This will be the first of a three part series that will provide practical advice for self reliance and survival. Linda Strausser, director at the library said, “This is a program near and dear to my heart, as any emergency could potentially happen.”

Flanagan, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and now lives in Cogan House with his wife, said that he has experienced situations where he had to survive for several days without power or heat. The survivalist instructor shared his knowledge, research and beneficial tips to a well-attended audience. He began with a reference, the “Readers Digest Back to Basics.” Originally published in 1981, the book explores “old-fashioned domestic skills” from gardening to cooking and building simple projects.

His experience camping in high altitudes also contributed to his self sufficiency. In case of a catastrophe, “the idea is not just to survive, but to thrive!” explained Flanagan. “Who is going to help you personally? The government?”

Strausser further explained that in her research, she was unable to find the necessary local resources. “Many are volunteers,” she said. Even FEMA and Homeland Security had no “prepared programs.”

Some startling statistics were revealed during the program. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina covered 90,000 square miles. “It took four days for FEMA to get there on site,” Flanagan said. Over 700 people are still missing.

The great 1993 blizzard put Pennsylvania in a state of emergency for three days and took over 12 days to restore power. Twenty-three inches of snow fell in 24 hours. Three years later our area was struck again with 27 inches in 24 hours. Many residents had no power for six weeks. Flood waters rose again in 2011.

“Yes, FEMA will give you a supply kit, but why wait?” Flanagan said, as he pointed out items available such as water, food, first aid, dust mask and tools to turn off utilities. “It could take up to 7 to 14 days, and what if it is beyond three weeks?” An electromagnetic pulse could happen at any time to upset the earth’s atmosphere, not just climactic, Flanagan said, adding, “Be prepared now.”

What are the basics? “We need water, food and warmth for human culture,” he said. “And take it one step further by adding sanitation.”

“Shelter in place is best. Where are you going to go? And how much gas is needed?” he asked. Neighbors also are in emergency. Working with DEP, Robin Power from Muncy, an attendee at the program confirmed this. Sometimes it takes awhile to get to people.

WATER COMES FIRST

Flanagan broke down each essential requirement starting with water preservation. “Three days without water, we can die,” he said. One gallon per person per day is required for drinking. A good way to store water is in sanitized, colored 2 liter soda bottles, stacked laying down on their sides against a wall or in a closet. Be sure to include water for cooking and sanitation, averaging one liter per day per person. Bottled water can store for up to two years. “Do not use empty milk bottles for storage,” he advised due to ibacteria. One half to one teaspoon of unscented bleach can be added for extra storage time. However, it is recommended to switch out water and food supply every six months. Add dates each time.

There are ways to capture outdoor sources of water. Filtered water from rain, streams, rivers, ponds and lakes can be used, but not flood waters. “Boil the daylights out of ita rolling boil for at least 3 minutes,” Flanagan said.

PRESERVE FOOD

For food, Flanagan, a Master Gardener, recommends taking the one week cupboard challenge. Have available non-perishable food that requires little preparation. “Store what you eat, eat what you store,” he said. Canned fish and vegetables, dried fruits, cereal and nuts, plus any non-refrigerated items are ideal to keep. Expiration dates can be extended to about 50 percent according to Flanagan, who also grows and preserves his own food. In case of power loss, he said to eat as much of the refrigerated food as possible within the first 24 hours to avoid contamination.

ADD HEAT

This leads to warmth and ways to heat food. A wood stove, pellet stove, fireplace, or a gas grill will come in handy. Generators are often used and portable space heaters with propane gas are readily available. However, keep all propane tanks outside. “A 30 lb. propane tank will last a week,” added Flanagan. Have on hand sleeping bags and blankets, flannel sheets and down comforters. Sleep with a knit cap. Wear clothing to retain body heat such as wool and fleece, wicking layers.

On a final note, Flanagan stressed the need for sanitation. To prevent cholera use sanitizers and wipes. Keep one liter of water per day per person and trash bags. Kitty litter or sawdust can be used for toileting which can be added to a compost. A 5-gallon utility bucket works well. He referenced “The Humanure Handbook” by Joseph C. Jenkins and “Earthships,” by Malcolm E. Rockwood, a resource for achieving sustainable living.

In conclusion, Flanagan added the importance of taking a training courses such as basic first aid or developing some kind of agricultural ecosystem to grow food. He directed participants to Permies.com, a website for those interested in homesteading.

The second part to the series by Flanagan will include ways to ensure safety, prepare and survive for more than 7 days, and up to 21 days. The date will be announced by the Muncy Public Library.

Shelter in Place

By Staff | Jan 29, 2020

MUNCY-A very informative program was given Wednesday Jan. 16 at the Muncy Public Library on “Emergency Preparedness” by Michael Flanagan, a retired law enforcement officer. This will be the first of a three part series that will provide practical advice for self reliance and survival. Linda Strausser, director at the library said, “This is a program near and dear to my heart, as any emergency could potentially happen.”

Flanagan, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and now lives in Cogan House with his wife, said that he has experienced situations where he had to survive for several days without power or heat. The survivalist instructor shared his knowledge, research and beneficial tips to a well-attended audience. He began with a reference, the “Readers Digest Back to Basics.” Originally published in 1981, the book explores “old-fashioned domestic skills” from gardening to cooking and building simple projects.

His experience camping in high altitudes also contributed to his self sufficiency. In case of a catastrophe, “the idea is not just to survive, but to thrive!” explained Flanagan. “Who is going to help you personally? The government?”

Strausser further explained that in her research, she was unable to find the necessary local resources. “Many are volunteers,” she said. Even FEMA and Homeland Security had no “prepared programs.”

Some startling statistics were revealed during the program. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina covered 90,000 square miles. “It took four days for FEMA to get there on site,” Flanagan said. Over 700 people are still missing.

The great 1993 blizzard put Pennsylvania in a state of emergency for three days and took over 12 days to restore power. Twenty-three inches of snow fell in 24 hours. Three years later our area was struck again with 27 inches in 24 hours. Many residents had no power for six weeks. Flood waters rose again in 2011.

“Yes, FEMA will give you a supply kit, but why wait?” Flanagan said, as he pointed out items available such as water, food, first aid, dust mask and tools to turn off utilities. “It could take up to 7 to 14 days, and what if it is beyond three weeks?” An electromagnetic pulse could happen at any time to upset the earth’s atmosphere, not just climactic, Flanagan said, adding, “Be prepared now.”

What are the basics? “We need water, food and warmth for human culture,” he said. “And take it one step further by adding sanitation.”

“Shelter in place is best. Where are you going to go? And how much gas is needed?” he asked. Neighbors also are in emergency. Working with DEP, Robin Power from Muncy, an attendee at the program confirmed this. Sometimes it takes awhile to get to people.

WATER COMES FIRST

Flanagan broke down each essential requirement starting with water preservation. “Three days without water, we can die,” he said. One gallon per person per day is required for drinking. A good way to store water is in sanitized, colored 2 liter soda bottles, stacked laying down on their sides against a wall or in a closet. Be sure to include water for cooking and sanitation, averaging one liter per day per person. Bottled water can store for up to two years. “Do not use empty milk bottles for storage,” he advised due to ibacteria. One half to one teaspoon of unscented bleach can be added for extra storage time. However, it is recommended to switch out water and food supply every six months. Add dates each time.

There are ways to capture outdoor sources of water. Filtered water from rain, streams, rivers, ponds and lakes can be used, but not flood waters. “Boil the daylights out of ita rolling boil for at least 3 minutes,” Flanagan said.

PRESERVE FOOD

For food, Flanagan, a Master Gardener, recommends taking the one week cupboard challenge. Have available non-perishable food that requires little preparation. “Store what you eat, eat what you store,” he said. Canned fish and vegetables, dried fruits, cereal and nuts, plus any non-refrigerated items are ideal to keep. Expiration dates can be extended to about 50 percent according to Flanagan, who also grows and preserves his own food. In case of power loss, he said to eat as much of the refrigerated food as possible within the first 24 hours to avoid contamination.

ADD HEAT

This leads to warmth and ways to heat food. A wood stove, pellet stove, fireplace, or a gas grill will come in handy. Generators are often used and portable space heaters with propane gas are readily available. However, keep all propane tanks outside. “A 30 lb. propane tank will last a week,” added Flanagan. Have on hand sleeping bags and blankets, flannel sheets and down comforters. Sleep with a knit cap. Wear clothing to retain body heat such as wool and fleece, wicking layers.

On a final note, Flanagan stressed the need for sanitation. To prevent cholera use sanitizers and wipes. Keep one liter of water per day per person and trash bags. Kitty litter or sawdust can be used for toileting which can be added to a compost. A 5-gallon utility bucket works well. He referenced “The Humanure Handbook” by Joseph C. Jenkins and “Earthships,” by Malcolm E. Rockwood, a resource for achieving sustainable living.

In conclusion, Flanagan added the importance of taking a training courses such as basic first aid or developing some kind of agricultural ecosystem to grow food. He directed participants to Permies.com, a website for those interested in homesteading.

The second part to the series by Flanagan will include ways to ensure safety, prepare and survive for more than 7 days, and up to 21 days. The date will be announced by the Muncy Public Library.