I think my several years of childhood in hurricane-vulnerable New Orleans has deeply affected my approach to emergency preparation. When there’s news of very bad weather coming, the first thing I do is put back at least two gallons of drinking water (Dutch ovens are good, plus a pitcher in the fridge) and plug in everything that can recharge. Then start a load of laundry — the risk of four or five days off-grid is more bearable if there are clean clothes to change into — and then out for supplies. But I try to keep a few days’ worth of food in the house that can be eaten without cooking. Perhaps not desirable, but edible.
Place these thoughts in the context of the current suffering in Japan. Sometimes preparations don’t do much good, but that’s not an excuse not to prepare. And so I thought about what extra resources — not too obtrusive or expensive; butterfly bandages, say– would I put back?
Now, I’m no camper, but a camp stove would be a good choice, and one — like the long-used and much loved beverage can stoves would be a better to have than no way to cook or heat a bit of water at all. Here’s the concept, and here’s aÂ variation I’d want to have on hand. But the idea is that one might be made after the outages if the directions were held back, say on a battery-powered laptop. (Feedback and additions, particularly from actual campers, welcome.)