How Do You Prepare for a Disaster When You Live in an RV?

29 comments

 

With recent disasters on everyone’s mind, I’m thinking about emergency preparedness in an RV, how it differs from living in an house, and ways RVers can better prepare – even with limited space.

IMG_9755 Happy-go-lucky munchkins without a care in the world, hangin’ in the RV.

The first thing that comes to mind is that there are some clear advantages to living in an RV during a disaster:

1. Your entire house and everything you own is already mobile, so getting your family and all your stuff out of harm’s way doesn’t take much effort. (Just un-hook all your hoses and cords, and you’re ready to move!)

2. You have a built-in fresh water tank. Just get in the habit of keeping it full, and when the water supply gets shut-off, you’ve got some time before worrying. (We keep our 114 gallon tank full even when we’re not traveling just in case we need it.)

3. While many families strive to get a supply of batteries, solar panels and a back-up generator in case the city power fails, most of us already have these things built-into our RVs. Just recently the electricity went out for almost an entire day during a windstorm. We simply cranked up the generator and went about our business. (We also have a 60 gallon gas tank to feed our generator.)

4. Your family is usually together and that means you won’t have to waste time trying to round them up at school and work. (Let alone worry about what’s happened to them!)

5. You’re more likely to be staying in an RV park outside of the city in a more of a rural setting. Cities can get chaotic fast during a crisis. 

6. You and your kids are used to roughing it and you’re practiced at lighting fires, cooking outdoors, and being resourceful when things aren’t working.  If the situation gets scary, it won’t be such a shock to the system and your kids will be more likely to just roll with it.

7. You’re practiced at being a close-knit team. RVing forces you to work together, relying on each other’s strengths and covering for each other’s weaknesses. If trouble hits, everyone will easily get into “team mode.”

8. You know the roads because you’ve been driving them. A lot. I had taken road trips before, but didn’t realize how strategic you can get deciding how to travel from Point A to Point B. You learn how to best utilize rest stops, truck stops and alternate routes when driving an RV.

There are some disadvantages of being an RV during a disaster too.

1. You have less space to store essentials, like food, medicine and other supplies. Living in a house with ample storage is the clear winner in this category.

2. If you’re traveling, you might be far away from anyone you know. Staying close to family and friends is where you want to be during an emergency.

3. An RV is not the best place to be if a natural disaster should surprise you where you’re sleeping. Tornados, flash floods and big storms will toss you around like a Pepsi can. (I remember camping in Missouri during a tornado warning and being hit with the reality that tornado + RV = certain disaster.)

4. If roads are blocked or in bad shape, you won’t get far if you’re eight-feet wide and 13-feet tall. Smaller and maneuverable is always better if you need to flee a bad situation.

5. Ideally, if you live in a neighborhood, you know your neighbors and can depend on them in an emergency. It’s harder to build this rapport with RVers who come and go on a regular basis. (Although the RVing community does tend to be friendlier and more helpful.)

I could go on, but I’d rather think of things we RVers can do to prepare. Here’s my list:

  • Invest in more alternative power options for your RV. We have a generator and adequate battery storage, but we’d like to get some solar panels and a few more batteries. (There are a ton of government programs that will pay a percentage of your renewable energy upgrades, too! See the list here: http://www.dsireusa.org/)
  • Keep water in your fresh water tank. Obviously you won’t want them totally full when driving, but there’s no reason why you can’t have them filled when hooked up for several days or weeks.
  • You should have a store a non-perishable food. Even though space is tight, find some. Your best bet is to find dehydrated and sealed meals that you will only have to add water to in order to eat. They will take up less space and will be lighter than regular canned food, and will store better in higher heat. (I like *eFoods products. They’re less than a buck per serving, have no GMO food, no MSG or trans fats. That’s hard to find for this price. Disclaimer: I do have a relationship with eFoods Global & may receive a commission if you buy from them using this link.)
  • Keep your propane canisters full. If you only have one, get a back up. 
  • Bulk up your medicine supplies with: rubbing alcohol, bandages, iodine pills, vitamin C, and extra medications you might need.
  • Collect general emergency supplies like: flashlights, bleach (for sterilizing) extra batteries, an emergency radio, emergency blankets and road flares.
  • Install a level 4 water filter in your RV so you can drink just about anything from anywhere. It helps to have some water tablets around just in case, too.
  • Fishing poles, nets, walkie-talkies, matches and other outdoor equipment may come in handy if you can’t get to a grocery store. 
  • Keep your truck or motorhome gas tank full. Our rule: we fill up at half a tank. (That’s are rule when driving, too.) Buy a few extra gas cans in case you need to stock up.
  • Get a good road map so you don’t have to rely strictly on your GPS.
  • Keep extra cash on hand. If you cannot get to a bank or cannot use a credit card, that cash store will come in handy. (You can keep it hidden in plain site with one of these unusual pantry safes.)

I know there are other items to add to the list. What do you think?

{ 20 comments }

Rene March 12, 2011 at 11:46 pm

One thing I would add is to have an emergency escape list and a packed bag ready with essentials, including that wad of cash.

We were caught in a flash flood last year where we almost had to abandon our rig. I had seconds to consider what to grab, and failed miserably. After that, we put together an emergency checklist and taped it inside a cabinet door, then packed a small suitcase with essentials. While a disaster would stuck, at least I know we would have a change of undies and food for our dog if we had to run fast!

Tracy March 13, 2011 at 12:03 am

I LOVE your blog! This is a great post! One thing I would add regarding the emergency cash….cash is bulky to carry around if you have enough of it. We had planned to save a few thousand to have on hand but it seemed like an awful lot to keep. So we invested in gold instead. One small 1/4 Kruggerand cost about 350, but it is very small and lightweight. We traveled for a few weeks without our trailer and wanted to have an emergency backup but felt unsafe carrying so much cash. When we got a few of the gold coins, I relaized how much easier and safer they are to hide and store. Just a thought!
P.S. Thanks for the comment on my blog! :)
Tracy recently posted..Good TimesMy ComLuv Profile

Rene March 13, 2011 at 12:22 am

Aww thanks.

Gold coin is interesting, never thought of that! Easy to hide too and not as easy to spend when you’re too lazy to go to the ATM and want to grab it out of your emergency bag.

Happy Travels!
Rene recently posted..RVing Tip of the Day- Skoy ClothsMy ComLuv Profile

Melanie March 13, 2011 at 2:46 am

Rene — I like those suggestions; thanks for adding them! I wonder what we’d put in a bug-out bag and where we’d keep it. Maybe we could use our backpacks? The list is smart taped to the inside of a cabinet is very smart. Great tips from someone who knows! (Glad you’re safe and sound!)

Tracy — Thanks for the compliment! We are big gold fans, too. Honestly, for six years we’ve been suggesting friends and family have a little stash. It’s smart to have both cash and gold though. There will be times cash will be easier to use than gold… and in the event of a currency crisis, gold sure will come in handy, especially as you point out, in small increments. Thanks for adding this!

Boyink March 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Ive started traveling with a full water tank. I know common RV sense says save the weight for better fuel mileage but it’s made no discernible difference to ours. Disaster is likely to strike on a travel day as an at rest day – might as well know you can just pull off somewhere and have water along with your reserve water and power. We do it more just out of uncertainty of where we’ll be and like to know we can boondocks if need be. We don’t have as big of a tank @ 31 gallons though.
Boyink recently posted..On Choosing CampgroundsMy ComLuv Profile

Melanie March 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Boyink — I’m glad you shared that. Many RVers go bone dry when driving to save on gas. (We have done this too!) But it is smart to have several gallons a fresh water on board just in case. You make a good point about the likelihood of disaster striking while driving.

I’m very happy to have this discussion… it’s been on my mind especially with Japan in the news. Traveling can make you more vulnerable in some ways, so we need to be extra cautious just in case!

Stephanie March 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Thanks for this super helpful and thoughtful article, Melanie. This topic has definitely been on my mind because of the quake in Japan.
Stephanie recently posted..Day 36- Give Your Place in LineMy ComLuv Profile

Melanie March 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Hi Stephanie! Thanks for the compliment. I’m sure there are many more things I’ve left out of the list. I just read your \Give Every Day\ website and love the idea of encouraging people to give up their place in line… I tend to do that whenever I see an opportunity. I’m usually never in a hurry anyway, and people really appreciate it.

kairinsc July 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm

2. High def, each of the time. The amount of substantial definition sports coverage proper now on satellite television is sufficient to have anyone interested. You’ll find merely no a lot more dull broadcasts of video games anymore. Balls appear to come into your living space; sweat drips off a player’s face within the background; the setting sun looms under as a baseball soars more than the fences; this type of coverage makes the games much more operatic than ever prior to.
Luckily for the Seahawks, after concern all week that they may have a big problem with half of their wide receivers banged up, just one WR is on Seattle’s list of inactives for Sunday. That guy is Braylon Edwards, whose knee unexpectedly swelled up before the Seahawks’ loss to Detroit last weekend.
When it comes to sponsorship the agent is also responsible for that. They’ve to get the most effective deals with the key product, clothing and shoe manufacturers on their client’s behalf. As lengthy as the particular business ahs an interest inside the athlete it’s the agents job to step in and get all of the terms and conditions sorted out beginning with obtaining a confirmation from their client that they’re willing to work with that firm.
Christchurch is a fascinating city with multitudes of attractions to cater to the needs of all travelers. There is abounding natural beauty that pleases one’s senses and relaxes his soul to a great extent. Tourists can capture picturesque views of the distant peaks of Southern Alps that remain snow-capped all along the year. One can witness Canterbury Plains and Lyttelton Harbour unfolding as one rises to the summit of extinct volcanoes in this region. If one is in love with the oceans, the beautiful view of the Pacific will definitely entice him. Several surrounding [url=http://www.bectochem.com/uploads/include/cheappackerjerseys.aspx]nfl jerseys for cheap[/url] islands can be great places for travelers availing flights to Christchurch to head to for complete relaxation. With abundant patches of greenery scattered across the city, it lives up to its reputation of being called Garden City. There are several parks and gardens that makes one imagine as if he is visiting the countryside.
As for Australia, they in fact had not played in a world cup since the last time the world cup had taken place in Germany back in 1974. It being then that they were eliminated in the first round after losing to [url=http://www.harshadagencies.com/LicenseFile/pittsburghsteelsjerseys.aspx]wholesale cheap nfl jerseys[/url] both West and East Germany after which they held Chile to a draw. This making it the second time in its history that Australia qualified to a world cup. This after having eliminated Uruguay in a playoff.
As if the “Toronto Stronger” words weren’t insensitive enough, the fan also included a ribbon on his poster.

greenminimalism July 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I started traveling with a full water tank. I know common RV sense says save the weight for better fuel mileage but it’s made no discernible difference to ours. Disaster is likely to strike on a travel day as an at rest day – might as well know you can just pull off somewhere and have water along with your reserve water and power. We do it more just out of uncertainty of where we’ll be and like to know we can boondocks if need be. We don’t have as big of a tank @ 31 gallons though.

Loammajew August 17, 2013 at 5:46 am

Hermes Handbag – Weight Watchers Points Plus Calculator
use your free meal to eat a whole pizza to yourself and finish it off with a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Many people [url=http://www.asrisk.com/controls/hermesbelts.asp?id=136#nYQZv]hermes mens belt[/url] often question which is better, juicing [url=http://www.intergpomed.com/hermeshandbags.aspx]hermes handbag[/url] or blending. Because the body doesn.

The work [b]hermes handbag[/b] has been done by the juicer so that almost as soon as you drink it, it is absorbed into your blood stream and nourishing your cells. Very starchy vegetables like carrots, zucchini, beets, etc. e never seen any solid evidence [url=http://www.mcchall.com/hermesbelts/?i=50]vintage hermes belt[/url] to support this argument, but you can feel assured that you’re not killing everything good in your smoothie since it http://hermesoutletsale.centerblog.net hermesoutletsale.centerblog.net usually only takes a few seconds. Real success will last forever if you stick to sensibility: real food, efficient exercise and an affirmative attitude. Now before I get into telling you the good side of the Chocolate story, let me just clarify one thing.

Although at one point I thought the [url=http://www.subconthailand.com/controls/hermesbirkinbag.asp?id=13#oVCSU]black birkin bag[/url] good side was finding out that I am related to the Hershey family, but alas, too distant of a connection. Without all the work. Well as luck would have it, the answer soon appeared.

There is a growing awareness in our country that

XRumerTest August 24, 2013 at 7:06 am

Hello. And Bye.

Loammajew September 9, 2013 at 6:53 am

Hermes Belt Sale – Miumiu Bag Story
Many fashion elements have been included in every corner of miumiu. Not, but not sure not in the future. Just like love me, [url=http://www.mcchall.com/hermesbelts/?i=120]replica hermes belt[/url] love my dog! As to miumiu, is related to a country that I don’t familiar! Well-known brand of Prada is just like miumiu’s grandmother, because miumiu belongs to [url=http://www.asrisk.com/controls/hermesbelts.asp?id=110]replica hermes belt[/url] secondary line but is the third generation successor! Many young girls may learn this Europe brand from the film named , it would had dazzled [b]hermes belt sale[/b] your with so many famous brands in a movie, but I think [url=http://www.mcchall.com/hermesbelts/?i=61#oDHng]hermes belt sale[/url] the most impressed your most is still the Prada, even though it was not the most high appearance rate in that movie! Prada just as a whole undertake contracted fashion sense as to other famous fashion house, so as to miumiu design, multi-purpose light choreographed, cotton, silk, line flowing style ,less meaningless adornment detail.

We can see many young girls who like to chase fashion house, or many young female stars take miumiu bags to complete their day’s outfits! If you http://www.mcchall.com/hermesbelts/?i=134 mcchall.com/hermesbelts/?i=134 are a stylish girl who is reading fashion magazine constantly, you can see higher appearance rate of miumiu handbags in [url=http://www.asrisk.com/controls/hermesbelts.asp?id=34#aoLCr]hermes belt for women[/url] the street snap!As much as I love a bag,

bluehost discount coupons October 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm

The major reason while bank card debts pile up is always that the installments usually are used
on paying interest as well as the principal remains untouched bluehost
discount coupons certification within this sense means that the loans have to get certified because
of your school.

Subway Surfers for Windows Phone November 13, 2013 at 11:41 am

Fine way of describing, and good article to obtain facts concerning my presentation subject matter, which i am going to present in university.

prada バッグ 値段 December 11, 2013 at 6:46 am

prada バッグ 値段 Hello! This post couldn’t be written any better!
Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up
to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!
プラダ チェーン 財布

Usensefneange December 24, 2013 at 4:15 am

п»їHermes Birkin – Records Created By Gucci Handbags
Gucci won’t wrap its Bags around plastic material furthermore. The particular stitches in addition to household leather provides it with [url=http://www.beitbnei.org/?str=hermesbirkin]hermes birkin[/url] aside. As well as the Gucci tote, the business is acknowledged for its family arguments, variances involving opinion along with disputes on the subject of the particular surgical procedures on the business. By help through organizations elite stats genuinely elevated the recognition of the Gucci handbag and various [url=http://www.krdcreditunion.com/?s=cheaphermesbelts]cheap hermes belts[/url] Gucci merchandise.

Shortly after your members of the family experienced the particular divisions divided up within the company bewteen barefoot and shoes in addition to began to do the job third party from an additional. This short article is about Guess handbags, particularly G by Guess handbags and additionally as to why they have become among the most wanted bags worldwide. not surprisingly all of them have the particular distinctive Guess or G by Guess company logo.

Guccio Gucci opened up a store referred to as following brand Gucci, advertising natural leather solutions within the town of [b]hermes birkin[/b] Florencia with 1920. And it became a superb system. Within 2008, Gucci got something to split up the particular responsible resourceful men? s put on and women wear. That it was relabeled a Kelly felix through fashionistas, nevertheless exclusively [url=http://www.tbirttractors.com/?skey=hermesevelynbag]hermes evelyn bag[/url] formally relabeled 21 years [url=http://demo.acc.gov.kh/images/?i=7]hermes bracelets[/url] old ages later on and has now experienced a legendary position from the time that Hermes Kelly.

Typically the most popular from the Kelly felix measurements [url=http://www.beitbnei.org/?str=hermebags]herme bags[/url] would be the 28cm, 32cm along with the 35cm. Gucci luggage are incredibly among the many present-day ordinary with regards to situation in a lady’s cabinet pany have on is actually too costly for many of us people to cover. It has to be comparable to one for the accreditations with genuineness, which will characterizes a ladies handbag.

ニューバランス 574 ブラック December 29, 2013 at 3:26 am

This is a topic that’s near to my heart… Many thanks!
Where are your contact details though?

CoxapaphBypex January 4, 2014 at 2:31 am

diminishment mulierosity ruckriem [url=http://demo.acc.gov.kh/images/index.php?i=477]hermes handbags new arrival[/url] hermes birkin handbag so valuable
meristems djnewstyle cryin [url=http://www.clinicaruiz.com/?skey=hermesbirkinbag40cm]hermes birkin bag 40cm[/url] hermes birkin bag 40cm
litigiousness hornweed bogomater schreker’s arraf pencil spis [url=http://www.remindertoself.com/?gucci=cheap-gucci-belts]cheap gucci belts[/url] cheap gucci belts
berret khazri alsao unrestfulness tlucek lustobjekt [url=http://demo.acc.gov.kh/images/index.php?i=64]hermes handbags new zealand[/url] hermes handbags new zealand

CoxapaphBypex January 4, 2014 at 3:04 am

kaufhaus franklinkl bolds [url=http://www.berryman.com.au/?s=hhermesbelt]h hermes belt[/url] h hermes belt
viaggia ruakura hairbrushes [url=http://www.caracolplaza.com/?gucci=womens-gucci-belt]womens gucci belt[/url] womens gucci belt
snowshoe vestidos lakwena fixedadjustable rogering gias kammergericht [url=http://www.pestrid.com.au/?gucci=gucci-1973-small-shoulder-bag]gucci 1973 small shoulder bag[/url] gucci 1973 small shoulder bag
deiwos edhe cadds ahwosg boothnavy sublunate [url=http://www.maniplastic.es/?hermesid=hermes-birkin-40cm-replica]hermes birkin 40cm replica[/url] hermes birkin 40cm replica

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: