Cottages can be a true lifesaver if they are properly equipped and ready when disaster strikes. You may have the opportunity of fleeing to one should your principle residence become unsafe or you may simply find yourself stranded there.
Cottages can also be in isolated areas and miles away from nearest hospital or small town so keeping safe is going to be very important to you and loved ones. When a crisis occurs, immediately take stock of what water, food and fuel you have. Place calls to local suppliers and quickly obtain whatever items you need to top up the essentials. For a cottage, you may also wish to have larger sums of cash safely stored away for restocking of essentials. Whenever possible, keep your emergency supplies or preparations out of site and do not let strangers, delivery people or even neighbors know what you have.
For a cottage, you may also wish to have a larger first aid kit.
If you have firearms, be mindful of where you have them, laws and the risk they pose to children or those not familiar with firearm safety. Practice safe firearm handling techniques at all times, respect all laws and keep firearms and all ammunition in a humidity controlled metal safe until needed. If others in the family share your ammo, then you need to keep your supply of emergency ammo under separate lock and key.
When transporting a large/long gun type firearm, you want it to be kept in a hard or soft case to help keep them secure and as free from environmental conditions as possible. If storing a weapon in one of our soft or hard cases, always keep keys handy yet secure or use combination codes that you will remember.
For security systems, UPS systems, solar panels and cooking: see notes in the home section.
Sleeping bag if needed for your geographical region. One for each person. Remember, it’s not just for the cottage but for the home or even car should you need to leave the safety and warmth of where you are and venture out by car or on foot to a friend’s house etc
If you have a supply of liquor at the cottage do not overlook its value for bartering purposes!
Keep cars, boats, outdoor BBQ’S, propane tanks gas etc secure. Try having someone babysit the cottage or home if you have to leave for a short period of time. Disasters bring out the best as well as the worst in people. Offer to help your neighbors and see if you can’t form a neighborhood watch program. Make sure you have spare spark plugs for boat, engine oils, snowmobile parts, flood lights for boat house, home etc.
Tip on battery maintenance:
- Keeping batteries in a flashlight for long periods can cause corrosion, so keep batteries out of your flashlights until needed. Once you have installed the batteries in your light. Turn flashlight on and gradually unscrew cap until the light turns off, then continue to unscrew for another full turn at least. This will help reduce the chance of the flashlight being accidentally turned on while in the bag or in your pocket. When ready to use, just retighten the cap and operate as needed.
- Let your eyes become accustomed to the dark and only use light when task orientated.
- Always use the lowest power setting possible to help retain your eyes night vision and to help stretch out battery time.
- Walking with a light can attract unwanted attention so be mindful of this and do not wave the light around.
- Recharge or change out batteries as needed.
Larger sources of power
Purchase at least one, 1000 watt power inverter and you can use an old car, boat or lawn mower battery to power up a TV, radio, smart phone etc. Even if the battery is no longer good for the car, it is still worth keeping around for a few more years as a backup power supply.
Use a “trickle charger” to ALWAYS keep the old battery charged. Simply connect the power inverter to the battery and plug in your radio, TV, laptop, modems etc. just like you would in the home.
The other item you should look at for charging up of old batteries is a solar panel. If you are not comfortable with choosing the panel and accessories consider approaching your local solar power company and look into what works in your area (amount of sun)and for your exact power requirements.