Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

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chickadee
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Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:54 pm

Well, since the Bogleheads know everything, I'm asking for help here.

My nephew is going to Optometry school in Puerto Rico. He's been home since the hurricane, but now the school is saying classes will begin again on November 1. Undergrad and other colleges have already started back.

It's hard to find complete answers about conditions at his rental apartments. The school will be running on generators I assume, and they have said they will provide some food/water to students.

Assuming that his apartment will not have electricity when he first goes back, and that the quality of the water (if it is even turned back on) is unknown, what survival items would YOU pack to take back with you?

Looking for ideas on water filters, perhaps a one burner propane stove (for cooking or boiling water), but how to get propane? Can you adapt these type stoves to take the large refillable tanks, or only those smaller Coleman bottles? Worried about availability of propane near him. He has electric stove, unfortunately.

Obviously, packing Power Bars, nuts, dried fruit might be a good idea. But looking for any others. Especially from those who have weathered weeks without power in the past, due to hurricanes, etc.

This is a bit overwhelming, as we thought they might scrap the semester. Of course, that would throw the entire program off.

whomever
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by whomever » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:35 pm

"Looking for ideas on water filters,..."

There are small camping filters. Note that they frequently use cartridges that will filter only so many gallons before needing replacement (where how many is a function of how much gunk is in the water). The MSR MiniWorks EX has a filter element you can clean, so you get a lot of gallons, but it takes more effort to pump than others. Another option, if he can recharge AA batteries is one of the UV sterilizers.

There are larger filters meant for use in cabins, etc. The brand I hear most about is Berkey. I have no experience with these. They are pretty big to carry on a plane.

Here's the REI page for filters:
https://www.rei.com/c/water-treatment?r ... ent&page=1
Can you adapt these type stoves to take the large refillable tanks,
Yes, sporting goods stores carry hoses, one end of which attaches to a 20 lb or 50 lb or whatever propane tank, and the other has the same threads as are on top of the 1 lb portable canisters.


I don't know enough about conditions there to speculate much. I'd want a way to charge batteries (cell phone, flashlight, radio, ...). If he won't have access to a generator or mains power maybe a small solar panel.

maria00200
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by maria00200 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:50 pm

Are you sure your nephew doesn’t want to rethink going there at this time? My husband’s family lives there, and the little communication we had with them so far wasn’t good. No water, no power, very spotty phone service only in San Juan if you’re lucky, very long lines just to get gas or groceries. I feel awful for everyone there and I wouldn’t go out of my way to purposely live there right now until things are semi back to normal.

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:24 pm

Well, this is his one shot to become an optometrist. The school has his tuition, and won't be refunding it back. Soooo. I think he at least wants to go and see what the lay of the land is. If it's not tenable, then he can come home. The airports are running again. He has a year lease and has purchased a car down there, so there are loose ends that would need to be tied up if he were to decide to "punt."

I believe he'd be able to charge computer/phone/batteries at the school during the day.

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praxis
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by praxis » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:41 pm

As already covered, there are many types, sizes and capacities of water filters. I recommend reading up on them before you buy. The newer, battery-operated portable UV pens take about 60 seconds for a liter of water, but are more effective if you can strain any sediment from the water first. Turbidity (cloudiness) blocks the UV rays and some bacteria or parasites could make it through a treatment. It would be convenient for him to carry and use but it would take a long time for larger volumes. Cloth works for straining, but again, read up on filters first. You don't need to spend a lot of money to be safe. Backpacking stores carry several brands.

Other items in short supply that he could bring with him might include Bic lighters (for candles and stoves or cook fires), rechargable flashlights (you mentioned he might be able to charge devices at the school), peanut butter and tuna fish, hard candy, dry soup mixes, Ramen packs, boullion cubes, packs of hard crackers (Wasa or melba). Bring extras, like a case of lighters, or candy or soup packs if he has room, because he will have many chances to give them to others in need or trade for other items he needs.

https://www.amazon.com/topAlert-HY-88WB ... QNQ0C9QM62

Here is a link for a crank operated radio/flashlight/cell phone charger.

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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by Rupert » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:09 pm

I wouldn't count on being able to easily charge electronics at school if the school is running on generators and every student there is also trying to charge their stuff at the same time. Definitely take a solar-powered charger; the novelty of the hand-cranked ones wears off quickly. If his car is running (i.e., not flooded), it can be used to charge electronics as well. Make sure he has car chargers for his devices. For disinfecting water, I would take chlorine or iodine tablets as a backup for the filters. Bleach works as well, but may be difficult to find down there right now. An REI-type store should stock those tablets. As for lighting, I'd take an LED lantern, an LED headlamp, and an LED handheld flashlight with extra batteries.

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Pajamas
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by Pajamas » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:13 pm

If the other students have already started back to school, and your nephew won't be starting for a couple of more weeks, then surely basics like food and potable water will be available. He should confirm with the school whether or not he actually needs the type of stuff you are asking about for daily use. He does not need supplies to live off-grid in the wilderness indefinitely, but it wouldn't hurt to have emergency supplies. I would suggest that he put together an emergency backpack to have on hand using readily available lists.

Rather than a filter, something like Potable Aqua or Aqua Mira would be better.

Rather than a propane stove, either an alcohol stove that can burn several types of readily available fuel or an Esbit stove with a good supply of tabs would be fine, or he could just keep food that doesn't need to be heated in a plastic jar to protect it from rodents and insects for emergencies. Some freeze dried meals are even self-heating.

A headlamp with spare batteries and a crank charger for his phone would also be handy. A solar charger is not reliable in bad weather and the small ones are slow. The crank charger can also have an LED flashlight and even a radio and is easy to crank for light and charging a phone for emergency use.

There are some real logistics and supply distribution problems in P.R. right now, especially in less-populated areas, but generally after a hurricane or flood or similar, bottled water, bleach, and similar are readily available from relief agencies. If anything, those very basic goods will eventually create a disposal problem due to excess supply.

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lthenderson
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by lthenderson » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:43 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:13 pm
If the other students have already started back to school, and your nephew won't be starting for a couple of more weeks, then surely basics like food and potable water will be available. He should confirm with the school whether or not he actually needs the type of stuff you are asking about for daily use.
+1 on this advice. Also, if I was concerned, I would get a round trip ticket with the return flight a few days later so if he finds things unlivable, he has a way to return quickly.

random_walker_77
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by random_walker_77 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:46 pm

I'd reiterate the advice from Pajamas. You probably don't need a water filter, and a pillcase of water purification tablets is suitable insurance. Contact the school to find out what conditions are like.

For filters, I have this one, which is claimed to be good for 25 gallons of turbid water to 200 gallons of clear water. Has an iodine resin that's supposed to kill viruses: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

The lifestraw is reputable, isn't rated for viruses, but is good for up to 250 gallons: https://www.amazon.com/LifeStraw-Person ... ZSGAD6607N

The lifestraw family is rated for viruses and bulk filtering for years on end (18k gallons). But it's big and not meant to be mobile: https://www.amazon.com/LifeStraw-Family ... raw+family

mouses
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by mouses » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:05 pm

Is he going to be at or near a major town? From everything I have read, the other areas are not tenable.

Is this the school in Bayamon? That area seems to have been badly damaged.

Would they allow him to postpone returning for a semester or two without forfeiting his tuition?

livesoft
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by livesoft » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 pm

I'd take an Anker solar charger. I'd take any adapter to be able to charge AA batteries. I'd get a separate Anker battery bank.

I'd take a UV pen (SteriPen) to disinfect water. I doubt one would need to filter out dirt at this stage in PR. I'd use the SteriPen Rapid Pure Water Purifier Set (see REI.com). It runs on AA batteries, hence the solar charger above. The SteriPen kit comes with a pre-filter if needed. As a backup tablets could be used. Bleach could be used, too.

I'd have a bunch of Eneloop AA batteries, too.

A stove will depend on availability of fuel. You can't take fuel on a plane, so it would have to be bought local. If food is at school, then one would not need to cook at home and would only eat cold.
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:49 pm

chickadee wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:54 pm
Well, since the Bogleheads know everything, I'm asking for help here.

My nephew is going to Optometry school in Puerto Rico. He's been home since the hurricane, but now the school is saying classes will begin again on November 1. Undergrad and other colleges have already started back.

It's hard to find complete answers about conditions at his rental apartments. The school will be running on generators I assume, and they have said they will provide some food/water to students.

Assuming that his apartment will not have electricity when he first goes back, and that the quality of the water (if it is even turned back on) is unknown, what survival items would YOU pack to take back with you?

Looking for ideas on water filters, perhaps a one burner propane stove (for cooking or boiling water), but how to get propane? Can you adapt these type stoves to take the large refillable tanks, or only those smaller Coleman bottles? Worried about availability of propane near him. He has electric stove, unfortunately.

Obviously, packing Power Bars, nuts, dried fruit might be a good idea. But looking for any others. Especially from those who have weathered weeks without power in the past, due to hurricanes, etc.

This is a bit overwhelming, as we thought they might scrap the semester. Of course, that would throw the entire program off.
There are various blogs and books and youtube vids on "how to build a "bug out bag"". Research that. Preppers cover "everything".
He could put together a small backpack that would cover most everything short of EOTWAWKI. (end of the world as we know it).

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:19 am

Thank you all. Yes, school is in Bayamon.

I'll follow up on all links. Apartment and car are in good shape. School suffered some roof and tree damage from the photos I've seen. When he left, there were still hours long lines for gas, but supposedly that has slacked off. He needs gas to drive to and from school, as it's not a short walk. Called Home Depot near him today and they said they had the small 16 oz Coleman tanks.

I agree that a round trip ticket is a good safety precaution. This whole thing really makes me nervous. But need to see if it's at all tenable. If not, Plan B. Would prefer he try and transfer to a mainland school, but supposedly that is frowned upon. Or even start fresh next fall. But guess he would have to reapply. Hard to work on that at the moment.

There is no cafe at the school, but they say they are going to provide some drinking water and non perishable food the first week.

All ideas welcomed!
Last edited by chickadee on Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:22 am

So the Esbit fuel could be taken on board the flight? That seems smart. I'm not a hiker/camper, so these suggestions are great.

Let's say the water is on but we're worried about possible e.coli. So, he filters drinking water. What about showering? No biggie?

Assuming he could soak dishes in bleach water, use paper plates, etc.

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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by oilrig » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:06 am

Just an FYI, my entire family lives in PR (dad, sister, aunts, uncles etc) and from what they tell me things are somewhat back to normal now. My sister started school again this week in Ponce. Apparently there are no more long lines for gas and the island is completely stocked for fuel now, from my understanding. Necessities like food and water are starting to become easily accessible again. A lot of the island is still without power but power should be back soon, according to the governor.

I think your nephew will be ok! The media is making it seem a lot worse than it is. Sure, its not an ideal situation to start school right now after the hurricane, but he will be fine. Things might be a little uncomfortable for a month or two but I think everything will be completely back to normal by the end of the year/early next year.

One thing my family asked for is portable fans and batteries. PR gets hot, especially with no AC and no power, so fans are a must. Another thing to add is make sure he brings lots of cash. Apparently cash at ATM's are still a little scarce, and some places (especially in Bayamon) might be cash only. A lot of the credit card machines are still down at a lot of places, so having cash on hand will be key.

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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by livesoft » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:28 am

chickadee wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:22 am
Let's say the water is on but we're worried about possible e.coli. So, he filters drinking water. What about showering? No biggie?
People swim in pools and lakes with microorganisms in those bodies of water all the time. Sure, some folks get infected, but that's not much of a problem except for the occasional person that dies. So I'd say "No biggie" unless one has cuts and is immunocompromised.

And what's the actual news from Puerto Rico today? How many people have gotten sick from dysentery, typhoid, cholera, and bad water?
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by Rupert » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:12 am

chickadee wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:22 am

Let's say the water is on but we're worried about possible e.coli. So, he filters drinking water. What about showering? No biggie?
No showers. Take a bath or what my old grandma used to call a "sink bath." Treat the water with bleach first. Most dermatologist's websites will have information on how much bleach to add to a tub of water for a bleach bath (lots of people with chronic skin conditions take them).

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:27 am

Lots of cash, got it!

Thanks for the updates from folks with family in PR. Oil rig, is your family drinking the tap water? Filtering? Or able to buy enough bottled water?

Without power, it's just no hot meals without some sort of stove. Everything is electric in his apt. That would get old to me for 4-6 weeks, and camp stoves are small, so worth a shot, I thought.

There has been some cholera reported in remote areas, e. Coli rumors, and a few cases of Leptospirosis. They are worried about Zika.

Here's a site for those who are interested in what's going on. Somewhat hard to draw conclusions for specific areas.

http://www.status.pr
Last edited by chickadee on Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Curlyq
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by Curlyq » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:33 am

A solar-powered/hand crank lantern will provide light for studying at night. Some have USB ports for charging phones, but as others have said, that requires more cranking, etc. I think this will be a good experience for your son.

mrb09
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by mrb09 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:05 am

Personally, I carry a Steripen UV filter with me when traveling, I use it for hiking as well. They're very small, and there are a lot of even "minor" evens that make water non-potable.

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:56 pm

Anyone have experience with one of these small Honda generators? Would be enough to power a fan, charge batteries, maybe a microwave? Could take in checked luggage, as only 35 pounds.

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools ... ent=165018

whomever
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by whomever » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:19 pm

We have the 2000 watt version; it's awesome. Efficient and quiet.

1000 watts is small for a microwave. A fan should work, and of course charging batteries like phones or AA's is very minor load.

I saw an article that many airlines won't allow gas powered equipment onboard, for fear of residual gas, and that they included new never filled equipment in the ban. The article mentioned that the person in question had found one airline that allowed new-in-the-box generators. Check with the relevant airline(s).

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:24 pm

Bummer. Was thinking he could check it on the airline. Will have to check that out. I could of course try to ship it, but am worried that such a "nice" and covetable item would get waylaid along the way. Of course, baggage handlers could swipe it as well.

smitcat
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by smitcat » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:29 pm

Cannot tell how accurate this description is but it does not sound good at all....

http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/17/news/ec ... index.html

barnaclebob
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:49 pm

There are international camping stoves that run on a myriad of fuel such as this one: https://www.msrgear.com/stoves/whisperl ... ional-2012

This stove has a learning curve to operate, if you do it wrong you can spill fluid and cause an uncontrolled fire. This does not mean the stove is dangerous, you just need to follow the directions.

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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by mouses » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:29 pm

oilrig wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:06 am
Apparently there are no more long lines for gas and the island is completely stocked for fuel now, from my understanding. Necessities like food and water are starting to become easily accessible again. A lot of the island is still without power but power should be back soon, according to the governor.
I think this is not correct for areas outside dense population centers. The Times ran a couple of articles this week about the desperate medical situation (hospitals, dialysis, insulin, infections from contaminated flood water) and how things are in remote areas that their journalist reached. Also my church has an aid group there and says things are grim outside the cities, areas isolated by collapsed bridges, etc.

The estimate for nearly full power restoration is the second half of December. As of October 10th, 16% of the population had power.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/us/p ... itals.html

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:36 pm

We do not expect him to have power at the apartment right away, but the school is running on a generator.

I realize the remote and mountain areas will have a longer time to recover. Not to be unfeeling for PR as a whole, but at this point need to focus energy on just the immediate area near the school in Bayamon and route to and from the airport. If he can get gas, potable water and food, he can maybe be successful to ride out the school semester/school year. If not, Plan B, C, D, etc., need to be mapped out. Obviously, hoping for the best, but contingency planning for the worst. In the worst case, luckily for him, he just gets on a plane and comes home. He does not HAVE to live there, like those who whole lives are based in Puerto Rico.

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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by iamlucky13 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:54 pm

By the time he gets there, conditions will hopefully have significantly further improved. But for the sake of preparedness, and starting first with the most basic necessity of life:

Good water filters can remove bacterium and protozoa. These are the normal concerns for campers, but this isn't camping. When water systems are compromised in proximity to civilization, human-transmissible viruses are also a concern. Filters don't get those. Also, normal household pitcher filters (Brita, Pur, etc), don't protect against pathogens at all. It's a different type of filter.

Boiling, chemical tablets, and UV systems will kill the pathogens, but not clarify the water, and chemicals affect the taste.

All of these use consumables (filters, tablets, batteries, or fuel), so don't rely on only one.

My inclination would be to bring along coffee filters for pre-filtering water as a cheaper but less effective option than a camping filter, then boil it normally, and have a decent supply of purifier tablets in case he can't get fuel.

From what I'm seeing, propane is normally common in Puerto Rico, but it is more difficult to distribute than other fuels, so a propane stove is not my first choice, although the Home Depot having it in stock is a very good sign. The MSR Whisperlite International is a compact camping stove that can run on camp fuel, gasoline, or kerosene. There is an included part to swap out to burn kerosene. This gives a couple choices of commonly available fuels, and I've read in a pinch, it can also handle diesel or heating oil when using the kerosene nozzle. The main downside is it is a little more complicated to use than a propane stove. Even if power is back on, get some fuel upon arrival in case power is lost again.

He can take two full lighters in his carry-on, but not in checked luggage. Only one book of matches is allowed in his carry on. Strike anywhere matches are prohibited.

If he doesn't know what the power situation is, I think a 10-20 Watt solar panel with USB charger would be nice to have, so he can at least keep a phone and/or tablet charged up. Combining that with a large USB power bank gives him flexibility with when and how he uses that power. Maximum size he can fly with is 100 W-hours, so a 20,000 mAh (~75 W-hour) is one of the largest commonly available sizes TSA allows. Adapters to charge from either household outlets or car accessory plugs also seem worth having along.

For lighting, there are good flashlights available with built-in USB charging, or you can get chargers for either lithium-ion or NiMH batteries that run on USB. I'd recommend at least two lights, in case something happens to one, and I'd make them quality lights like Fenix, Nitecore, Thrunite, or Olight. Unfortunately, few store carry these lights, but Amazon does. Aside from usually being quite reliable, these lights also usually have a very wide range of modes for more output or more battery life. A headlamp could be one of those two lights - hands free lighting is really helpful for cooking, etc. Don't use a smartphone light for sustained lighting. The phone is awake when the light is on, which wastes a lot more battery life than just using a dedicated light would.

You can get a small USB fan for cheap. It's not much, but it will create a gentle breeze across your face and neck. He would want to use it sparingly if he ends up dependent on a power bank recharged by a small solar panel.

I'm assuming that if he can't charge a laptop at least at the school, nobody else can either, so it won't matter.

This is probably $300-400 worth of gear for decent quality, and should fit easily in a small suitcase. Hopefully he won't need it, but at least he'll have it on hand in case of future emergencies, and some of it is still useful in non-emergency situations, especially if he likes camping.

It's always worth having a basic first aid kit, and a bottle of ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen. If he's on any prescription medications, he should ask his doctor about getting an extended supply.

If he drinks coffee or tea, I'd say bring a couple weeks worth of that along, too, just in case.

I'm hoping he doesn't have to bring food, but if he does, rice, pasta, nuts, and dehydrated fruits and jerky are all fairly energy dense. To add some variety, a backpacking technique is to get instant tomato soup powder and mix it up a little thicker as a workable substitute for tomato sauce.

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praxis
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by praxis » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:16 pm

Since first reading posts in this thread, I have been searching for more current news. Here is a report from Arecibo, same coast, but further from San Juan than Bayamon. I can not vouch for the reporting, and it is clearly lamenting the environmental catastrophe, but it does mention that reusable water filters are currently the peoples' most pressing concern, according to Connect Relief, a citizen's on-line group striving to help gauge and meet the needs of Puerto Rico's people.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/ar ... nd/543207/

whomever
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by whomever » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:00 pm

...viruses are also a concern. Filters don't get those.
FWIW, the Berkey folks claim to filter viruses as well. No personal experience, etc. On one hand, that seems like black magic, and a few minutes googling didn't find any independent sources confirming that. OTOH, they are a pretty big name, and I think that there is some regulation of filter claims, and it's not like I've ever seen independent lab tests of any other brands. YMMV, etc, etc.

The UV filters (Steripen) also claim to handle viruses.

I use the iodine tablets on short trips, but for longer term buy enough - each bottle only treats 6 gallons. Iodine tabs have the fun side effect of turning your oatmeal bright blue if you thin it any (cooking does something to the iodine so the oatmeal is normal colored, but add a little water to dilute it and the starch reacts with iodine to give a vivid blue - yum!).

As an aside, you can use common bleach: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-dr ... king-water
...and solar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_water_disinfection

livesoft
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by livesoft » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:56 pm

For folks using the SteriPEN which uses UV light to damage the DNA of organisms in the water, so that the organisms are no longer infectious, it is worthwhile to read the scientific evaluation on how to use them by an independent study:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... via%3Dihub leads to a free Open Access PDF which is rather interesting at least to me.
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by random_walker_77 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:58 pm

PS, overstating the obvious, but since this is a young adult we're talking about, remember not to use a camping stove indoors. Certain clean-burning stoves, maybe, w/ ventilation and ideally a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm...

smitcat
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by smitcat » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:03 am

For a number of reasons we are more educated about survival/first aid/ and self preservation and many of these posts have very good points related to those issues.
Let me pose a larger picture question please.....
After doing a bit of research about the current and immediate future PR environment what is the best guess on the risk / reward of sending a young adult down there at this time? There are many potential issues with a typical school year away - how does this situation add to those issues?

whomever
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by whomever » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:51 pm

OP, I thought you might find this interesting::

"UPS has reestablished delivery service operations to all areas of Puerto Rico."

https://www.ups.com/us/en/service-alerts.page?id=alert1

They mention they have a pickup location in Bayamon.

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:32 pm

Thanks for further help, everyone. Very appreciated.

I'm going to REI in a bit to get a Steripen, and look at stoves, etc. Yes, need to reiterate not to use it indoors!

Boy, feel out of depth with these solar options.

Would one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Charger-Po ... SB+charger

and this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JI ... P4X9EWVXLJ

be a good idea? Then he uses the power bank to power a light or fan at night? I think he could put it on his patio during the day. A little worried about it getting stolen, though.
For lighting, there are good flashlights available with built-in USB charging, or you can get chargers for either lithium-ion or NiMH batteries that run on USB. I'd recommend at least two lights, in case something happens to one, and I'd make them quality lights like Fenix, Nitecore, Thrunite, or Olight.
Ideas /links to specific lights / chargers would be appreciated. Need to get it right the first time!

livesoft
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by livesoft » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:40 pm

The power bank is just another way to charge a phone, batteries, and small electronics that use batteries such as cameras. It is not really for running motors like a fan.

As for SteriPEN, the kit I mentioned earlier comes with a 4 liter water bag and orients the SteriPEN properly for most effective action.

Proper sterile technique is explained in the link to the paper I provided. For instance, I've seen YouTube videos where people use a SteriPen and then put the water back into a contaminated container and thus recontaminate the water. One should not do that.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

whomever
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by whomever » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:17 pm

1)Our steripen (original, looks like the 'Classic' model) is sized to act like a cork in the neck of a 1 quart narrow neck nalgene bottle. The procedure is rill the bottle 90% full, insert steripen as a cork, then rotate, invert, etc the bottle during the interval so all the water gets a turn next to the light. Then remove the steripen. If the cap and neck of the bottle are contaminated, e.g. if you dipped the whole bottle in a stream, screw the top on part way and squeeze so clean water flushes the cap and threads.

https://www.amazon.com/Nalgene-Narrow-M ... B000P9GQNG

2)My favorite headlamp brand is zebralight. Ours are a few years old. If I were getting one today I'd get:

http://www.zebralight.com/H53Fw-AA-Head ... p_198.html

In a dark environment, when your eyes adapt, you only need single digit lumens to cook, read, etc, and Zebralight really stretches battery life at those low settings. You won't find them at REI, though. In truth, whatever LED headlamps REI has will be fine.

3)On solar: I've played with a small setup - a 20W panel, controller, and motorcycle sized battery. On cloudy winter days at 45 degrees latitude it can take days to charge some AA's. A 100W panel is much better, but that's not portable. And I didn't think about theft.

If he's sure to have access to 110V power for a few hours a day, I might just get some eneloops and one of those USB power packs and plan on charging them during the day. Maybe take a multioutlet strip in case there are lots of people wanting to charge things. Note that if he's using an efficient headlamp 4 hours a day, a single AA will last for a couple weeks; you could send enough batteries to last thru Dec, when rumor has it the grid will be back up. And cell phones don't draw any power when off; just agree to use texts and only power it up intermittently.

A fan at night is going to mean a generator, I think. You could do it with solar, but not portable solar.

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:23 pm

Dumb question, "eneloops" are just newer tech rechargeables?

Was hoping a really good USB power pack could charge one of these 7" fans for sleeping:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XY ... VW711G7EUD

Breaking news: I was just reminded that he actually bought one of these at Sam's Club down there after Irma and before Maria. Seems pretty large to haul up and back to the school, but maybe this will do the trick. He charges it at school, brings it home to power a usb fan, lights or whatever. Looks like it came with an "LED worklight" If he has access to charge at the school, could be helpful.

https://www.samsclub.com/sams/1000-peak ... oduct:1:21

Anyone have an educated guess at how long the Stanley Fatmax would power one of the USB fans? It says "1000 peak battery amps."

Liking the headlamp idea.

All of your wisdom is very much appreciated and is helpful when thinking this through.

whomever
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by whomever » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:08 pm

Dumb question, "eneloops" are just newer tech rechargeables?
They are the 'Kleenex' of low self discharge nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. The older rechargeable AA and AAA batteries (NiCad and NiMH) self discharged, that is they could go from charged to dead in a few days even if you didn't use them. Of course, if you're charging and using every day, that's not a problem, but it wasn't so good for the emergency flashlight in the glovebox. In any event, Eneloops are a good rechargeable battery, and I don't think the low self discharge ones cost much more, so it's hard to go wrong using them.
Was hoping a really good USB power pack could charge one of these 7" fans
Indeed it might - it draws 2A, and the power pack you referenced above says it will supply that. My bad; I didn't realize there were fans that drew that little.

I dunno about the Fatmax. I'm getting out of my comfort zone here, but IIRC the original USB spec only supplied half an amp, which wouldn't power the fan. So it would depend on how much power the included USB ports would supply. If cost isn't an object, those USB power packs would sure be easier to carry around.

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:58 pm

Well, they actually make a 9" fan that says: "This desk fan reaches the limited {sic} size that a 5V USB power source can drive...Compatible with computers, laptops, portable chargers and other devices with usb output...this DC 5V USB fan only consumes 4 watt on the highest speed. This USB fan saves around 95% power than traditional AC fans.

Latest Amazon review:

This little fan is amazing. I have been using it in my home in Puerto Rico because of Huricane Maria took down the electricity. Like another poster said this is a lifesaving during the nights. I power the fan with my laptop. Plenty of juice for 3 days (about 24 hours, 8 every night). Will buy 3 more as a gift to my family.


https://www.amazon.com/OPOLAR-Enhanced- ... YNX0ZEZDBT

whomever
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by whomever » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:01 pm

Sorry, I just don't know. 4 watts at 5V is 0.8 amps, so the question is whether the USB ports will supply that. I just read the wikipedia USB page, and am more confused than ever. My dim memory was that the original USB could limit devices to as little as 0.5 amps. More recent revisions have substantially upped that. I don't know enough to give you odds on what that particular device might supply. But people in the reviews seemed to be having good luck with USB power banks similar to the one you mentioned upthread.

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:41 pm

Thanks! Yes, looks like it might work with a good power bank.

Are these batteries "eneloops"

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-AA- ... es+16+pack

whomever
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by whomever » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:03 am

That's the right kind, yes. Whether those are a good brand, I can't say. I note that the reviews aren't as good as real Eneloops, for example the 'Top Critical Review' reads:

"The early versions of these batteries were made in Japan and were essentially rebranded Eneloops but that is no longer the case. They are now made in China and are the absolute worst quality rechargeable batteries I have ever used."

My experience is with actual eneloops. They were the only ones available for the first few years, and I'm less price sensitive for something I can recharge over and over for years.

BV3273
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by BV3273 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:02 am

I would recommend a life straw or steripen as other people mentioned. I keep two of those along with a camp water filtration kit and some water purification tablets. An eton radio (mine can be cranked, works off batteries, and solar if need be). It can charge anything through a USB port. I like the rocket stove instead of the fuel powered camp stove. You can use some small twigs and in effect create a great little cooking fire. I would also recommend a small first aid kit as well.

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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by iamlucky13 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:46 pm

chickadee wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:32 pm
Would one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Charger-Po ... SB+charger

and this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JI ... P4X9EWVXLJ

be a good idea? Then he uses the power bank to power a light or fan at night? I think he could put it on his patio during the day. A little worried about it getting stolen, though.
Yes, that's precisely the sort of products I was recommending, and Anker is usually a reasonable quality brand. It will be important to get good sun exposure, and it can take some practice learning to manage power use within the limits of what small solar panels can provide, but that's very easy to travel with, they're roughly appropriate sizes to use together, and reasonably affordable. It looks like the panel has 2 USB outputs, and the battery has 2 USB inputs. Use both at the same time to ensure the battery pack gets as much charge as possible from the solar panel.

It's going to be hard to keep it in a theft-safe place while charging if his apartment doesn't have good southern exposure. That's just a risk to deal with if he wants solar power available.
Ideas /links to specific lights / chargers would be appreciated. Need to get it right the first time!
You can find most of what I'll suggesting at Amazon.

I'd suggest the Thrunite Archer 1A or 2A or Fenix LD12 or LD22 for a flashlight, and a Fenix HL23 or Thrunite TH20 for headlamps. They are reasonably easy to use and have a good range of modes. If he wants a higher output, high runtime light, the Thrunite TN4A or Nitecore EA41 are good options. These all run great off of AA rechargeable batteries, and can run off of AA alkalines too. If he ever wants an easy to carry convenience light, the Nitecore Tip is a really small model with a built-in USB charging port.

The Zebralights mentioned by another poster are really excellent, but more expensive. They have a very versatile, although more complicated user interface. If interested, The SC5w Mk II or SC53w are great AA-powered flashlights, and the H53Fw is a great AA-powered headlamp. They are available via Zebralight's website.

FYI - a flashlight standing on it's tail reflecting off the ceiling is great for casting enough light in a room to comfortably walk around, even in low or medium mode for long battery life.

Eneloops are the gold standard for NiMH rechargeable batteries. AmazonBasics have varied in quality. I have one set that seems good so far, but I haven't used them extensively.

The Xtar VC2 Plus (must be VC2 Plus, plain VC2 is for a different type of rechargeable) is an affordable USB-powered charger known to work well, so he can charge either from the solar panel or from the USB power bank. Panasonic has a couple good 4-bay chargers (BQ-CC17 and BQ-CC55), but only if he has reliable access to 120V power.
chickadee wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:23 pm
Anyone have an educated guess at how long the Stanley Fatmax would power one of the USB fans? It says "1000 peak battery amps."
It's optimized for starting cars, not maximum energy storage as a backup power supply, but it would be useful if he has a way to charge it. It might be possible to charge with a different style solar panel, but Stanley doesn't provide enough details about it. It would power USB fan, but I don't know how long. Stanley seems to provide no information at all about the battery except it's jump starting rating.
chickadee wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:58 pm
Well, they actually make a 9" fan that says: "This desk fan reaches the limited {sic} size that a 5V USB power source can drive...Compatible with computers, laptops, portable chargers and other devices with usb output...this DC 5V USB fan only consumes 4 watt on the highest speed. This USB fan saves around 95% power than traditional AC fans.
It should work ok, but do be aware that a 4W fan will not move a lot of air. At 4 Watts, it would completely drain the Anker powerbank in about 20 hours. He'll want to pay attention when using it to make sure he's not using up energy he might need to charge his phone or flashlight batteries. He'll also want to top off the power bank any chance he gets. The power bank you're looking at has a very basic meter to help estimate how much charge it has.

Basically he needs to pay attention to his "power budget" and spend it judiciously.

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chickadee
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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by chickadee » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:50 pm

Thank you! Going to be making some purchases this weekend.

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Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Post by halfnine » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:18 pm

I'd opt for redundancy wherever possible. There is an old saying that two is one and one is none.

Water Treatment. I think there have been plenty of good options listed. I'd have a simple backup (possibly iodine, bleach) in case the first treatment system fails. I would opt against boiling as a either a primary or backup method. I'd bring some coffee filters in case turbidity is an issue. And, I'd add a few collapsible water bags as well to store treated water in.

Medicine. In addition to medications others have mentioned, I'd add an anti-diarrheal and antibiotics. A rehydration/electrolyte mix would be reasonable as well. As well as non-prescription and prescription pain killers.

Power. I think there is lots of good advice given about solar chargers. I'd opt for two smaller ones as opposed to one large one. And I'd prefer solar chargers that do not have integrated power storage to minimize points of failure. I'd also opt for for battery charged devices wherever possible, preferably with AA batteries. For instance, there are many headlamps that work with smaller more compact batteries but a larger one with AA batteries will likely be easiest to keep charged. I'd also have two power banks. One of which utilizes AA batteries and can charge USB powered devices (or a phone) through a USB port. Then bring loads of AA rechargeable batteries.

A hand crank radio and flashlight would be useful, particularly if the hand crank can be used to charge batteries as well. It wouldn't charge all that much but it would be better than nothing.

A money belt with lots of cash and make sure to actually wear the money belt. The cash isn't any good if it gets picked from a pocket or goes missing from the room. I'd put the money belt under the pillow at night. Might keep ID in the money belt as well for a while until I was sure I wasn't flying back right away. That said, a round trip ticket with a flight back 10-14 days later might be reasonable.

If burglary is an issue would push the bed up against the door at night. And a door stop with audible alarm or some type of motion detector could be considered during the day while out.

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