True Value

Emergency Supplies: Natural Disaster and Roadside

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

It’s not the most exciting of topics in the middle of the holiday season but I think a necessary one.  Last week we had some visitors over and we were getting ready to sit down for dinner.  We were discussing the tragedy of Sandy and I’m not kidding, at that very moment our power went out in our neighborhood.  And it was out for 90 minutes.  Not a big deal, but the timing was eerie!  We lit some candles and waited it out, but the topic of natural disaster preparedness was at the front of my mind and I deemed it a sign to beef up our emergency and disaster readiness kit. 

We’re also off on a few short road trips during the holiday season, one will take us up to the snowy mountains, so I thought it a good idea to get a roadside emergency kit for the car too.  I shopped at my local True Value Hardware, since they carry a lot of these supplies and also camping equipment, which come in handy when you’ve got to rough it at home without power whether it’s for an hour or for a week.

I picked up a Roadside Emergency Kit, filled with jumper cables, tire sealer and inflator, tie down cord, first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, signal torch, work gloves and a SOS sign.  Bonus, it comes with a roadside assistance program – we have AAA but extra help doesn’t hurt!

roadside emergency kit

I beefed it up by adding a few other things that would help if stranded in inclement weather: thermal blankets, a poncho, a whistle, flares and emergency water*  I also purchased this hand crank flashlight/radio/cell phone charger for the car – when it arrives it will get stored with the kit in the hidden hatch.

additional roadside supplies

*I bought a family size natural disaster emergency kit a few years ago and a package of emergency water was included so I borrowed some pouches and placed them inside the roadside kit.

At True Value, I purchased a bunch more supplies for our “grab and go” kit at home that I keep in a big duffle bag in the garage, including an extra tarp, a LED lantern with batteries, a water carrier, extra first aid kit, and camper’s tool.

tarp lantern water carrier camper's tool first aid kit


We live in earthquake country, so I bought a utilities shut off tool, and some other things to put in the kit: a hand crank radio/flashlight, dust masks, waterproof matches, some LED head lights, and extra batteries for our kit flashlights too.

earthquake survival tool etc


Our existing kit also has water bottles, work gloves, protein bars and other dried food items, toiletries, feminine hygiene supplies, canned goods, pet food, bottled water, and chlorine bleach. 

For a full list of what you might need in your region, check out the with a full list of items to have on hand for each type of natural disaster. True Value also has a great checklist of Emergency or Disaster Preparedness items to have in case the worst happens.

Are you ready?  Today’s the day to get on it!


*I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials . My opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.



Ogee Edge Wood Countertops

Monday, November 5th, 2012

We’ve finally turned our attention back to the hallway bathroom remodel that we started last spring with the vanity upgrade.  We’ve lived without a sink and just a plywood top in here for 9 months while I went on the hunt for the right countertop and as a result the bathroom remodel came to a halt.    

primed bathroom vanity


The main reason for the delay came down to choosing the right countertops and I needed two, one for the sink vanity (seen with plywood above) and another for the cabinet on the opposite wall.  I had my heart set on solid surface marble or Caesarstone for a long time but all the estimates were extremely pricey ($1,400 and up!)

It came down to the decision to save up a lot of cash for marble or Caesarstone or just get ‘er done with wood countertops topped with a vessel sink for this hall guest bathroom .  We chose wood, but I wanted a more polished edge beyond the the standard square edge that comes with slab wood countertops. 

I did some research and learned that I could get a fancy ogee edge with a great power tool – a plunge router coupled with a specialty bit, so I ordered this router and this ogee bit online from True Value

plunge router and ogee bit

It arrived a week later (free shipping!) and I picked it up at my local True Value hardware store for this project. 

ogee bit and router


Matt picked up two wood countertops at IKEA over the weekend and we got to work! 

The bit has a self guiding part (a mini wheel attachment) that slides along the edge of the wood while the sharp edge of the bit cuts the detail on the wood.  As long as you follow the instructions provided for the tool, it’s easy to give your wood countertop a carved edge with this power tool + bit combo.

skil router with ogee edge bit


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