Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Adventures with Bungees

( This storage shelf comes from )

                 You thought I was going to talk about the advantages of bungee jumping as they apply to preparedness ?  Well, I am not.  I am simply not that adventurous.   I also don't have the glorious shelves as shown above which have wonderful finished slats of wood in front so that nothing falls and shatters during an earthquake.   During the 5.8 earthquake, in 2011, a number of things from the pantry were literally thrown across the room.  Loyal readers will remember that a plastic jug of ketchup which I use to add a half a cup of ketchup to family sized portions of meatloaf before cooking, fell from the top of my refrigerator as it waited to be put away. When the earthquake hit, the jug of ketchup fell from the frij., ruptured sending ketchup to parts far and wide.  It looked like "ketchup carnage" !   The jug below is an exact replica of the one which met such a violent and unexpected end..


           Although all the ketchup was eventually cleaned up from everything everywhere, at a cost of numerous rolls paper towels and the loss of the ketchup itself,  I didn't want to repeat this with any other products,  like honey, Italian sauce, salad dressing, mint sauce. I think you get the idea.  I began to look at alternatives to keeping items on shelves more secure.
            My husband's first thought was to buy some flexible netting, with bungees on the edges, as is used over the shelves in boats or in the back of storage compartments in SUVs.

Bungee nets come in all sizes and can be very useful for holding things in specialized places.

         Unfortunately, I thought that the frequency by which we had to access many of the shelves, especially in the kitchen, made a bungee net cumbersome.  I did think that a bungee cord hooked on hooks placed at the front of each wooden shelf in the pantry might be enough to prevent falling of the items, while still allowing us to reach in and get what we need while cooking.  I should have known that my brilliant idea had long been conjured in advance of mine by Martha Stewart.   At least one of Martha's internet magazines has been advocating the use of bungees in securing storage, as you will see in the picture, gratefully borrowed from her, in the picture below.

( From Martha Stewart's companies )  In Martha's use of the bungees, she has wrapped them all around this metal storage shelving unit.  In my pantry, which has a door in the front, and walls on three sides, I only need to prevent falling forward when the door is opened , or during earthquakes, and so mine are only hooked in the middle of the of each shelf on each side.
                Following the earthquake, a lot of canned goods and medical supplies fell from the disaster supply room metal shelves.  These are a stainless steel industrial version of the shelves which Martha has used in the picture above. In order to prevent this from happening again sometime,  I used 36" bungees hooked in the middle of both sides of the front of each shelf.  Then I did the same to the back.  This left the top shelf and sides of the shelf uncovered, but I simply rearranged the articles there to be things which needed to be more quickly accessed and would not fall as readily as the areas which are bungee secured.  The system is working pretty well, although I do have a fortune invested in bungees now.  You can wait until they are on sale, or get them from a place in which they are discounted, like Harbor Freight.   (My husband calls them Harbor Fright, because my eldest son and I spend so much money in there when we go to buy something like solar lights and come home with a hundred dollars worth of other really well priced things.) You can either visit the store or use their website.
               One other important thing about bungees.  Some of these are made with latex rubber, and others are not. If you have a person in your family who is allergic to latex and latex products, you will need to read carefully and bring one home, and make sure that it is safe for your family member before you invest in others.  Since latex allergy can be developed at any time in a person's life, many hospitals, and our family as well, are not buying anything made of latex, and are replacing latex items with vinyl ones.

More information about latex allergy can be obtained by clicking this link:

 American Latex Allergy Association


Dani said...

Very, very nice. And, for comparatively very little expenditure, you've solved your problem. Well done! :)

lotta joy said...

We experienced only one minor earthquake in Indiana in the 80s and it was a moment of terror. I always wanted to live in your area. Now, not so much.

Gorges Smythe said...

Good idea.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks, Dani, I have a lot of bungees, and my "small fortune" in bungees was facetious. I really only invested about eight dollars in Wal-Mart for a variety of different sizes and some different colors. I have used the extra ones on the shelves in the garage, and on the shelves in the tack room to the barn.

JaneofVirginia said...

Anywhere can have earthquakes. We were very lucky, but I know many people who weren't.

JaneofVirginia said...

I'm pretty sure Martha Stewart thought of it first, but I didn't know that, and so I will give myself "partial credit". LOL.

Mamma Bear said...

Yws Jane....I thought you were about to give us lessons in bungee jumping! bahahaha. I love bungee cords. I keep a netted one under the seat of my truck (one never knows when the may come upon a load of bagged up leaves or straw on the side of the road). I will pick them up for the garden. I also keep several single ones of different lengths in the side pockets (just in case they are needed). We have never had any tremors here (yet) so I did not put them on my shelves because of that but I have some storage shelves in the spare bedroom where grandson sleeps when he visits so I do have them to prevent anything falling on grandson should he get rambunctious.

JaneofVirginia said...

Mamma Bear, You discovered their true usefulness before I did. That's a great point in terms of using them to prevent things from falling near people. Earthquakes aren't always the cause of things falling. Sometimes planes or helicopters lower than usual cause rumbling too.