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     Emergency Survival Kit

The emergency survival kit refers to a collection of fundamental items that your family may need when disaster strikes.  This kit is a very essential and basic part of disaster preparedness.  Its other names are 72 hour kit or a bug out bag.  This kit list is primarily for when you are at home.

First Things First

You need to make a conscious effort to put together your kit well before an emergency happens as you could be required to evacuate at a very short notice. When disaster strikes, you should plan on fending for yourself.  So, you need to have at least a minimum of 72 hours worth of food and supplies. Furthermore, it’s essential that on an annual basis that you evaluate the kit as your families needs may change with time. For example, if you have a baby, you’ll want to add baby formula in your kit.

  In addition, basic services like gas, water, electricity, telephone or sewage treatment could be disconnected for several days or even weeks. So, you need to make sure that your kit contains these items to bail you out during these outages.

Don’t Forget This

There is no point of putting together your supplies if you cannot maintain them. Therefore, your supplies need to be kept safe for when you need them the most. Below are some tips to help keep the supplies ready for when they are needed:

  • Canned food should be stored in a cool dry place
  • Keep boxed food in very tightly-closed metal or plastic containers. This not only protects them from pests but also helps extend the shelf life of the food.
  • If any canned food becomes dented, swollen or corroded, throw it out.
  • Use all foods before they expire and ensure that you replace them with fresh supplies.
  • New items should be placed at the back end of storage areas while older ones should be kept at the front.
  • Store items in plastic bags that are airtight and also have your disaster supplies kit put in one or even just two containers that are easy to carry, like camping backpack, unused trash can or duffel bag.
  • Change the stored food supplies and water every six months. Make sure to also prominently write down the purchase date and the expiration date.

Recommended Emergency Supply List

  • Water: a gallon of water for every person not only for drinking but also for sanitation
  • Food: Have non-perishable food to last you for at least three-days
  • Battery-powered radio that has tone alert system and be sure the include additional batteries.
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle so you can signal for help
  • Moist towelettes
  • Garbage bags and plastic for keeping your area clean
  • Diapers and infant formulas especially
  • Can opener
  • Pliers or wrench for turning off utilities (this is essential I.E. gas leak)
  • Duct tape and plastic sheeting for an impromptu shelter
  • Cotton T-shirt or a dust mask to be used for filtering the air

Clothing and Bedding

     Proper clothing and bedding essential if you happen to live in cold areas as the chances of power being out, and you being deprived of heat for several days are very real. So, you need to have a complete change of warm clothes as well as a pair of shoes per person.  Below, is the minimum recommended clothing and bedding items:

  • Long pants
  • A coat or jacket
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Hats and gloves
  • A warm blanket or sleeping bag for each and every person

(Note, you should have one of each of the above for each family member)

Miscellaneous Items

  • Rain gear
  • First aid book or emergency reference material
  • Paper towels
  • Traveler’s check or cash
  • Paper cups, mesh kits, plastic utensils and plates
  • Tent
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Compass
  • Signal flare
  • Matches held in waterproof containers
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Paper and pencil
  • Household chlorine bleach: Bleach could be used as a disinfectant (mix with water with the ratio of nine parts of water to one part bleach). For every gallon of water, use 16 drops of ordinary household liquid bleach. Avoid using scented or color bleaches or bleach with added cleaners.
  • Important family documents like insurance policy copies, bank account and identification records need to be stored in waterproof containers.
  • Medicine dropper

Automobile Emergency Survival Kit

As you never know if you are going to be stranded it is recommended that you have an emergency supply kit in your car. This kit ought to include the following:

  • Jumper cables
  • First aid kit as well as any important medication
  • Water for every family member and pet in the car
  • Food items that contain proteins and these include things like energy bars and nuts, canned fruits as well as portable can opener.
  • Shovel
  • Sand or cat litter for better traction of the tire
  • Ice scraper
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Warm clothes, hat, gloves, sturdy boots, jackets as well as additional change of clothes
  • AM/FM radio for listening to emergency messages and traffic reports
  • Reflective triangle or flares
  • Phone charger and a fully-charged mobile phone
  • Diapers and baby formula where necessary
  • Flashlight and extra batteries

Water Considerations

     People should be allowed to drink based upon their personal needs.  But, most people require more water than just a gallon per day.  And water needs will depend on your family’s physical activity, age, the season and your family’s overall health.  Also, unless you have been ordered by authorities to ration drinking water, never do so.  Above all, you should drink what you need today and worry about finding more water tomorrow. A person should never drink less than a quart of water or four cups of water daily. To reduce the water that your body requires, stay cool and limit your activity.

     In your 72 hour kit you should have ample supplies of water.  Even so, if you run out of water, you should only drink water you know that isn’t contaminated. And when possible, treat potentially contaminated water first before your drink it. Suspicious water sources include water that is gathered from ponds, streams, rivers, etc. or cloudy water obtained from a faucet. However, if it is not feasible to treat water, put off drinking it for as long as you can. Nevertheless, you should always be wary of hydration.  You also need to remember to never drink carbonated beverages in place of water. They are not alternatives to water as both alcohol and caffeinated drinks will cause your body to dehydrate.

     If there are reports of damaged sewerage lines, or if you are advised of a water contamination problem by local officials, it is important that you protect the sources of water already available in your home.  So, you must close off incoming water source by finding your principal water valve and then turn it off. And you need to make sure that all your family member can turn off this main water valve.