The government is a good thing. Many will doubt that statement, and in many cases, that doubt is well founded, but when it comes to thinking up emergency supply kits, their thinking is close to flawless.
On Ready.gov , you’ll find a number of tips and lists to help you in putting together what you need in case of an emergency. These kits might save your life, or at least sustain it until someone can help you with the saving part. If not for yourself, then at least put one together with the ones you love in mind.
Below is the short version of a recommended kit, with only the things in it that really is necessary. In addition, of course you can, or perhaps should, include other items, such as things to pass the time (board games etc.), things to use when the emergency is over, or nearly over (cash, travelers checks, “feminine supplies” etc.). This will have to be a judgement call based on how much room you have in your designated “safe haven” and what kind of money you are willing or able to spend on your kit. Remember, these are things that you should have duplicates of – the things in your kit should be left alone until you need them.
Remember to replace items that have expiration dates before that day arrives.
So, without further ado, here’s Ready.gov’s list of bare essentials:
– Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
– Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
– Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
– Flashlight and extra batteries
– First aid kit
– Whistle to signal for help
– Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
– Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
– Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
– Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
– Local maps
Now, as mentioned, these are bare essentials. Include other items at your discretion, but keep in mind that an emergency rarely lasts more than 24 hours. Exceptions occur, of course, but that is a timeframe that is feasable for the majority of emergency situations, before outside help arrives. Don’t overstock your shelter with uneeded items.
Clean water and air should be your main concern in any emergency. There is a general “rule of 3” applied to the human body in emergency situations – you can survive:
– 3 minutes without air.
– 3 days without water.
– 3 weeks without food.
These are general rules, and all will stretch your body to its outer limits, and quite possibly beyond, where you will not survive.
Plan accordingly. Purifying your air and ensuring that you have enough water that is either destilled by you (or boiled) or bought from a reliable source is essential. Read more about purifying your airsupply here.
You never know. Assemble your kit today. Or tomorrow, at the latest.