-term emergency preparedness/survival kit:
these unsettling times, it is always worth your while to have prepared and on hand short-term survival home preparedness kit.
By short term we are basically referring to 3 days or the standard 72 hour survival kit.
A more long-term solution will be dealt with in one of our future articles. However, when preparing your kit, bear
in mind the number of people in your family, and the possibility that if you are affected by a large earthquake or hurricane,
it may be at least three days before relief workers reach your area.
you are likely to be affected by civil unrest or natural disasters (or even susceptible to local power outages etc) it is
prudent to have available a home preparedness kit, and one that is easily transportable if required, such as one contained
in a kit bag or rucksack.
KEEP AN EMERGENCY PACK?
mentioned above, with increasing severe weather anomalies, hurricanes, floods, power cuts, earthquakes and the possibility
of civil unrest, one will never know when an event will strike your area. Even the slightest power outage may cause on-going
problems, and thus like the motto of the Boy Scout organisation, it is wise to be prepared for any event.
addition, it is a sensible habit during winter months to always keep in the car the following items: water, a reliable torch,
candles, matches, chocolate, a blanket (foil space blanket or newspapers are
also handy) and energy bars.
areas where snow is a regular occurrence, a folding spade, gloves and a spare jacket in the car is a necessity.
you must ensure you have adequate supplies and equipment to be self-sufficient for the worst possible scenario, and importantly,
be compact and mobile.
key point to consider is that the pack is big enough and strong enough for the contents you need, and that you are able to
carry it. Occasionally, it is a good idea to carry out dry practice runs with your family, whereby you can experiment on how
you would organise yourselves in such an emergency. This could be part of a family day out to the country, or a weekend camping
makes perfect as they say!
Hint although you should not overfill
your packs, it is advisable to obtain a reasonable sized pack, so you do have enough room. While the advantage of a small
pack is that there is less likelihood of overcrowding your pack. Bear in mind how many in your family, and the ages of your
do I keep in the pack?
list of essential items is listed below, however, it would be remiss of me not to offer a few notes of advice.
emergency pack should be kept in a portable pack or container and within proximity of an exit of your house. In addition,
as advised above, it is good practice to keep a small pack in the car.
Bearing in mind the ages of your family, each household member should
have their own pack, including water and clothing.
Keep a torch on top of your packs so that in the event of a power
outage, you will not be scrambling around in the dark in a mad panic. (refer to section on alternate power and light resources)
Each kit should be personalised to ensure the needs of each member
of the family is fulfilled.
Inspect the emergency supplies at least every six months and replenish
or recycle any foodstuffs, that is replace with fresh or newer supplies and consume the older ones. This is especially relevant
to medications and first aid kits.
Any documents you wish to keep in your pack ensure they are enclosed
in plastic packs etc to avoid damage by water or smoke.
Do not forget to include extra essential clothing depending on the
time of year.
The elderly and the very young require additional resources and supplies,
so ensure that these are fulfilled.
OK Now for the contents of your emergency pack.
Matches (waterproof) and candles
Water at least 1- 2 gallons per day. This is for drinking and sanitation
toiletries soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, toilet paper etc
(Foil space blanket is ideal) or sleeping bag if you have room
cover or groundsheet
stove and fuel at least enough for the short term
spade folding one is ideal
underclothes socks etc
rope at least 15 metres or 50 feet
cash including some small change (phone calls)
radio the wind up and solar charged are excellent
documents wills, birth certificate, ID card, passport etc and ensure you keep them inside a plastic bag or similar.
and pencils (pencils are able to write on damp paper)
with neck cord
tins for cooking and eating.
few tins of food, such as;
(or the packet variety)
cream or spray
medication (to include general items such as paracetemal or asprin)
least four five litres (one gallon) of water should be carried, more if possible. Collapsible containers are best, as they
can be folded up and stored in the pack when empty. A cheap method to make a collapsible container is to use the foil liner
from an empty cask and reinforce it by wrapping it with cloth tape (don't place it next to any sharp objects inside the pack!).
Camping and Army Surplus stores sell various types of water containers and canteens. The canteens are useful as they can be
attached to the outside of the pack, leaving more room inside. They can also be attached to a belt if you are travelling away
from a base camp and do not wish to take your big pack. Try to avoid using empty plastic milk bottles, and Some cordial bottles
are made of the same type of plastic as soft drink bottles - these can be brittle and crack. Empty liquid bleach or distilled
water bottles are good, and come in larger sizes (4, 5 and 6 litres). A bonus with bleach bottles is that the bleach remaining
in the bottle helps purify the water.
waterproof matches and/or disposable lighters. In addition, small candles, fire-starters or compressed fuel tablets. Matches
should be sealed with striker in waterproof container (empty 35mm film containers are excellent with tape sealing the lid).
food is convenient although bulkier and heavier than dehydrated food. Choose foods that require minimal cooking, or if possible
can be eaten without cooking. Once again, tinned foods have an advantage here in that- most tinned meals can be eaten cold
if necessary. A compact hot drink alternative is stock cubes - they can make a reasonable soup and are far more compact to
pack than packets of soup, chocolate drink mix etc. Include some chocolate (cooking chocolate is better as it does not melt
so easily), dried fruit and/or nuts - in addition to the food and energy value, nibbling on such "luxury" items can be a great
morale booster. Avoid very sugary or salty foods - they increase water consumption.
sensible idea is to Include copies of important documents, such as; insurance, wills, birth certificates, marriage certificate,
Driving licence and passport etc. In addition a few latest photographs of your family in case you get separated, one seeing
is worth many words of description.