emergency survival kits

All posts tagged emergency survival kits

By Joe Humphries – High Tech Safety

Packing a useful survival kit depends a lot on what sort of emergency situations you expect that you’ll encounter. However, there are some items that are more universally helpful than others. Here are five items every survivalist needs in their pack.

Multi-Tool

When it comes to survival kits, you want to maximize every inch of real estate in your bag, which is why a multi-tool is an absolute must for any prepper. No matter how prepared you may be, you can’t always predict what you’ll encounter in a survival-type situation. So, including a tool that serves multiple purposes is a good way to cover all your potential bases.

A multi-tool can be as basic or feature heavy as you’d like. They range from the classic Swiss Army Knife to tools that boast 20 or more features—including everything from saw blades to pliers to wire cutters. Even the most complicated of multi-tools are generally small and lightweight, so don’t be afraid to purchase one that’s got as many gadgets as your budget will allow.

Water Purification System

In a survival situation, locating drinkable water will be one of your first and most important priorities. A water filtration system makes this task easier by converting a water source that might be dangerous for consumption into one that’s safe and usable.

You now have several options when it comes to choosing a purification system. The most basic choice is water purification tablets. These pills are dissolved in water and are designed to kill bacteria and other pathogens that can cause illness in humans. They are incredibly lightweight and easy to pack, which makes them appealing. However, some tablets can take up to an hour to be fully effective and may not neutralize some chemical pollutants.

Purification straws are another popular option. Their recent boost in popularity also brought a decline in once high prices. Like the pills, they are lightweight and easy to transport. Opposed to the traditional pumps that can are rather bulky. However, they are not ideal for purifying large quantities of water (since you have to drink it through the straw) and may not eliminate all viruses found in water.

Ultimately, choosing the correct water purification system will come down to personal preference and determining what kind of emergency situations you’re likely to encounter.

Solar Lantern

Space is valuable in your survival kit, which can make it difficult to justify the inclusion of something as bulky as a solar lantern. However, if you anticipate being without electricity for a long period of time, it might end up being a lifesaver.

In addition to providing light, many modern lanterns also come with USB ports perfect for recharging your phone or other electronic devices. Because of its multipurpose capabilities, this is definitely a smart item to include in your kit. Some even have bug zappers included in them.

Stun Gun

You never know when you will need to defend yourself in an emergency situation, but carrying an actual gun is not a possibility for everyone. Depending on the model, a gun can take up too much space in your kit—not to mention the space that ammo will take up too. For these reasons, a stun gun is a must for any survival kit.

Many brands are no bigger than a cell phone, which makes storage and transport incredibly easy. Additionally, stun guns won’t draw unwanted attention to yourself. It’s a discreet, lightweight alternative to more traditional forms of protection.

Compact rifles that can breakdown into the stock are also highly recommended. It is always good to have a defense mechanism for attackers of two legs or four legs. Although, these will not bring the lightweight approach that some tasers can, there provide a lot more stopping power then a taser.

Poncho Shelter

If you find yourself in the wilderness, you’ll need some sort of shelter, but tents can be bulky and take up space in your kit that’s better utilized by other items. A poncho shelter provides all the protection of a traditional tent without taking up any space in your kit. You can literally wear it on your back!

Granted, it might not be as luxurious as a fancy tent, but when it comes to survival, it will absolutely get the job done. In some situations I prefer sleeping under a tarp, I can exit easier and faster as opposed to a traditional tent.

About the author:

Joe Humphries is a contributing writer and media Specialist for High Tech Safety. He regularly writes for survival and personal defense blogs, with an emphasis on nonlethal self defense.

https://www.hightechsafety.com/

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“This article was first published by our friends at reThinkSurvival.com.”

earthquakeEarthquake Home Hazard Hunt – A useful two page to-the-point document you can use as a thought-starter to prepare your home for future earthquake disasters. Most ideas are relatively inexpensive DIY projects.

Protect Your Property from an Earthquake – Links to several documents that describe in detail some of the solutions recommended in the Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt reference above. Solutions are described with examples where applicable and include estimated costs.

Earthquake Safety Guide for Homeowners – A good look at the various weaknesses a home might have in an earthquake, how to identify the weakness, and possible solutions. Know that some of the solutions are probably quite expensive to remedy, although you need to know these problems and solutions exist.

Emergency Preparedness Links

With fall and winter sneaking up on us fast I thought it would be a good time to go over a few things to prepare for the coming cold and possible dangerous season. Winter can be just as dangerous as any natural disaster and there are a few things you should do to get prepared.

As always you should stock up on a few extra supplies such as food, water and an alternate heating source. I just got myself a cord of wood for the wood stove so me and the family will be nice and toasty this winter, with or without power.  I would also recommend 2 weeks of food and water and any other supplies you think you need so if a big snow, ice or wind storm hits you got plenty to eat and drink. Now is the time to get prepared so don’t wait till the weather man says it’s on the way, you never know when Mother Nature will throw you a curve ball. Get yourself a good flashlight and battery operated radio too, and don’t forget to stock up on those batteries and emergency candles. These are all thing you should already have in a good Emergency Kit but if you don’t get yourself prepared now.

Before winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:

•Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways.

•Sand to improve traction.

•Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.

•Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

•Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

•Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.

•Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS). Be alert to changing weather conditions.

•Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

•Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to    sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

During Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

•Stay indoors during the storm.

•Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.

•Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.

•Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.

•Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

•Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible.

•Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.

•Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

•If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).

•Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.

•Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.

•If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.

•Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

Winterize Your Home

This is very important; you need to make sure your home is ready for the coming cold weather and all the hazards that go with it.

•Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.

•Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.

•Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.

•Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.

•All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.

•Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

•Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

•Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.

•Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow – or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

Winterize Your Vehicle

This is also very important; nobody wants to get stuck anywhere out in the cold with a broken down car. This is not only frustrating but it is also dangerous in the right conditions. So check yourself or have a mechanic check the following items on your car if you’re not qualified:

•Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.

•Battery and ignition system – should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.

•Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels.

•Exhaust system – check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.

•Fuel and air filters – replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.

•Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly.

•Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.

•Oil – check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.

•Thermostat – ensure it works properly.

•Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.

•Install good winter tires – Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with:

•a shovel

•windshield scraper and small broom

flashlight

battery powered radio

extra batteries

water

•snack food

•matches

•extra hats, socks and mittens

•first aid kit with pocket knife

•necessary medications

•blanket(s)

•tow chain or rope

•road salt and sand

•booster cables

•emergency flares

•fluorescent distress flag

These lists are not all-inclusive but I think you get the idea and these items will get you started and definitely way more prepared that what you probably are right now. It’s time to start now and get it done so you will feel much more safe and secure when that first winter storm hits knowing you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you this winter. If you’re like me I like to start early and do a little bit at a time over the next few weeks instead of trying to get it all done in a weekend. So go get started!

The Survival Guy at thesurvivalplaceblog.com

Related articles

Once the prepping bug hits, it is easy to want to go for it.  You know what I mean:  Let’s do it and let’s do it all Right Now!

There are some problems with this.  First there are time constraints and second there is money and budget issues.  But the biggest problem and undoubtedly the one that is overlooked in the initial flurry of readiness preparations, is that without reasonable care and thought given to the process, the tasks and the actual products involved, you can make some costly mistakes.  I say this from experience.  In my haste to get “stocked up” I bought gear that I don’t like and will never use.  I purchased foodstuffs I will never eat.  Jeesh.

Stupid stupid stupid of me.  I should have taken my time, done my research, and made a well thought out and educated decision before I even got started.

Today I would like to help you break down the overwhelming task of emergency preparation by providing  you with a month by month calendar of things to do, tasks to complete and items to purchase.  For the newbies, this gives you a manageable number of things to do in a short period of time.  Instead of looking at a task list 10 pages long, you have a short list that is eminently doable in 30 days or less.

And for the more experienced prepper?  You can start with month #1, look at the activities and tasks involved and fill in any gaps you may have in your own preparation.  In some cases you may see a need to update or rotate what you have on hand and in others, you may find the need to practice a particular skill.

I love lists.  So bear with me as I present a readiness calendar to guide your through twelve months of prepping.  Hopefully you will find that one month’s work is not too costly, not too time-consuming and not too difficult.  The most difficult part as I see it will be getting off your bum and starting.

So let’s do it!

MONTH 1

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Water-3 gallons per person and per pet
  • Hand-operated can opener and bottle opener
  • Canned meat, stew, or pasta meals – 5 per person
  • 2 flashlights with batteries

TASKS:

  • Inventory the disaster supplies you already have on hand, including your camping gear
  • If you fill your own water containers, mark them with the date they were filled
  • Date cans of food and food containers if you have not already done so

MONTH 2

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Canned vegetables – 4 per person
  • Toilet paper – 3 rolls per person
  • Sanitary napkins – 2 months’ supply
  • Instant drinks (coffee, tea, powdered soft drinks)
  • Family sized first aid kit

TASKS:

  • Change the batteries  and test your smoke detectors.  Purchase and install smoke detectors if you don’t have them
  • Make an inventory of home contents for insurance purposes. Take photographs (digital are easiest) of your house and contents. Store a copy away from your home.

MONTH 3

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Canned fruits – 3 cans per person
  • Any foods for special dietary needs (enough for 3 days)
  • A large plastic tub or bin for storage of food and other emergency supplies.

TASKS:

  • Conduct a home fire drill
  • Locate the gas meter and water shutoff points and attach/store a wrench or shutoff tool near them.  Also store special shutoff instruction, if any.
  • Establish and out-of-state contact to call in case of an emergency
  • Identify a location for your storage of plastic bin or tub.

MONTH 4

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Extra baby bottles, formula and diapers if needed
  • Extra pet supplies; food, collar, leash, etc.
  • A stash of at least $100 in small bills – more if  you can afford it
  • Begin to stockpile extra supplies of critical prescription medications. Talk to your pharmacist for help in making this happen.

TASKS:

  • Place a supply of prescription medicine(s) in a storage container and date the medicine(s) if not already indicated on its label
  • Start putting supplies in storage container(s) and include blankets or sleeping bags for each family member

MONTH 5

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Canned, ready-to-eat soup – 4 per person
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Plain liquid bleach
  • Portable am/FM radio with batteries
  • Liquid hand soap and hand sanitizer
  • Disposable hand wipes
  • Disposable latex or nitrile gloves

TASKS:

  • Make two photocopies of important papers and put one in the storage container, and one away from your home.
  • Talk with neighbors about organizing a neighborhood preparedness group.

MONTH 6

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Box of granola or power bars – 1 per person
  • 6 rolls of paper towels
  • Box of N-95 or N-100 face masks – 1 per person.

TASKS:

  • Check to see if stored water has expired and needs to be replaced
  • Put an extra pair of eyeglasses in the supply container
  • Find out about your workplace disaster plans and the disaster plans at your children’s schools

MONTH 7

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • NOAA Alert Weather Radio
  • ABC fire extinguisher
  • Jug of juice – 1 per person
  • Adult and children’s vitamins
  • A pair of pliers and/or vise grip
  • 100 feet of rope or paracord

TASKS:

  • Take a first aid/CPR class
  • Show family members where and how to shut off utilities

MONTH 8

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Box of crackers or graham crackers – 1 per person
  • Dry cereal or instant oatmeal – 1 weeks’ worth per person
  • 1 box of large, heavy-duty garbage bags

TASKS:

  • Make a small preparedness kit for your car. Include food, water, blanket, small first aid kit, a list of important phone numbers
  • Secure water heaters to wall studs (if not already done)

MONTH 9

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Extra batteries for flashlights, radio and hearing aids (if needed)
  • Duct tape
  • Add an additional 3 days of water to your supply per person and per pet

TASKS:

  • Follow up on efforts to organize your neighborhood
  • Conduct an earthquake drill at home: stop, drop and hold, then go outside. (Remember, and earthquake can happen anywhere as recent events have demonstrated.)
  • Replace prescription medicines as required by expiration dates

MONTH 10

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Take the month off from purchases. Yay!

TASKS:

  • Secure shelves, cabinets and drawers to prevent them from falling and/or opening during earthquakes
  • Imagine your house with no electricity. What more do you need?

MONTH 11

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Package of paper plates
  • Package of napkins
  • Package of eating utensils
  • Package of paper cups

TASKS:

  • Exchange work, home and emergency contact phone numbers with neighbors for use during an emergency

MONTH 12

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Heavy work gloves
  • Begin to try to expand your food supply to twice of what you have on hand right now. Continue with this effort into coming 12 months.

TASKS:

  • Check to see if your stored food and water needs to be replaced.

MONTH 13

Congratulations.  You have completed your year of preparations.  Now is a good time to go back to month 1 and review, replenish, rotate and drill.  Good job!

The Final Word

Once a month for the next twelve months I will feature an article devoted exclusively to the monthly tasks at hand including suggested activities, recommended purchases, viable alternatives, budget saving strategies and references to more reading material.  Sometime I may deviate from the list a bit and other times I may enhance it.

The final word for today is this:

Emergency preparation is your journey and should be unique to your circumstances, your family, your geographical location and your financial resources.  Yes, it can be a chore.  But as I have said before, it should be a chore with a happy ending.

Author: Gaye Levy http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/

Prepping Resources:

September is National Preparedness month and government and local entities want to know if you are prepared for an emergency. Do you have an e

English: Biloxi, Miss. (Sept. 12, 2005) - U.S....

English: Biloxi, Miss. (Sept. 12, 2005) – U.S. Navy Sailors, Royal Dutch Sailors, and Marines from Mexico, along with the American Red Cross, handout water and food at a Red Cross distribution point in Biloxi, Miss. The Navy’s involvement in the humanitarian assistance operations are being led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Department of Defense. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Michael B. Watkins (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

mergency plan? How about an emergency kit (and we aren’t just talking a First Aid kit)? Many Americans still lack having an emergency kit and plan.

Making a Plan

When planning for disasters in your area, what comes to mind? Fire, earthquake, flood, power outages? Knowing the common types of natural disasters in your area will help you in making a plan.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sister site, Ready.gov has a Family Emergency Plan that you can print, fill out, and distribute copies to family members. The Family Emergency Plan is a place to record all important information about your family. For example: birth dates, prescription medications, doctors, addresses, and contact information. Remember, when a disaster occurs your family may not be together. If you have children, it is important to check with your child’s school about their emergency plan. Check with your place of employment for their disaster plan in case you are at work when the disaster occurs.

Building a Kit

Having an emergency kit will provide you and your family with the essential supplies during an emergency. During a disaster you may be without water and/or food. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that you have enough supplies to last you and your family at least three days. The American Red Cross recommends that you have enough food and water to last two weeks. More is better in this case, but having enough for three days is a great start. This kit contains food, water, and supplies that you will need as well as items that are specific to your family’s needs.

Water: When a disaster occurs your water supply may be contaminated or you may not have access to water. You will need one gallon, per person, per day. So for a family of five, you would need 15 gallons of water, which would last three days. This includes drinking and sanitation uses. It is important to store water in proper containers and not use empty milk cartons or empty soda bottles. Purchasing water by the gallon is the safest way to store water.

Food: You will need enough non-perishable food items to last each person three days to two weeks. The amount of food will depend on how much each person consumes. To determine what foods you need, think about your basic food groups; fruits, vegetables, protein sources, and grains.  Foods that are canned and dried will keep the longest. Pre-packaged foods like crackers will also keep.

Supplies: You will need to have a first-aid kit, a multi-purpose tool, radio (either battery or hand-crank), extra batteries, cell phone charger, a seven-day supply of any medicine that you take, flashlight, whistle, duct tape, plastic sheeting, manual can opener, blankets, sleeping bags, paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, resealable plastic bags, and local maps – at the very least. Other items in your kit will depend on your family’s unique needs. If you have a baby you will need to include formula, diapers, bottles, etc. Storing coloring books, board games, stuffed animals, and other comfort items for young children will help them cope with the disaster. If you have pets, having extra food, water, and veterinarian records is important.

The MRC recruits people with medical or health backgrounds to assist during an emergency. Photo by MRC.

Many local organizations will be hosting emergency preparedness events throughout September. For disaster preparedness events in your area contact your local American Red Cross and Public Health Department; they are just some of the organizations that may be hosting disaster preparedness events in your area.

If you would be interested in helping out your community during a disaster, the Citizen Corps is a nation-wide organization. The Citizen Corps was founded as a result of the September 11th terrorism attacks. The Citizen Corps mission is to; “harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.”

An extension of the Citizen Crops is the Medical Reserve Corps. If you have a medical background and would be interested in volunteering during an emergency, contact the Medical Reserve Corps. The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) enlists volunteers who assist their local community’s health needs during a disaster.

Why Should I be Prepared?

When a disaster occurs, it is uncertain how long it would take emergency personnel to get to you and your family. If it a large-scale disaster, it could be days before someone is able to get to you. For example, on January 26, 2009, Kentucky experienced a winter ice storm that weighted down power lines until they snapped. According to FEMA, over 600,000 Kentuckians went without power for up to ten days. Would you have the supplies to go ten days without power in the winter? This is just one example of how important it is to have a plan, and have a kit.

Always Be Prepared

Preparing for a disaster can seem like a daunting task, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that people who are prepared deal with disasters more effectively. Being prepared also help reduce fear and anxiety when a disaster occurs.

Author: Janelle Vaesa This article first appeared at decodedscience