It is said that precaution is better than cure, well, I have to agree to this. The other day, my family and I were talking about the different natural disasters that we are prone to, and we thought that we do not have a survival kit ready if any natural disaster happens. We then started thinking about the contents of the survival kit and what should be included and what should be left out, and as expected, we were confused because everyone has their priority. Then, we thought of what is a survival kit and what should be included in it. So according to Wikipedia, a survival kit is a package of basic tools and supplies prepared in advance as an aid to survival in an emergency. Survival kits are available in different sizes, contain supplies and tools to provide a survivor with basic shelter against living outside.
If you, too, are intrigued by finding out what should be included in the kit, then here we go!
Any natural disasters or any different situation will inevitably impact the potable water supply. One of the most basic needs for sustaining life, water is something that you have to have on you. Keep at least a gallon of clean water on hand per person per day, for both drinking needs and sanitation. Buy gallons of purified water at your local grocery store, or, in a pinch, you can wash and reuse empty soda and juice bottles and fill them with tap water. If you are making a survival kit for travel or evacuation, then try using a portable water filtering straw. This filter straw will help in drinking water from anywhere with a free mind. Filtering straws are small, packing worthy, and lightweight, so you can take them anywhere.
Food is life’s essentials, so when a disaster hits, the first places to shut down are the restaurants and grocery stores. It is possible to survive without it for a while but eventually, you will need food to gain energy and comfort during times of stress. In an emergency situation, when it comes to food, the easier is better. Do include easy-to-eat foods like energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, biscuits, and other perishable foods. Please do not grab the easiest and cheapest foods. If you have kids or babies or pets, do plan for them as well. You can expand your kit to include options for hot meals, canned foods and freeze-dried meals. Keep your food supply fresh by planning to eat from it and replace what you’ve eaten about once every six months. Do check your emergency food supplies every time daylight saving time begins or ends.
Communications and Light
In everyday life, we normally rely on local news, the internet, and cellphones to stay in touch with what is happening, but these forms of communication often get less trustworthy when there is a disaster. Keep a weather radio in your preparedness kit; it will keep you informed of changes in weather, evacuations, and other important emergency information. Nowadays, there are a plethora of weather radios that come in different models, which include lights and cellphone chargers. Thus, reducing the number of electronics you will have to keep in your kit. Also, do keep a couple of flashlights as well as batteries. You can also use solar-powered flashlights that will help you during the night.
Do not forget to include a map and a compass to help in any situation.
A basic first-aid kit should include small packages of ibuprofen, Imodium, Benadryl, and Sudafed. The small packages are easy to stow and available at most gas stations. Also include Neosporin, iodine, burn cream, assorted band-aids and bandages, a Sawyer Extractor, latex gloves, an irrigating syringe, super glue, razor blade, moleskin, and a large ace bandage. There are a ton of water filters and purification tablets on the market. Do your homework and find one you are comfortable with. Dehydration is one of your biggest adversaries in the wilderness, and contracting Giardia will not help the situation. Small containers of hand sanitizer are available almost anywhere for under a buck. Keeping your hands clean (especially after using the previous item) is critical to help prevent Giardia and other illness. Keep your hand sanitizer in the center of the toilet paper roll, where it is easy to find and helps keep the roll from getting smashed. Many people don’t know that hand sanitizer is a great fuel for starting a fire. It primarily consists of gelled alcohol and lanolin, and a dime-sized drop will produce a blue flame for over 3 minutes. Nasty mosquitoes can be a nuisance, and can also carry West Nile disease. In this case, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Shelter and Clothing
The next thing that you need to add your kit is proper clothing that will keep warm and dry. Every survival kit should include at least one extra set of clothes for each person using the package, along with a reflective emergency blanket. The blanket can be used as an emergency shelter if needed, but you may also want to include a waterproof tarp for extra coverage.
Comfort and Cleanliness
Sanitation doesn’t need to take a back seat in a disaster scenario as there are more cases of diseases and infections spreading during that time. Do not underestimate the reassuring effects of cleanliness and comfort when you are under stress. It is recommended to keep baby wipes, personal hygiene items, and garbage bags on hand to keep everyone feeling their best while avoiding sickness that comes from unsanitary conditions.
Where can you store the kit?
Since we do not know when a disaster can strike, it is recommended to prepare the supplies for home, work, and vehicles. Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your house quickly. Make sure that everyone in your family members knows where the kit is kept.