Basic kit : NWS radio, First Aid Kit, Lanterns, Water & Food & cash
I spent some time yesterday `refreshing’ my freshwater stockpile (40+ gals: enough for me and the cat for a month), rotating my modest supply of soon-to-expire canned foods from my emergencies stores into my `use soon’ pantry, and swapping out my nearly year-old 30-day supply of essential Rx meds (blood pressure & gout) with newer refills, while I use up the old ones.
I also changed out the perishables in my `bug out bag’ (see NPM14: When You’ve Got To `Get Out Of Dodge’ In A Hurry), checked the batteries in my flashlights, and inspected my first aid kit(s) to make sure all was in order.
My Bug-out-bag, Canteen, & Toiletry kit
All in all, I spent a couple of hours, and a few dollars. Cheap insurance, by any measure.
Not because I’m expecting some sort of cataclysm, or imminent disaster, but because these are the things all of us should be doing on a regular basis in order to be prepared for . .. whatever comes next.
We are, after all, just a little more than a month from the traditional start of spring tornado season, power outages can happen at any time, and for much of the country, it’s always earthquake season. While not a worry where I live, we do get occasional hurricanes during the summer months so as not make us feel left out.
And while I’m not foolish enough to predict the timing - or the source - of the next pandemic, we do know that pandemics happen. I’ve lived through three of them (1957, 1968, 2009), along with the pseudo-pandemic of 1977 (the return of H1N1 aka The Russian Flu), and could well see another in my lifetime.
Having spent a decade in EMS, and fifteen years living aboard boats, I’ve learned how quickly things can turn dicey, often without warning. I’ve seen how a lack of preparedness – or knowledge of what to do in an emergency - can compound a crisis, and make matters far worse.
And so I do the little things, like keeping some extra food and water on hand (72 hrs should be the minimum), a good first aid kit, a NWS weather radio, and I carry a concise medical history (see Those Who Forget Their History . . . .) in my wallet.
I also have a couple of Disaster buddies (see In An Emergency, Who Has Your Back?) to whom I can turn in a crisis, and who know they can call on me as well.
While the Internet glorifies preparing for doomsday – a Yellowstone eruption, an asteroid strike, or the Zombie Apocalypse – real preparedness means being ready to deal with far more likely (and survivable) threats like fires, floods, storms, power outages, and earthquakes.
Simple preparedness doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming or expensive. The big obstacle for most people seems to boil down to simply `getting around to it.”
So today, while you wait for the big game to begin, why not put together your own family emergency kit?
A few gallons of water per person, at least a 72 hours supply of ready-to-eat food supplies, some flashlights and batteries, a first aid kit, (extra points for having an NWS weather radio), and a family emergency communications plan . . . .
This from Ready.gov.
Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. Read more about Family Communication during an emergency.
Ready.gov has made it simple for you to make a family emergency plan. Download the Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids (PDF - 1.2 Mb) and fill out the sections before printing it or emailing it to your family and friends.
You should also inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school, faith organizations, sports events and commuting. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to community leaders, your colleagues, neighbors and members of faith or civic organizations about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance. Read more about school and workplace plans.
You don’t have to build a bunker, stockpile a year’s worth of beans and rice, and learn Ninja skills in order to be well prepared. Small, simple, preps can see you through most emergencies.
You make them - not to survive the apocalypse – but in order to buy time until outside help can arrive.
Over time you can build out your kit, and hopefully move from having just the bare minimum of 72hrs of supplies, to enough to last a week or 10 days. For more on how to prepare, visit these websites:
AMERICAN RED CROSS http://www.redcross.org/
And you can use this link to find earlier emergency preparedness posts on this blog.