Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Survival
It is important to be prepared in the event of a disaster. Have a plan; be sure to involve all the members of your household. Each person must be informed ahead of time about what can happen, as well as what to do in case of a natural disaster, a national emergency or the threat of war.
As part of your preparation, put together a 72 hour survival kit, or a bug-out bag (also called a Get out of Dodge Bag, or disaster preparedness kit). It will help you evacuate quickly, as well as equip you for emergency survival for up to three days.
Creating a Bug-out Bag
Have a bag exclusively for the purpose of sudden evacuation and emergency survival. Choose one that is lightweight and easy to carry but durable, like a duffel bag or a backpack. Below is a list of things you will need to pack.
1. Clothing and personal items:
– At least one full change of climate-appropriate clothes per person, including shirts and underwear
– Jacket (1 per person)
– Long pants (1 per person)
– Toiletries and personal hygiene supplies
– Toilet Paper
2. Food and water:
– At least 3 liters of bottled drinking water per person (a person requires 4-6 liters per day, but 1 liter is the minimum requirement for survival)
– Easy-to-prepare canned or dried food, at least 6,000 calories per person (2,000 calories per day)
3. Tools and equipment:
– Can opener
– Utility knife or a pocket knife
– Flashlight or battery-powered lantern
– Battery-powered or crank-operated radio
– Extra batteries
– Lighter or a box of matches, sealed in a waterproof container
– Whistle; this will be useful in calling for help in case you are trapped
– Duct tape
– Rope and / or wire
– Cell phone plus charger and / or extra batteries
– Small sewing kit
– Waterproof material, such as a tent, poncho or tarp; this can be used
for a makeshift shelter, weather protection or water collection.
4. Other important items:
– Money; it will be better to have actual cash and change, since you have no guarantee that you will be able to make bank transactions electronically
– Identification materials, such as driver’s licenses, state I.D. cards or passports
– Copies of important documents, such as personal documents, medical records, deed to your home, birth certificates, insurance policies, doctor’s prescriptions, etc. Place these in a waterproof document case or sealable bag.
– A list of emergency phone numbers and contact information – relatives, doctors, fire department, etc.
– Detailed copies of the evacuation plan
– Maps of the surrounding area/s and other travel information
– Literature and reference materials on what to do during a disaster
– Paper and writing instruments
– Extra house keys or car keys
5. First aid kit
Your first-aid kit must contain the following:
– Adhesive bandages
– Sterile gauze
– First-aid tape
– Elastic bandages
– Cotton and cotton swabs
– Dust masks
– Instant cold compress
– Rubbing alcohol
– Antiseptic (e.g., Povidone Iodine, Neomycin)
– Burn ointments
– Anti-itch ointment (e.g., Hydrocortisone, Calamine)
– Pain medication (e.g., Paracetamol, Ibuprofen)
– Anti-allergy medication (e.g., Antihistamine)
– Anti-diarrhea medication
– Oral rehydration salts
– Smelling salts
– Any prescription medicine taken by your family, in the required dosages
– Medical supplies used by family members, such as syringes, etc.
– The literature on first aid, for reference
(Be sure to check the expiration dates on medical supplies and food items, and replace as needed.)
In creating a bug-out bag, include other specific things that you and your family will need. Aside from just the bare necessities, think about special needs.
- Do you have small children or infants?
- Are there medical or psychological conditions you need to consider?
- Will you be bringing your pets?
Other items you may want to include:
– Water filtration kit
– Sleeping bag/s
– Extra footwear that is comfortable but sturdy
– Extra socks
– Moist towelettes or wet wipes
– Portable cookware
– Plates and utensils
– Paper cups
– Extra eyeglasses or hearing aid
– Walking stick or crutches
– Garbage bags
– Reading materials or portable entertainment
– Two-way radios
– Firearms and hunting equipment, plus ammunition
– Space blanket
– Pet supplies
Additional items for families with children and infants:
– Baby bottles
– Infant formula
– Baby wipes
– Baby food
– Baby-safe medicine
– Baby blanket and/or towel
– Baby clothes
– Infant toy
– Activities for children, such as portable video games, board games or activity books
It would be advantageous to put together your own 72 hour survival kit or bug-out bag instead of purchasing a ready-made one. One practical reason is that it can turn out cheaper for you to make your own.
More importantly, you can customize your kit to your specific needs – you can make sure to include particular things that a store-bought bug-out bag may not provide (special items for small children or otherly-abled individuals, for example, would not be included in an ordinary kit).
If you have a good list and make sure to follow it, there would be no risk of forgetting anything. There could also be the reward of a sense of self-sufficiency. The only real disadvantage would be the effort of acquiring all things separately and putting them all into one bag.
After packing, keep your bag in a place where it will be easy for you to grab as you head out, preferably near an exit. You may also want to have another one ready in the trunk of your car on in your workplace / school locker. Your survival depends on your preparation, so it’s best to be ready.
Quakehold! 70280 Grab-‘n-Go Emergency Kit, 2-Person, 3-Day Backpack
- Sustains two people for three days
- Includes food, water, and emergency blankets
- One 33-piece first aid kit
- Two safety light sticks
- A handy backpack keeps supplies at the ready
- Get yours here
- Be ready for any emergency at home or work
- Food and water has a 5 year shelf life, U.S. Coast Guard approved
- This Kit has more gear to keep you protected in the event of an emergency
- Designed for any type of emergency, including hurricanes and floods
- This four (4) person kit includes: 1 Honey Bucket w/Lid, 4 2400-Calorie Food Bars, 4 Solar Blankets, 24 Pouches of Water, 4 Dust Masks, 4 Ponchos, 1 12-Pack of Liners, 6 Wet Naps, 1 12-hour Light Stick, 1 T-5 Chemical Toilet Disinfectant, 1 Roll of Duct Tape, 1 Gas & Water Shut Off Tool, 1 Pry Bar, 1 54-Piece First Aid Kit, 1 Dynamo Flashlight/Radio, 1 Pair of Gloves, 1 Utility Knife, 1 Whistle and 50 Water Purification Tablets.