Sunday, June 17, 2012

Emergency Preparedness: Disaster Kit

Emergency Preparedness:
Disaster Kit - Pt 1/3

As far as emergency's and disasters are concerned, its less a question of IF but WHEN they will happen. Since the world may or may not end this year, its probably a good idea to put together a cheap and easy disaster kit. 
Many of these items are considered multi use items. Multi use items are great to have because they essentially give you more bang for your buck. 
As an eagle scout, 'be prepared',  has been my motto since I was about 10 and I encourage you to keep this motto in the back of your mind as well. This is the first of a three part series on BoldlyGrow for emergency preparedness. The following is a list of items to keep together in a disaster kit around your house.

1. Water

Water: Water is perhaps the most important piece of a disaster kit. you  can go days without food in an emergency but only hours without water. A gallon of water goes for ¢98 a gallon at the grocery store. You should have on hand 1 gallon per person, per day. Your standard disaster kit should keep you and your family prepared for at least 72 hours. Don't forget your pets.

 2. First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit: In an emergency you or your family could be cut or burned. Without proper cleaning, a wound can get infected very easily and become much worse quick. Keep a first aid kit on hand always. An extra bottle of hydrogen peroxide can come in handy to sterilize wounds. First aid kits run about $10.

 3. Fire Starter

 Fire Starters: Matches, Lighters, Flint and Steel are all great and sufficient fire starters. They are inexpensive and invaluable to have around.

 4. Flashlight

Flashlight: This ones a no brainer. In an emergency, once the sun goes down and you don't have a flashlight, your life is going to be way harder than it has to be. Make sure you throw one of these in your kit. A heavy duty flashlight like this runs about $4.

5. Knife/Multi-tool

Knife/Multi-tool: Pocket knives and multi-tools can be a crucial part of an emergency kit. Small and portable but very versatile. 

6. Duct Tape

Duct Tape: Nearly anything can be made out of duct tape. You name it and it has probably been made from this every-tape. Duct tape can also be used for repairs or emergency first aid. A roll goes for about $3 but can be priceless in a pinch.

 7. Notepad/Pen+Pencil

Notepad/Pen+Pencil: I recommend having pens and paper in your disaster kit. In an emergency you may have to make lists or leave notes for others that could be the difference in you and your family's safety.


Compass: If you've ever been lost you know how valuable it would be to have a compass around. This model is a digital compass from my scouting days but a digital compass is not completely necessary. A quality pocket compass goes for about $5. They are inexpensive and can save your life.

9. Wire/Twine

Wire/Twine: In an emergency, twine or wire can be used in many ways. They can be used as Fishing line or a snare trap to name a couple. Again, inexpensive and can mean the difference in your family's safety and survival.

10. Food
Although food didn't get a photo, food is right up there with water as far as importance in a disaster kit. Make sure your emergency food doesn't have to be refrigerated. Canned and shelf stable foods are ideal. Be sure to have enough set aside for 72 hours for you and your family. Don't forget your pets!

11. Extra Clothing
It is a good idea to have a rain coat and sweatshirts for each member of your family. In case of a power outage and there is no heat it is important to stay warm and dry. Hypothermia can set in fast if you don't stay dry so be sure to have extra clothing in your kit.

Bonus Items:
 The following items are not priority in a disaster kit but are handy to have around.

 1. Playing cards can be entertainment for you and your family in case of a power outage
2. Heavy duty trash bags can have many uses including rain ponchos. they don't take up much room and worth having in your kit.
3. Measuring tape can be used if you have to set up emergency shelter. This tool is not a priority but could be the difference in your success in an emergency.