We had a small group session this past week with members of our church. We are starting a study on stress in the home and went off on a small tangent about worry. Well my husband piped in to alert every one that I can worry about crazy disasters sometimes. Now I KNOW that such thoughts are not healthy (and I’ll get over’em someday), but, its what makes me me I suppose.
I decided to do some exploration on the web and for the benefits of my readers, dig up some ideas on what to do if you’re in one of my dilemmas. Depending on where you are in our beautiful country your specific dilemma might be an earthquake, flood, tornado, firestorm, sandstorm, dust bowl, global financial crisis, nuclear meltdown, extended power or water outage, serious winter ice freeze, or zombie apocalypse (it happens in places west of Oregon I think).
What to pack in a Emergency Disaster Kit for Kids
Emergency Water and Filtration
A person can easily go through one gallon of water per person per day. You should store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid glass bottles. Alternatively, if you are blessed to have water generally available, purchase a filtering system from any number of vendors listed below. Again, 3 plus days worth of water per person.
Emergency Food and Rations
3 Days of food per person will do you well. And this food might need to not only sustain you, but give you energy to conquer whatever storms come way- or fat to burn on cold nights. Options include MREs- Military Meals Ready to Eat, Canned Meats, Canned Fruits, High Energy Foods like Peanut Butter, Jelly, Crackers, Nuts, Power Bars, and for kids have comfort foods like hard candy, sugar cereals.
And- do be sure to include some foods that are crunchy- there’s a reason that airplanes serve nuts and pretzels- hard crunchy foods reduce stress. And, in the face of what may be the toughest situation of your life, pack Crunchy stress relieving foods!! This blog gives you some ideas on how to make sure your items don’t rot while you’re running you REAL life.
If you’re planning for the long haul, pack vitamins, and staples like sugar, SALT, and pepper– a can of powdered milk wouldn’t hurt either.
Bring waterproof matches, and aluminum foil too.
Emergency First Aid Kit
Have two first aid kits. Keep a complete first aid kit in your main emergency disaster kit and one in your car.
Who knows what you’ll encounter out there, so pack a wide variety of bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, bandage rolls, Scissors, Tweezers, Needles, Antiseptic, Lubricants, Soap, Gloves, Sunscreen, Aspirin and Baby Tylenol, All sorts of stomach aids, Activated Charcoal, and if you can, iodine for you and your radioactive neighbors.
What’s more important, maybe, would be to purchase a first aid book- keep it in your kit and start reading it when you face your situation- Become an EMT in no time! (well, not trained, but at least your read the book and saw the pictures- which will be the best thing you could do if you were alone!)
Emergency Disaster Tools and Supplies
As mentioned above, get an emergency preparedness manual. Keep batteries- especially batteries for your kids NintendoDS- that could be a God Send during the worst of times…
Do get a manual can opener, a Knife or Two (Crocodile Dundee Knives OK), and a battery operated or crank up Radio. Do bring Duct Tape! I’ve found that the Gorilla brand Tape is the stickiest and best.
Get a tent and a compass, local map, signal flares, a whistle, and a reflecting mirror. Grab a tarp or some plastic sheeting too.
Now it sounds silly, but get a crowbar and some pliers- who knows what you’ll have to take apart, turn off, or pull around!
Clothing and Bedding for a Disaster
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person- pack sturdy work boots for the grunt worker of your family. Pack blankets or sleeping bags- enough for your team.
Emergency Sanitation Needs
Now this list is all disposables- how much? I have no idea but may I suggest toilet paper, soap, feminine supplies, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lip balm.
Get a small shovel, for digging a lil latrine (ew), some plastic bags, a bucket, and a gallon of bleach just for fun.
Keep copies of your records in a waterproof container- this may include a will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds. Include your passports, social security cards, immunization records, bank account #s, credit card information, and family records). It may sound silly, but bring your email and facebook usernames and passwords as well- the next time you find a computer you may need to log on and let everyone know you’re ok! If you like you can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) – PDF, 277Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
Where to Hide a Disaster Emergency Kit
This depends on what side of the country you live on. If you’re here in Ohio, away from any major fault line, keeping your emergency kit in your house would probably be just fine. A shed away from rodents would be ok too.. but.. will your water freeze? Yes- its going to anyway if you have no heat in your house (ugh worry again!)!
What if I live on a fault line in California? Not sure myself- I would keep a kit of some what away from a pile of debris that could land on top of it. And Tsunami? Maybe hide something in your local foothills. Now mind you, I am not suggesting you take a shovel to federal land and have your way! Well, I say good luck.
NO matter where you hide your amazing stash, change the water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Rotate the food as often as you need to- as well as the batteries.
How Many Days of Supplies should a Disaster Emergency Kit Include?
Well, How far are you away from the city? How strong is your back to carry this kit? How self sufficient do you think you could be? How many people? The answer to this question is complex. If you ask the people of Northern Japan this week, they would probably tell you pack as much as you can! How about a minimum? – 3 Days. Maximum – well, some 1950s Atomic Shelters were stacked for YEARS !
Where to Buy Emergency Supplies, Food and Crazy Stuff
One of our AkronOhioMoms went through and put together a list of a bunch of Internet sources for emergency food, rations, and supplies. This is what we found:
The Ready Store – 72 Hour Emergency Kits, Food Storage
The Ready Store has a very exhaustive list of products- they really do offer a place where “America Goes to Get Ready”. The easy to navigate (but a little slow) store offers emergency disaster kits, Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), freeze dried foods, and emergency kits packed into back packs. Their kits range from 1 to 20 people, and are labeled in different categories like Emergency, Evac, Survival, Sanitation, etc.. Prices range greatly, but as an example, their DELUXE All-In-One™ Survival Kit – 4 PERSONS is priced out at $270.
QuakeKare – Emergency Preparedness Experts
QuakeKare takes an approach that tackles each type of catastrophe with a specific emergency kit- AND offers kits for different locations- your home, office, car, school, etc… Their 5 Person Deluxe Survival Kit is tailor made to help out the small office. This survival l kit contains the “most effective emergency supplies” including the emergency food, water, lighting, radio, first-aid, sanitation, and shelter supplies to prepare for all potential hazards. There are a pile of other items- this one costs $120 on sale. They do have well packed selections for the home – and economy kits the size of a lunch box for as low as $20.
Nitro-Pak Preparadness Center
Nitro-Pak is an emergency preparedness store that, just like the Ready Store, seems to have everything. Along with their kits, food, and water filtration lines, they also have a large # of one of a kind items that you can purchase separately in including iodide, hand warmers and light sticks. If you’re going to consider a purchase- do check out Nitro-Pak.com. They do have a large SPECIAL section that offers many items- both unique and kit type.
OK it wasn’t really on my list, but Duracell and others have a number of emergency power packs that can do everything from run some minor AC appliances, jump start your car, or inflate your tires. Their Powerpack 300 line is work mentioning.
Wise Food Storage
Wise Food Storage offers a great selection of emergency and extended emergency food storage kits. They focus on taste and quantity selection- and have a nice little calculator to figure out how much food you need. They have a Wise Deluxe Survival Kit 2 week deluxe survival product and food kit for 1 person/or 1 week for 2 people. This emergency disaster kit includes everything from 2 rain ponchos to Chicken à la King and comes in at $239- but you have to read the list of what it includes to understand the pricing.
Surplus Planet 360
Surplus Plant 360 assumes that you are not choosing to merely survive in your tough, brave new world, but thrive! Along with MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) Surplus Planet offers a wide variety of tough guy products (all in camouflage), Geiger counters, German Kevlar Helmets, Camp Stoves, and more. It’s kind of exciting, but a little too scary for my taste.
Although there website isn’t that pretty, I found the information at Survival Acres to talk about everything from Long Term Food Storage, to well, anything you need to know to survive any calamity.
So what am I going to do about a emergency disaster kit?
OK, I’ve done the research, thought out some recommendations, and even picked out some cool emergency backpacks- but I don’t think I’m going whole hog into a new survivor episode just yet. I have a garden to plant, a blog to write and a bunch of people at my bible study/small group that I now have to convince that I’m not crazy!