Emergencies come undeclared. No, you don’t have to panic. Just ensure you are prepared to face them by keeping your emergency survival kit with the following 7 essentials in it.
- Food- Food, an essential component of your kit, should be carried in adequate quantities. Add a 3-day supply of non-perishable food to your kit. Keep a check on expiration of packaged foods. Freeze dried food, bars and specially formulated foods have significantly high shelf life, ranging from 5 to 25 years, so it is a good idea to carry these as well. Don’t forget your toddler, add formula and baby food to meet up the requirements. Add pet food, if you have one.
- Water- It is the most important element for survival. Don’t just add for drinking purposes, rather you would want to ensure you have enough for other reasons like cooking, cleaning, sanitation, etc. One gallon per person per day, for a minimum of 3 days should suffice. Bottled water needs to be checked for its expiration. Water, specifically packaged one, for emergency situations come with an expiry of 5 to 50 years, can act as a better option.
- Lighting and Communication– In times when mobile and electronic devices have become an extension of your body, you cannot miss keeping a backup in dealing emergency situations. They can act as a medium to communicate, a source of information or as a substitute to lighting. Rely on hand cranking or solar powered radios, chargers and lanterns over battery operated ones. Carry extra batteries if having battery powered devices. Keep candles, matches that are waterproof, light sticks and a whistle that can be used as a signal.
- First-Aid- It is very important to keep a first aid kit handy with you. Your kit should have hydrogen peroxide to wash and disinfect wounds, antibiotic ointment, bandage strips, sting relief pads, cotton-tipped swabs, adhesive-tape, thermometer, prescription drugs, scissors, aspirin, glucose for diabetes patients, eye drops and burn gel. Add to this list to meet your specific requirement for medication.
- Shelter and Warmth– If things aren’t too favorable; don’t expect weather to be either. If there is an emergency at home or office, they may no longer be safe to enter. Hence, you need to have a tent and vinyl tarps for covering the ground to deal with such situations. Additional items may include sleeping bags, body warmers, rain gear, thermal blankets and sleeping bags for each person.
- Sanitation and Hygiene- It is equally important to carry your personal hygiene stuff with you, to deal with any unforeseen situations. Some of the items to be considered are toothbrush and toothpaste, tissues, pail to be used as toilet, a seat for pail, garbage bags and plastic ties, sanitizer, bar soap and sunscreen.
- Survival Gear– A survival kit is incomplete without adding these necessary tools like strong gloves, multi-function knife, fuel, dust masks, duct tape, a portable stove, a sturdy rope for towing, manual can opener, plastic sheeting, shovel and axe.
Other Items can include, but not limited to- sturdy shoes, eye glasses, fire extinguisher, garden hose for siphoning and firefighting, cash, some extra clothes and baby diapers.
Still apprehensive about your survival kit? Have a look at this infographic by More Prepared, emergency survival experts.