With several disasters happening this summer, I started thinking about, what if there is a disaster here? It's not that far fetched. We have had earthquakes and certainly forest fires. There have been paralyzing ice storms. And yet, I have not prepared a disaster kit. I imagine most people have not. Maybe I'm wrong about that. I decided to put one together.
What should it contain? The standard preparedness / survival bags, sold by the Red Cross are large showy red back packs. They contain anticipated supplies for protection, nutrition, comfort, injuries, and communication, for a 3-day emergency. Red Cross regards 3 days as prudent duration to prepare a kit for, but also have a supply of food in the home. I think that is for a week supply, not in freezer because of possible power outages.
I don't want a bright red bag, because I think it would attract unwanted attention. I think a large, sturdy but light weight back pack would do. As for contents, I'm not sure yet, but using the Red Cross bags as a guide.
It is not necessary to put bag together in one day. It can be a project, as long as one has a goal such as "I will have this together in 2 weeks."
As much as possible, the emergency kit supplies should be very comoact and lightweight, and multifunctional, and no unnecessary bulk or weight.
Line the bag with a heavy duty plastic bag, to keep contents dry. Bag sometimes can have other functions too.
Light weight poncho. If it has grommets, it might double as a small tent.
Light weight space age blanket.
One change of clothes and windbreaker.
Heavy wool socks.
Warm hat or cap.
A few hand warmer gel packs.
Multi-tool gadget. These have a knife, screwdrivers, wrench, can opener, all in one tool. One online also has a small hatchet and hammer. On line or campers store.
A small of paratrooper string.
A small roll of duct tape.
Sterile hand or diaper wipes.
A small travelor size hand sterilizer solution bottle.
Travelor size or hotel soap bar.
Toothbrush and toothpaste, travelor size.
A 3-day supply of any required medicine.
Maybe a few aspirin, tylenol, or ibuprofen in a waterproof pill bottle.
A couple of bandanas. Multifunction, can be bandage, sling, wrap, head protection. A bandana is like a towel for galaxy hitch-hikers.
A folded package of toilet paper.
Small light weight aluminum camper mess kit. Like we had in Army.
Mini camp stove - fueled by fuel pellets, more compact than sterno.
Butane lighter. Camper's dry matches kit.
Probably plastic spoon and fork, light weight, easy to clean.
Maybe some energy bars. A couple packages of ramen noodles. I like the "Tasty Bite" precooked lentils of rice and lentils. My packages expire in one year, so good shelf life and light weight. Maybe some roasted peanuts for energy and protein. Altogether, enough for 3 days of minimal sustenance. Maybe one treat, such as a package of Twinkies. I read those survive anything.
At least 3 liters of bottled water. Most people need one liter per day.
Water purification tablets. Available on Amazon. A backup, in case more time or water is needed, or the bottles leak. One should be heavy plastic bottle, such as a canteen, for re-use.
For communication, alarm, alerts-
Hand crank radio / usb charger. Some are solar and battery as well. Red cross and Amazon sell them.
A LED flashlight - maybe battery or crank operated. If lightweight enough, maybe an LED lantern.
A few light sticks - some stay bright for several hours.
A shrill whistle.
Cell phone charger cord.
It is not crazy to think one might need a pre-thought out and pre-assembled, portable kit, for emergencies and disasters. They happen in cities, suburbs, and rural areas.
Im just stream of consciousness thinking here. I have probably left things out. For 2nd or 3rd person, etc, some items need duplication and some do not.
These are also called "Bug Out Bag" because buggung out meant dropping everything and getting out impending disaster immediately. It should be kept somewhere that can be located immediately, such as front hall closet or bedroom closet.
Some people include a weapon but Im not going there. I think it would be as easy to use against us, as protect us.
When we were pretty sure evacuation was coming, we knew we'd be going to Prince George to stay with our son. We don't drive, so registered with the Red Cross & buses leaving daily.
We had a few days to pack up.......
2 changes of clothes each
Toiletries, hand sanitizer
Cell phones, tablet, mini laptop, & chargers
Blanket, hats, sunscreen, sunglasses
When we arrived in Pr. Geo., we had to register again with the R. Cross, & immediately got the first $225.00 for groceries, & necessities, in a store of our son's choosing since we'd be at his place & he'd be doing the shopping. Then had to re-register every 5 days for the next allotment of monies. Our son would receive $45.00 per day to house us. We also received a $300.00 voucher to purchase used clothing from a second hand store.
The whole city had free offers for evacuees, from weekly laundry facilities to ''forget the fire'' fairs. Pr. Geo. citizens opened their homes, their motor homes, their campers, & offered their yards to park for people who had their own. We were all very well looked after.....most of which had no ''thoughts and prayers'' involved.
I like that list but because of the oil situation. I also have the following:
Bicycle tube patches
Bicycle extra tires and tubes
Pump for tires
Front and rear paniers
Lube for chain and other parts
Like you also stated, I liked the bow and arrow thing during my junior high school days so I will also not go there.
I should be better prepared as I have been in the path of hurricanes. Often the primary decision is whether or not to evacuate. In my case there are pets to consider. There is often the concern of looting too.
Patricia, Im glsd you described your experiences and insights. What you went through is part of why I started thinking about a disaster bag.
Gary those supplies are important for biking people.
I forgot, they also recommend having some cash in the bag. I was thinking $100 in 20s, 10s, 5s and 1s.
My poor old dog cant walk a block, but I have a collapsible wagon to pull him in. There is a quilt in the wagon for padding and bedding. Pet food is definitely important.
Its always a good idea, since these things are more common & getting closer all the time it seems.
I don't have much memory of the Vancouver Wash. area as I was pretty young when I was there, but here, we are surrounded by forest, no matter which direction. We can reach forest within walking distances in some areas. Very, very close.
Patricia, you are right, we are surrounded by forest. It is developing fast, however. I go on a forest hike 2 or 3 times a week, starting about a mile from my house. There are ice storms once or twice per winter that make driving impossible and may cause lines to come down. . There have been 2 tornadoes within a mile or two of my house, in the past decade or so. The last earthquake was 16 years ago, and minor.
That's why its more important than ever to be as prepared as we can for these things.
We don't usually get those weather extremes but, of course we don't know what the future will bring.
The fires however, are now a given, we just don't know where, when, or how close.
I am almost 71 years old, & have never been this close to anything this drastic, nor experienced evacuation before.
I do not like last minute anything so I was not willing to wait around to be told to get out with short notice. We left July 11th, & the orders came through on the 15th. The road out was packed for 9-15 hours for people to get out of the bottleneck & get where they were supposed to go. On a school bus with no restroom, & 2 cats? No thank you.
We share that not liking last minute anything thing. That's one reason I want to be responsibly prepared. No one can anticipate everything, but we can anticipate there is a chance for things to go bad sometimes.
What surprises me more, is why didn't I put together a bag years ago? I can't answer that.
Tomorrow, I'll get the backpacks, one for each of us. And check out a camping supply store for bargains. I ordered a multi-tool and a "mess kit" on line. The bags will be completed gradually. As far as I know, there's not a disaster around the corner. One never knows.
I say, there's no time like the present!
Its better than being told to evacuate in 15 minutes & its all you can do to grab your kids, pets, & get to a muster station with only the clothes on your back.
I like to be organized about things, & that ain't it! Rick didn't want to pack anything but he's terrible for denying reality, & it was our daughter who got on his case. She's been there done that with evac in 2009 in West Kelowna.
When the orders came out on July 15th, it hit Rick very hard. Could not deny any more.
We were evacuated for 18 days. Very interesting with our 2 cats, & our son's 5 cats, & dog.
I've only seen the ice storm results on the news, but it doesn't sound in the least very pleasant. Being prepared, even a little is beneficial, I say!
Kathy, have people prepared for the next one?