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.
Yes, those & others like those.
Chris, I agree we have to consider our abilities and challenges. The roller bags are a great idea.
I saw one article that discussed having a dog carry its own supplies in a dog back pack. I think those are available in pet stores and possibly camping supply stores. I don't think any cat would allow you to consider that. :-)
This all reminds me of an exercise my 7th grade science students did: Rank the following (list of 20) from most to least important for survival in a moon crash landing event. Like flashlight or matches?
I've thought this was a good idea for about 50 years, but being the couch-spud that I am, I have not fully implemented it yet.
I have everything you mentioned in my house, but not in a bug-out bag. In the house I also have 50 gallons of drinking water with the right amount of chlorine in it. 5 years ago, I had 150 gallons, but I emptied 2 containers so I could get to the back of the basement where I needed to correct a moisture problem. Haven't yet put them in a new spot and refilled.
I have 300 lbs of wheat kernels and both a manual and electric wheat grinder, but most of the wheat is 40 years old. It's in metal containers, but may not be edible. I'll have to check.
I have quite a few canned goods, enough to last ~4 months, but would like more.
I have a gasoline powered generator, but no gasoline storage, as it degrades in a few months. I'd like to get a storage tank with a pump, and keep rotating it into my vehicles to keep it fresh. Also keep adding enough of that additive that makes it store longer.
In my mini-van I have an electric tire pump, a manual tire pump, a multimeter, a fire extinguisher, a battery tester, a coolant tester, a supply of all the fluids my van used except gasoline, extra battery with a switch that can connect it to the main battery or not, a light weight poncho, space age blanket, several regular blankets, gloves, hats, hand warmers, multi-tool gadget, and tools for car repair, hatchet, hammer, sterno, duct tape, sterile hand wipes, sterilizer solution bottle, string, rope, stretchy cords, bandages, ointment, toilet paper, butane lighter, dry matches, plastic utensils, metal utensils, water purification tablets, usb charger, LED flashlights, cell phone charger cord, and shrill whistle. I only have one can of food and no water. I should put it water and more food. Also, things on your list that I don't have in there.
Spud, you are much more prepared than I am, and for the long term! is that from Mormon tradtion? I've known a number of LDS folks who were also long term prepared.
I suppose my potato supply from this summer would get us through a couple of months. Potatoes are good nutrition. We have firewood supply to last an entire winter, since we heat with it, and the propane tank is good for a year. I wonder if there are propane-fired generators? (edit, yes. Home depot has them. I dont think propane goes bad like gasoline does)
Monday Im going to get a backpack for this purpose, light weight plastic containers to organize, and some food packets as mentioned above. I orderderd online, an aluminum mess kit, multitool with small hatchet, and tiny camp stove kit. I will shop for some of the other items, as a start for the bugout bag.
My preparedness is a little bit from mormonism, but mostly just from it being a good idea. Besides that, I'm a worrywart. If I had money, I'd be much more prepared for anything.
A propane generator sounds like an excellent idea.
I forgot to mention that I also have a few maps, a signal rocket and a magnesium fire starter in my van, and I'm sure there are a few other things that I've forgotten. I think I also have a compass.
For what it's worth, some cell phones used to have a compass app. I dont know if they still do, or whether they depend on working cell phone towers.
I think an old fashioned compass is a good idea too. Probably in camping supply section at fred meyer or walmart or sporting store.
I've had go bags for my family members for for over 20 years. I won't go into their contents but I just got to thinking....I've got over 30 bibles maybe I should throw one in for a good fire starter... It would be nice to have a REAL use for one.
.....or toilet tissue.....