This week, we’ve got something from Natural News. It’s your basic “emergency kit” infographic; basically, a list (as we’re so fond of), presented in photographic form. Without any further introduction, let’s get into it:
They start with a minimum of 30 days of stored food. Now, I’m assuming they mean “canned, dried, preserved, etc.”, and that they probably mean stuff from one or another of the many suppliers of #10 cans full of such. All well and good–again, my main issue with these things is that you’ve got to keep using them; just having them stowed in a back closet or wherever isn’t doing you any good. If you don’t know how to cook with the freeze-dried stuff, you’re going to be in a sorry state, should you ever need to. (Granted, you’ll be fed, but you won’t like it much.)
Next is a minimum of 6 days stored water. Folks, were it me, I’d worry more about my water than about my food. Part of this is because we’ve generally got enough food stowed around here, what with the garden and all, and not enough water. Mostly, though, it’s because in the event of an emergency, your water supply is likely to be one of the first things to go… You’ll want to have it backed up, somehow.
Now, some sensible things: non-electric can openers. (Check. Note the plural…) A way to safely boil water, so you can prepare food. (Check. Also to sterilize things. And it provides heat, too–useful, this time of year.) A portable water filter. Sleeping bags for all family members. Gasoline and cords for your generator. (Or, you can move towards a solar generator–small one, 2 panels, 200w total–and skip the gasoline. And the noise.) Flashlights and batteries.
Hm… Full fuel tanks in all your vehicles. This is great, when you’ve got time to plan. The problem is that “emergencies” tend not to, as often as not–that’s part of what makes them emergent. (I generally try not to let a fuel tank get below 1/4, but that’s about as much service as I pay to this one.)
Medically necessary prescription meds. Check. Cell phones fully charged, with spare batteries. Spare batteries are a good idea; we’ve got a hard time keeping our phones charged, around here, though.
Colloidal silver… If you’re into that, I suppose. Yes, it’s arguably a water purifier; I’ve not seen it used, and wouldn’t necessarily trust it to be effective enough. But, that’s just my opinion, and I’m willing to be swayed.
Sponges for cleaning things when there’s no power. Not certain about this one… Personally, I’d go with washcloths and soap. Also, a bucket with a bleach solution, for when you’ve got to be certain. Sponges are harder to clean than washcloths, and start simply spreading the germs around instead of wiping them up rather quickly.
Minimum one large, fully-charged fire extinguisher. Check. We’ve got several–one for each fireplace, one for the stove, and one for outside. But then, I was a sailor; we had a thing about shipboard fires…
Backup power source: large 12V deep-cycle battery with an inverter, to charge cell phones and laptops. Here again, throw in a solar panel or two, plus a charge controller, and you’ve got a silent portable generator…
Here we go: cleaning agents. Dish soap, hand soap, bleach. Don’t forget a few more little things, like hand sanitizer, shampoo, and toothpaste.
Immune boosting tinctures and herbal supplements. Again, I’m not completely on the bandwagon with this one. If you are, go for it. (Don’t get me wrong–I know all about medicinal herbs; I’m just not sold on using them this way.)
Personal hygiene items, including toilet paper. This is just the beginning of a long list; perhaps the hand sanitizer and toothpaste fit in here? Then there’s the toothbrush itself; floss; brushes/combs; a towel; the list goes on.
Topical first-aid supplies: antiseptics, bandages, etc. Your basic first-aid kit.
Emergency multi-purpose knife. Check. This, plus assorted other knives and tools… Remember, redundant backups are a good idea. (“Two is one, one is none.”)
Nuclear preparedness: Do you have potassium iodide pills? I don’t, but then I’m probably less worried about nuclear accidents than most preppers… I just don’t think this is a high-likelihood event. Again, if it floats your boat, go for it.
Activities to pass the time when there’s no TV: Books, cards, games, etc. A little secret: we don’t have any TVs hooked up in our house. My wife, the kids and I read books, listen to music, and find other ways to ‘play.’ (Plus, we keep ‘adequately occupied’ with chores around the homestead…)
CB broadcasting radio so you can call for help if the cell towers are down. In this day and age, if the cell towers are down, they know there’s a problem… Two-way radios for you and your family to communicate: yes. This one we have; it helps for when I’m working in the barn, or on the far side of the field, and it’s dinnertime, or the like. And a wind-up radio to tune in to government broadcasts. Check. Also good for weather broadcasts, and listening to music… If you’ve got a moderately fancy one, you’ll also have a small solar panel, and a USB port for charging small devices.
Matches, lighters, and fire-starting devices. Fire sticks. Flint and steel. Check, check, check, check, and check. We’re set, for fire…
Copies of your important paperwork and ID documents: check. We probably need to go over ours and update it. (This is a good thing to do at least annually, along with going through your BoB and GhB.) Local map and compass: check. (You *do* know some land navigation, right?)
Pet preparedness: Do you have enough food and water for your animals? (And medical kits, and spare leashes and collars, and *their* documents, such as licenses, vaccination records, etc.)
Cold weather hiking shoes, a good hat to protect you from the elements, and a rugged backpack: all very useful. Particularly if the backpack is well-stocked. I’d take a bit of time to get the hiking shoes broken in, too: just enough that they’re comfortable and won’t raise blisters, then set them aside with the backpack.
Self-defense items to defend from possible looters: Well, maybe. This is where your personal philosophies really come into play. I’ve gone on about this one a number of times, and probably will in the future, and this is getting long, so I’ll leave it at that.
In all, not a bad list. I’d make some adjustments, but that’s just me. What say you?
As Thanksgiving is upon us, to be followed shortly by the rest of the holiday season, it’s time for a bit of a break. I’ll probably post a couple of times between now and the New Year, but I won’t be “weekly” again until January. Do stick around; after a bit of a breather, I’ll be back and ready to roll! (Plus, the ‘new’ Congress will have started messing with things, so we’ll have plenty to discuss…) Happy Holidays, everyone!