Common Sense Survival Gear

Get Prepared

Why bother getting prepared for a disaster?

Really, what’s all the fuss about? The odds are in your favor that you will never experience an EMP attack or a zombie invasion. While the norms of a polite society, along with the US economy, seem to be deteriorating, the chance that we will be suddenly plunged into a post-apocalyptic scenario, worthy of a Hollywood script, is slim.

But consider this: there are realistic scenarios, big and small, that can be made less traumatic with some simple preparations.

  • Your neighbor’s dryer catches fire in the middle of the night and you find yourself having to evacuate your home with barely enough time to pull on your pants and gather the family and pets.
  • The water main on your street finally gives in to the rust and corrosion that has been working on it for the last 20 years. Again, you find yourself scrambling to get to a dryer location as your basement becomes an impromptu swimming pool.
  • A neighbor, who you’ve never really cared for, turns out to be operating a full scale meth lab next door (you always suspected!). Once the authorities open that can of worms you will be temporarily evacuated from your home while they clean up all the hazardous chemicals.
  • Your car breaks down, in the middle of the night, on a remote highway, in the dead of winter (speaking from experience here …)
  • Fire or flood, seemingly now more common in more parts of the country, force you from your home with little or no notice.

Whether it’s a family emergency, a neighborhood disaster or a nationwide event, having a well thought out emergency kit, handy to grab at a moment’s notice, immediately takes away one large stress point. You know you have enough food, water and first aid to survive for at least three days. Additionally, you have some tools and gear that may actually make this new situation that you’ve been thrown into more comfortable.

Components of a Survival Kit

There are three main components that should form the foundation of your kit: food, water and shelter.

  • Food: 1200 calories per day is the minimum recommended calorie count for an adult not doing any exercise. If you are climbing, hiking, swimming, digging or engaging in another strenuous activity, you’ll need to increase the amount of calories you consume accordingly. You can supplement the calories in your emergency kit by learning what local plants are edible, as well as with hunting and fishing.
  • Water: You should have a minimum of two quarts of water, per person, per day. This is drinking water only. Any water used for hygiene is in addition to these two quarts per day. If you are in a situation that requires any kind of strenuous activities, or in hotter climates, you will need more water.
  • Shelter: Exposure is a killer! In cold climates you should include clothes for layering (avoid cotton), along with hat and gloves. In warmer areas, include items that will help keep the sun off of you (hat, bandanna, small tarp). Be careful: whether you are in a cold or a hot environment, high humidity will increase the effect of the temperature.

Don’t forget your pets! They’ll need food and water in the case of emergency as well.