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Survival or Emergency kits are able to save lives. No, we’re not trying to exaggerate; they can and do.
You may already be in your home or car with some form of an emergency kit and you don’t even know it. This could be a case of water in case you’re snowed in, several flashlights and candles in case the power goes out of the thunderstorm, or a box of bandages in case you get hurt.
Whatever it is, in times of dire straits, emergency kits are becoming ever more valuable. It can get us out of a pickle, lead us into the night, and give us a much-needed sense of safety. Whatever situation we can find ourselves in, it gives us peace of mind to know that we can rely on our survival kit. We should feel assured that it will take care of our families and that the situation will pass.
Also, look at it in this perspective. Preparing for a social event, a job interview or filing tax on time requires planning in a normal life scenario. Doing so timely removes the stress of trying to construct what you need to reach a deadline. The same should apply to unplanned emergencies like an earthquake, terrorist attack, or wildfire.
We’re giving you eight reasons for having an emergency kit in this article. We’ll show you later the materials you need to make your own package together.
What is an emergency kit or survival kit?
Also known as a survival kit, disaster kit and emergency preparedness kit, an emergency kit is a pack containing essential supplies for emergency use. An emergency may occur as a natural disaster, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, landslides, or man-made causes, such as forest fires and gas explosions.
The emergency kit is intended to ensure the health and security of the person or persons who use it.
What do they look like?
There are a number of different types of survival kits (for example, backpacks, satchels, buckets, duffel bags). They can include everything from basic survival resources such as water, food, and first aid needs to specific things that suit the needs of your family (more on that later).
Ideally, the items you select for your kit will contribute to the emergency for which you are preparing. That might not be realistic because emergencies can be unpredictable and can grow without notice. That’s why packing additional items and even things you don’t plan using is always smart.
8 reasons to have an emergency kit?
1. It can and hopefully not happen to you
If you don’t think an accident will happen to you right now, then you’re in for a rude awakening. Disasters can occur to anybody at any time. Just look at the past year; California’s raging wildfires, Puerto Rico’s hurricanes, and most recently a tropical thunderstorm in the Carolinas that killed many people and dislocated a large swath of their residents.
You may also be dealing with emergencies on a much smaller scale. Imagine driving down a road; a deer jumps in front of you from nowhere. Your cell phone does not receive any coverage, and even worse, your vehicle is so destroyed that it is undrivable. An emergency kit could allow you to call for help or provide you with the tools to stay safe in a situation like this.
2. Bring peace to your mind
The world’s hardest thing for us is not realizing what’s going to happen. Disasters and crises are part of what we all fear, the great unknown. We’re wondering, “What if that happens or if it happens?” The bad news is that there is no way to predict the exact extent or direction of an impending catastrophe, even with our technological advances. But the good news is that by being prepared, we can understand a sense of security.
You can give us that sense of security by having an emergency kit ready. It could help ease our worries and lessen our stress in a difficult time. Understanding that in case of an emergency, it will be available to us, we can breathe a sigh of relief, even if it’s just a small one.
3. An emergency survival kit is easy and affordable
Compared to the cost of weathering an emergency without one, the price you pay for an emergency kit is small. You can purchase a pre-assembled kit from the Red Cross store online or from any other seller of emergency preparedness kits. The price varies according to what’s going on inside the kit. You can buy a basic kit for less than $30. It will cost a little more complex kits with electronic devices and batteries.
You can put your own package together if you’re more of a do-it-yourself guy. See below for a list of items in your kit that we recommend.
4. Communicate with the outside world
We can be cut off from the outside world by emergencies. Phone lines and cell towers could be down in the worst situations, and we would have no way to contact our loved ones or ask for help.
Fortunately, it is impossible to avoid, but preventable. Be sure to include communication supplies such as a battery-powered or solar radio and portable cell phone chargers when putting together your emergency kit.
5. Receive information from the outside world
It is just as important to be able to access local alerts and emergency information, to be able to communicate with the outside world. Knowing what’s going on in your area (and what’s going to happen) will help protect you and your family in case of an emergency.
A well-placed kit should include an AM / FM frequency radio, ideally hand-cranked since batteries are not needed.
6. Your family
We all have people we’d do anything for in our lives. In an emergency, that statement has never been truer. The responsibility to defend the families when disasters occur can be difficult to carry out. With an emergency kit ready to go, you can worry less about locating essential supplies and focus more on caring for your family.
This could mean exposure to the toys and games if you have small children to give them a sense of normalcy. This could mean access to life-saving medications and medical supplies for elderly members of your family that they need to rely on for their medical conditions.
7. Think about your pet(s)
Our furry friends are depending on us to protect them from this world’s bad things. Perhaps we can’t let them down. In times of emergencies, when our attention is tuned to caring for our family, it is easy for us to forget about our pets.
As part of our emergency kit, storing pet supplies and pet food would help ensure that our pets are also taken care of. If your pets have special needs, require a specific prescription, or are particularly careful about aggressive or unexpected changes in their environment, you should prepare your kit accordingly.
8. Helping others
We could all use an extra pair of hands as crises strike. Getting an emergency kit with you could help others in need a long way. You may have extra food and water to lend, or spare batteries and flashlights.
It may be your neighbor, your friend, or a complete stranger, the person you are supporting. In any situation, it is possible to provide yourself with an emergency kit to save the lives of other people. There’s no other explanation than that.
How and what to have in your survival emergency kit
Whether you purchase a survival kit or assemble one from parts that can be ordered from a reputable supplier, you can follow a diagram that contains everything you need to survive in your geographic area. In addition to basic human needs, you must ensure that you can cope in your environment under extreme conditions such as bitter cold or intense heat. Proper clothing and the ability to keep fire dry, or to have sunscreen and portable protection that is not harmed by the rays and heat stroke of the sun, are all part of the equation.
Having a kit for survival can make life much easier in a situation of survival. While no kit can ever substitute good knowledge of old fashion and training, having one is an essential part of the preparation equation.
A few different types of kits are recommended by most survivalists.
- The first form is called an EDC (Every Day Carry) and you always have it with you. Typically it is small enough to fit in your pocket, in your car, and is loaded with only essential items of survival.
- A Bug Out Bag is called the second form. A Bug Out Bag takes the concept of EDC but amplifies it for conditions of long-term survival. It’s just a larger version of your EDC, but it includes more things after a tragedy that you need to survive. A Bug Out Bag is designed to grab at the notice of a moment; it should always be placed somewhere during an evacuation where you can easily access it.
Your emergency kit should have the following basic supplies:
- Food and water (Red Cross recommends three days of supplies for each person)
- First aid kit
- Extra clothing
- Medications and medical supplies
- Emergency radios, solar radios recommended
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items (tissue packs, toilet bags, toilet chemicals, etc.)
- Extra cash
- Personal documents, including medical information
- Maps of the area
Your first aid kit should include at a minimum:
- Alcohol prep pads
- Burn-cream ointment
- Cold compress
- Trauma pads
- Cotton tips
If you are going to be outdoors, your kit should have:
- Blankets and sleeping bags
- Canopy shelter
- Sleeping pads
Consider also adding these additional items to your kit:
- Special medical supplies such as glasses, hearing aid, and syringes
- Pet foods and supplies
- Baby foods and supplies
- Entertainment for children
When selecting a container, try to find something that has more than one use or something that is discreet. For example, you can use:
- A Metal Band-Aid Box
- A Plastic First Aid Case
- Altoids tins
- Ammunition Boxes
- Old Plastic Hiking Bottles
Ideally, your case should be:
- Waterproof, or Water-repellent (or vacuum-sealed in airtight plastic)
- Easy to carry
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When we go through our life’s motions, we neglect to think about the possible impact of disasters. The reality is that any time a disaster can strike, and it can happen to any of us.
We can put our minds at ease with an emergency kit. We can feel safer knowing that we are ready to deal with the unexpected. Furthermore, emergency kits can provide us with a communication channel with the outside world where we can connect with loved ones and receive important updates. But most of all, an emergency kit can help us to look after our beloved family, kids, pets, neighbors and needy strangers.