Disaster can strike at any time and may not give you adequate warning to gather needed supplies and protection. In order to make sure your family has adequate food, water, shelter, and safety provisions, you should prepare an emergency kit ahead of time. In a severe emergency, help may not arrive for several days or more, so it’s important to make sure you have enough supplies to carry you through an extended period of time without electricity, water, or gas.
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A well-stocked disaster survival kit could mean the difference between life and death in a catastrophic emergency. It can also boost morale and keep the kids entertained if you plan sufficiently. Focus on stocking essentials first, and then consider some comfort items for each member of your family.
In an emergency survival situation, there are five basic skills that you need to know. These skills, which can be learned easily, give you the ability to sustain the basic needs of life and provide you with enough know-how to survive until you can be rescued.
- Water. More than anything else, your body needs water. Without food you can last several weeks, but without water it is only a matter of days before you will expire. If you find yourself in a situation where you have no clean water, your first priority should be finding some. If you find a questionable water source, look for a way to boil or filter it to prevent illness. Once you have water, carefully ration it, especially if you do not know how long your predicament could last. Water—Perhaps the most important item to include in your kit, plan for at least one gallon of water per person per day.
- Food—Stock items that your family enjoys, including some comfort foods such as coffee, soda, cookies, and favorite snacks.
- Fire. While fire obviously is necessary to provide warmth, in a survival situation it can be used for far more than simply heating your chilled toes. A fire can sanitize water, as well as cook or dehydrate meat. It is also effective as both a source of light and as a signaling device. In addition, since most animals are afraid of fire, it can act as a protection from dangerous beasts.In light of the essential nature of fire in a survival situation, fire starting devices take on new importance. Waterproof matches, butane lighters, fire steel, or a magnesium fire starter are all efficient and consistent ways to start a fire. Having these on hand means that you will not have to resort to more primitive methods of achieving fire.
- Shelter. When most people think of shelter, they think of a structure of some kind. However, in an emergency, any form of shelter is a step in the right direction. Start with clothing. Wearing multiple layers to provide varying degrees of shelter from the elements. Next, look for a place where you can take cover at night. Even a leafy tree can provide the needed protection. If you have the strength and the ingenuity, the next step would be building a more stable shelter out of available materials. Shelter—Plan for cold weather by stocking blankets for each family member. You may also want to keep a tent in your car in case you are away from home and other shelter isn’t available.
- First Aid. Investing in a quality first aid kit is a decision you will not likely regret. In a survival situation it could easily save your life. As a precaution, taking a first aid class would also help you to prepare for the unexpected. If you find yourself in a situation where your first aid skills are not adequate, do your best to remain calm. Signal for help and try to relax while you wait for assistance. First aid supplies—Include any prescription medications your family takes, especially heart or blood pressure medication, insulin, and pain relievers. Also include items for controlling bleeding, bandaging sprains, and setting broken limbs.
- Signaling. If you find yourself stranded and in need of help, signaling can save your life. The standard protocol for a distress signal is three of something. Consequently, three blasts from a whistle or a gun, or a triangular structure of some kind, can all be understood as a cry for help. A signal fire is also an effective way of signaling for help.
- Communication—Keep a cell phone charger in each disaster survival kit. If you lose cell phone coverage, plan for a backup communication method such as a wireless short-wave radio.
- Lighting—Provide a flashlight and extra batteries for each survival kit. In addition, you may want to keep larger battery powered lighting in your car as well as emergency flares.
Special Considerations for Your Disaster Survival Kit
Comfort items—Extended isolation can place strain on families, so pack some books and toys for the kids and make sure you’ve included glasses and contact solution for those who need them.
Important documents—Make sure documents such as birth and death certificates, insurance information, and health records are kept in a fireproof box that can be grabbed quickly if you need to evacuate.
Special needs—Don’t forget diapers and formula for the baby, pet food and blankets for your animals, and any needed supplies for elderly members of your family such as dentures and denture cleansers, hearing aid supplies and extra batteries.
Basic survival skills are necessary in almost every emergency situation. Knowing how to meet your most basic needs will prove invaluable to both you and those around you. Make sure to always be prepared and think about packing a Survival Kit in your car for any situation. Prepare today for whatever that could happen in the future.
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Be Ready With An LDS 72 Kit
Few people have a crystal ball that will tell them when a disaster or emergency will strike.While government agencies do keep track of weather patterns and ground movements, not every disaster will give warning that it is going to occur.The recent tsunami in northern Japan was seemingly a surprise to everyone, and the people there were caught unawares.The scope of the disaster was such that preparation would have been impossible in any case, but most people will not be faced by a catastrophe of this magnitude.Making sure that you will be able to survive the first days after a disaster will be much easier if you have an LDS 72 Kit in your home.
Designed by Survival Experts
The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) has always adhered to the concept of being prepared for the worst, and the LDS 72 Kit is a reflection of that philosophy.This kit is not meant to provide for long term survival, but rather to see you through the first critical three days following an emergency.As the highly trained rescue units in this country will be working right away to respond to the situation, you will generally only need a few days of survival supplies to see you through.
The LDS 72 Kit has been put together by experts in the field, who are applying 30 years of survival knowledge to provide you with this kit.Everything in the kit is contained in an easy to carry backpack, and you can keep one in your car, or at any convenient position in your home.If a power outage might be the worst that you will face, you can probably keep the kit in a closet.However, if you might have to leave quickly, stowing the LDS 72 near the door you are likely to use as an exit will save precious seconds.
It would cost you considerably more to assemble a kit of this caliber yourself.
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The Contents of the Kit
You will definitely find everything you need to survive three days of an emergency situation in the LDS 72 Kit.Three packs of water are in the kit, along with 50 water purification tablets. Nutritional bars, providing enough calories each for one day, are supplied.There is an emergency tent that will accommodate two people in the kit, along with four emergency blankets and ponchos.Hypothermia can be a real danger following a disaster, but the emergency gear included will help to keep you warm.
When things are confused, it is easier for minor injuries to occur, which is why the LDS 72 Kit contains a first aid kit. This kit will allow you treat cuts and scrapes easily.And this kit also contains a battery powered radio that will help you to know what is going on around you.Government announcements are often of vital importance at a time like this, it is not the time to be completely isolated.Light sticks and a flashlight are included, as is a utility knife. Having one of these kits handy can make a real difference in how you manage the emergency.
Have Kits and Supplies on Hand
Consider the basics of survival when thinking about preparing for a disaster:
- Clean Water
- Things to Eat
- Fresh Air
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Items That Should Be Included in an Emergency Survival Kit:
- One gallon of water per person for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
- A three day supply of non-perishable food for each family member
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Battery operated flashlight with extra batteries
- Anything loud such as a whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Items for personal sanitation including wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and garbage bags
- Wrench, pliers, and any other tools needed to shut off utilities.
- Can opener for food items
- Maps of local areas
- Cell phones with charges
Additional Items That Would Be Helpful in an Emergency Survival Kit:
- Important medications for each family member and glasses
- Infant food, formula, bottles, diapers, and wipes
- Be sure to take into consideration pets when stocking your drinking water, also you should add pet food to your kit
- Have all important family identification records in a waterproof container
- Cash, traveler’s checks, and change
- Emergency reference pamphlets that you can receive from www.ready.gov
- Sleeping bags and blankets for each person
- Complete change of clothing for each person in the house.Include a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes to protect your body from debris. Add additional clothing according to the climate.
- Chlorine bleach and medicine dropper.The bleach can be used as a disinfectant and to treat contaminated water.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Waterproof container with matches and lighters
- Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
- Paper, cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils to eat with
- Waterproof container with paper and pencils
- Activities to keep children occupied such as books, games, and puzzles
Where Can You Go?
While some emergency and disasters can be gotten through in your home, sometimes your home may be rendered uninhabitable. Tornadoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes can make a home so damaged as to be unsafe, or can utterly destroy it. Sometimes it is impractical or impossible to leave the area, and you and your family will have to remain. Even if the weather is not cold, living and sleeping in the open is neither comfortable nor healthy, and getting yourself and your family into shelter is very important. In this case, a tent is the answer.
Choosing a tent should not be too difficult, and the tent can be stored either in the house or in an outbuilding for use if required. There are several popular tent models that can help you to provide shelter when you need it.
If you have a small family, two adults and a child, the Coleman SunDome can provide you with emergency housing at a reasonable cost. This is a “home” that can be put up in less than 10 minutes, which means you can get out of the rain fast. You will be able to stay dry and snug in this tent, even though adequate ventilation is provided, and this tent has been able to stand up to 30 mile per hour winds.
Wenzel Pine Ridge
Slightly larger families will definitely find the Coleman SunDome cramped and impractical, so you might consider that the next step up will be the Wenzel Pine Ridge. This tent can accommodate four to five adults, so at least three children, besides the parents, can undoubtedly be comfortable. This tent provides 80 square feet of space and is 5 feet high at the center. There is a divider built into the tent that will give you two rooms, if you so desire.
Swiss Gear Montreaux Family Dome
If you are really looking for a home away from home, you should consider the Swiss Gear Family Dome. This tent is large enough to enable an adult to stand up in and has one large room, and two smaller rooms off to the side. This tent can actually sleep ten people, so should be able to provide shelter for a large family. While the above two tents are relatively light (ten pounds or less), this larger tent weights about 37 pounds.
Browning Camping Glacier
Not all disasters occur during the spring, summer, or fall, and if an emergency that renders your home uninhabitable happens during the winter, you may find the average tent uncomfortable. With the rigors of cold weather in mind, Browning has created the four season tent. Roll and Go Emergency Kit This tent has room for 4 people, although if children are involved, it could probably be used for two adults and three children. The tent material and flooring are heavier than what is usually used, and this tent is made to withstand both cold temperatures and high winds.
Make sure where ever you seek refuge, you also prepare your family with a survival kit that offers everything you need for your stay during an emergency away from home.
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