Monday, August 24, 2015

Are YOU ready for an emergency? 10 Items to Survive

Imagine you're on your way home from an afternoon of successful errands. You have your three kids in the car, your large diet coke for fuel and you're pretty much rocking the afternoon. You're thinking about the spelling test your oldest has tomorrow and that you should have grabbed the list to be drilling her in the car. You need to remember to turn the meat in the crockpot down when you get home and do the wrinkle release on the dryer setting before soccer tonight or the uniforms will be all crumpled. But other than that, you've pretty much got the evening covered.

You're rocking out to Frozen like this funny daddy and daughter duo (press play) or Taylor Swift (come on... we're ALL feelin' twenty-two). But suddenly the radio is cut off and replaced by that annoying high-pitched beep that signals an emergency broadcast.

You make a face at the dashboard and switch stations. Except every one has been replaced with the broadcast. You get a little twinge in your gut that you always get whenever you know something is amiss, and you glance in your rear view at your cute kiddos, at their mini-you faces and you see the innocence of youth. 

That's the moment you'll remember ten years from now when you're telling the story of where you were when you first heard about it. Because when there's a national emergency you can't NOT remember those first few moments. The sense of time shifting. The uneasiness that coats that air and permeates the scared and brave looks everyone gives one another. The weightlessness as if everything has shifted beneath you. Because you know...nothing will ever be the same. 
(image source)
That's the sense you get as you read Station Eleven, the book we read this month. The book spans decades as a virus wipes out the vast majority of the population. I was left pondering my own family, my own situation and how we would handle something like that. It made me think of the lengths I would go to to protect and provide for my family. It made me wonder how far I could push myself. It made me think about what I would be able to contribute to a much simpler society, one without electricity or many of the things we think of as basic necessities. If I could survive, what value could I add to a fledgling society? 

In the midst of my pondering, it made me want to have the supplies I really would need in the event of an emergency. This isn't such a far-fetched notion. Think about Hurricane Katrina and all of the displaced families. There are lots of global examples I won't go into right now. Utah is famous for pushing emergency preparedness, but just in case you aren't sure what you would need for your family, here's a list.

(image source)
1) Water/Water Filters - Dehydration is a very real threat that quickly becomes the number one issue. If you have access to water and a way to filter it, you have a much better chance of being able to ride out an emergency from the safety of your own home. If you don't have a way to filter your water, always try to boil it before drinking. 

(image source)
2) Food - You need more than 72 hours worth of food. I know that's not what anyone wants to hear, but most of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were still in need of emergency food rations two weeks later. Canned goods that are high in nutritional content and preferably don't have to be cooked are great options. You can get the freeze dried food that hikers use or there are meals that are made for the military. There are many food storage options if you are looking to build your stash. 

(image source)
3) First Aid Kit - Your first aid kit should include: band-aids of various sizes, gauze, scissors and tweezers, medical tape, antibacterial/disinfectant wipes, pain relievers, items to treat small cuts/bug stings/burns/splinters/eye injuries, an Epi-pen if anyone has severe allergies, and any prescription meds people in your family need. 

(image source)
4) A Multi-Function Tool - This type of tool can be found with various features for various prices. Most contain a phillips and flat screwdriver, pliers, folding knife, wire cutter, metal file, hole punch and a saw. This baby will come in handy for sure. 

(image source)
5) Flashlights and Batteries -  You should have several LED flashlights with lots of back-up batteries. At least a couple of your flashlights should be waterproof. You may also want to have other options to power some flashlights besides batteries. A few options are hand crank models or magnetic shake lights. 

(image source)
6) Lighter/Matches - You  may end up needing them for light, for warmth, to heat something, to cook, boil water or sterilize medical equipment. It's also good to have some form of "tinder" and a sparking device. Make sure you have some waterproof matches on hand.

(image source)
7) Duct Tape - I once heard Duct Tape compared to The Force . . .  it has a dark side and a light side and it holds the universe together. Turns out, in an emergency situation that's actually true. You'd be surprised by all its clever uses. 

(image source)
8) Paracord - This one was something I hadn't thought of. This type of cordage will allow you to tie down items or hold them with a strong cord that won't break. 

(image source)
9) Personal Hygiene Kit - This may not seem like something that should be on a top ten list . . . until you don't have those things anymore. A huge key to basic survival is keeping your head on straight and not panicking. The more you feel like like yourself, the better you will be able to cope with the added stress of a situation. A take-away from two of my favorite books, Unbroken (Here's our UNBROKEN RECAP) and Between Shades of Gray (BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY RECAP) is that having a strong will and keeping positive in dire situations can actually save your life.

(image source)
10) Grab and Go Bag - You may not have the luxury of staying put in an emergency situation. You should have a bag for each family members with at least 72 hours worth of supplies in it. You should have all the items previously mentioned as well as current-size clothing and copies of important documents/licenses/papers. You may also want copies of valued pictures. The bags should be sturdy and waterproof. In the beginning they might be quite heavy, but if it makes it so you can survive, it will be worth the added pounds. Plus the weight would diminish as you eat your food. Your Grab and Go bags should be somewhere easily accessible to an exit from your home. 

Reading Station Eleven was very thought-provoking and as you can see, it had a lasting impact on me. It was a good reminder to pay attention to my own level of preparedness, which is currently lacking. Hopefully this quick list provides your with enough information and motivation to get started without being overwhelmed. 

You never know when something might happen that could change everything. 

And if the emergency turns out to be Zombie related . . . 
(image source)
See ya next time! Your Writerly Ranter,


Unknown said...

If I am not wrong, I think the Paracord has helped me out more than three times when out camping, trekking, or hiking. These are great uses of Paracord you have here. I will try #18, thanks for sharing this info, by the way. Here is another great post I read on Paracord uses:

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Zombies or not, I make sure my family is prepared for any emergencies during camping. We also have a bug out bag which has all our needed supplies in case of natural calamities, disaster and even a terrorist attack. I think we should all be ready because these are difficult times and very fickle. I agree with you, top of my list is my ever expanding first aid kit, water purifier and foodstuff. I think this is a great top survival gear and it's a no-brainer that we need those first aid kits in all situation. For more on this, see this great site

Damian Smith said...

Great tips for disinfectant wipes, We are using home wipes to use it for household items and it is 100% natural bamboo wipes which is antibacterial disinfectant with a pleasant scent. If you need to buy natural wipes, I highly recommend WOW Wipes which is 100% natural. Now you can buy it from online @

indianpackersmovers said...

Movers and Packers in Santacruz East
Movers and Packers in Santacruz West
Movers and Packers in Vile Parle East
Movers and Packers in Vile Parle West
Movers and Packers in Panvel