Imagine you are sitting on your couch one day and suddenly, on the news channel, there is a warning broadcast about an imminent natural disaster which will hit the city in a few hours. You can hear the alarms blaring and a warning announcement telling people to brace themselves for the impact. With everyone around you panicking and praying, there is only one good part in this whole situation. This is that you are a survivalist and have prepared beforehand to keep yourself and your family safe from this kind of catastrophic situation. You take your family and head down to the basement, which you had renovated to sustain even the worst kinds of disasters.
Now, assume that the warning was right and the disaster did hit your city. There is no natural gas, no electricity, no telephone service, no running water, or any other necessary utility anymore. Moreover, the damage outside is pretty bad too and you cannot leave your house, and it is impossible to reach any emergency services for help. Basically, you are on your own now and the survival of your family is dependent on how you respond to this alarming situation.
So what will you do in such a situation? You may think that this is a movie-like situation, but natural disasters happen all around the world of varying magnitudes, and it is possible that you may face this scenario one day. It is best that you devise an action plan in order to survive the worst possible situation. Also, you should have a survival kit ready and have all the essential items in it “before” they are needed. The contents of the kit should be able to keep you alive and going for at least three days.
So in order to prepare yourself for such unforeseen, disastrous situations, consider the following things:
Food Preparation and Storage
Among the things that ensure survival and keep us from losing sanity, one of them is food. Although a normal human being can survive without food for a month or more, its unavailability has a severe psychological effect. When out shopping for food items to include in your survival kit, remember that the best options are those foods which can stay fresh for long periods such as canned food which have expiry dates of more than a year. Other good options are “dry foods” like pasta, cereals, grains, noodles, etc. Moreover, don’t forget to buy instant meals or meals that are ready to eat (MREs), which comes in foil packets and only need a small amount of water for preparation.
Make sure that you also shop for things that are required for preparing these foods such as a portable camp stove, wood burning stove, or even a BBQ grill would do. Next, you have to decide which fuel you need to buy to use for cooking. You can go for white gas as it is cheap and can be used as a fuel for your car’s gas tank too. Another great option is propane gas which is safer, easier to use and cleaner.
One thing you should keep in mind is to not make the mistake of using a charcoal BBQ grill inside an enclosed space, as charcoal, when burnt, emits CO gas that is harmful enough to kill anyone. If you are going to use the charcoal grill, then use it in an open space.
Water for Drinking Washing and Sanitation
As mentioned before, human beings can survive without food for more than a month, but in case of water, you will die in just 3 to 4 days due to dehydration. It is essential that you store plenty of fresh water to make sure that you stay hydrated until the authorities come to your rescue. So depending upon the number of family members, you should store 1 gallon per person per day. For example, if you have total 4 members in your family, then you would need around 16 gallons for everyone to stay properly hydrated for 4 days.
This is the amount of water for drinking purposes only. You will need water for sanitation and washing purposes as well. For starters, after the disaster, if there is still water running in the taps, then fill your bathtubs and every water bucket in the house. However, there is a chance that the water has been contaminated, so be sure you see that it is “usable”. Moreover, some options for storing tap water for washing and sanitation purposes include 55-gallon rain barrels, interlocking containers, bleach bottles, and many others.
While out shopping for the food items, head to the hardware section and pick up a few high quality flashlights. You need to buy plenty of lithium or alkaline batteries to power these flashlights too. The LED based emergency lights are a suitable option for such situations, as they give powerful light and their batteries last a lot longer than regular flashlights. Another option to consider is a mantle lantern, which will be helpful if LED emergency lights and flashlights run out of juice.
First Aid Kit
After a disaster, hospitals and clinics will be full of injured patients, and there is a chance that these institutions will get severely damaged and won’t be operational. It is best that you store painkillers and other mainstream medications. Moreover, make sure that you store extra prescription medicines, if you or any other family member is dependent on them. For first aid, you should consider taking a course from a reputable institution. This will also help you know about the items that are an essential part of a first aid kit.
Other Items for Survival Kit
- Camping stove or BBQ with gas cylinder for cooking
- Cooking pot or pan, plastic plates, knives, forks etc.
- Sturdy footwear
- Sleeping bags and blankets
- Matches or lighter
- Can opener
- Battery operated radio (for emergency news and warnings).
- Weatherproof clothing