Creating an Emergency Kit
Hello January! With the new year ahead of us, and with everyone thinking about resolutions, January is a great time to get organized! One of our “must-do” in our new year check-list is to review our emergency kits. This includes rotating the non-perishable food and reviewing our emergency plans.
It’s wonderful living in west coast British Columbia. There’s the great big ocean on one side, the majestic mountains on the other and nestle in between are vibrant and exciting cities to occupy us with fun and adventure. With all the wonderful activities and the natural beauty of BC, we often forget that we also live in an area where there is a high potential for natural disasters. Whether it is an earthquake, flood, storm, or tsumani, we need to be prepared. I have heard many times that the west coast is due for the BIG ONE. And hearing the possible destruction it can cause, it got me thinking, “Am I ready?” With all honesty, I think no matter how prepare we think we are, we can never be fully prepared. However, I think being somewhat prepared is better than being NOT prepared at all.
Today I am going to share with you what
my husband I have prepared in my emergency kits. Keep in mind that the emergency kits are to be tailored to your own family’s needs. Generally there are 3 kits that we need to consider:
1. A Stay-at-Home Kit
2. A Car Kit
3. A Grab and Go Kit or what is often known as to survivalist as the “Bug Out Bag” (I learnt that from my husband)
A Stay at Home Kit
Here’s a sneak peek at my stay-at-home emergency kit.
The general rule of thumb is to plan for 3 days without power. Here’s a cute little checklist that includes the basic supplies that I found on the website at Project Envolve.
If you have the space, I will consider adding a butane stove. This has come in handy many times when we experience power outages here at home. You can see my butane stove in the photo above. I also stored my tealight candles here as they are a great alternative to the flashlight and come in handy when there is a shortage of batteries.
A photocopy of all the important documents such as Driver License, Passports, SIN, Birth certificates, bank accounts, property deeds, insurance policies etc. should also be kept in a waterproof bag. (I have to admit that I haven`t been organized enough to do this yet.)
I will have to say that the biggest challenge is finding the space to store the water. But do what you can. In the case if there is no running water, consider other safe water sources from your home such as the hot water tank and what is left in the pipes.
The Car Emergency Kit
An emergency can happen at any time. Aside from the basic car emergency items such as booster cables, tow rope, traction aids (items placed under the tires), and shovel, I also have a lithium battery pack. I also recommend for the ladies to keep a spare pair of sneakers in the back for those occasions when you are wearing heels or sandals. In the car, I always keep a flashlight and a pocket knife.
The Grab and Go Bag or the Bug Out Bag
This is where my husband has the most fun because he’s all about survival! His dream is to be one of the contestants in History Channel`s Alone TV reality series.
The Bug Out bag is used when natural disaster hits hard and you are forced to evacuate your home. Total mayhem is occurring and you are stuck out of your home but safe. You’ll need the bare essential supplies to survive. Space is an issue because you’ll want to keep everything compact and light. Here are a few things to consider when preparing a Bug Out bag:
- Water – There are many things that we can go without but water is not one of them. You can go through several weeks without food but severe dehydration can occur in just a few days. For our water supplies, we have a water bottle with a water filtration device. There are other options such as purification tablets and water pouches.
- Shelter – You’ll need protection from the elements. In some cases, shelter can be even more important than water. You don’t need anything glamorous at a time of emergency. A tarp, a insulated blanket, and some rope is all that is required. Remember you want to keep everything compact.
- Food – You’ll want food that has high energy content and will last a long time. Energy bars, trail bars and even MREs (Meals- ready-to-eat) are great.
- First Aid Kit – Just a simple first aid kit that has the essentials will do. Such as gauze, tape, disinfectant, gauze and scissors. Remember to include any prescriptions if required. We also carry Aspirin, Benadryl , and a product called Quick Clot for serious cuts.
- Fire – Fire is heaven sent when you need to survive. You can use it to cook, purify water, it provides light and heat. I have included a flint rod to help create sparks to be caught by a fluffed out cotton ball. The Bic lighter and candles will also be of benefit.
- Personal Hygiene – As a dental hygienist my eyelids would twitch if I go through a day without brushing twice. Floss can also become a useful tool for securing things as well. Toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and hand sanitizers are required to prevent the spread of infections.
- Tools such as flashlights, mirror to direct light and signal for help, whistle to alert attention, knife and multi-purpose tools are super handy.
What do you keep in your emergency supplies? Is there anything you’ll recommend?
There are so many things to consider at a time of emergency it is difficult to discuss them all. Remember it is important to stay inform, have a plan in place, and review the plan with the family. I have noticed that going through the emergency items and plan with my kids, they have an increased sense of confidence that at least we have some things prepared. After all, one of our best treasure is our family. We love them and we want to keep them safe.