In our fast-changing, fast-growing world, possessing a disaster survival kit is becoming more of a necessity than an option. From the time when natural and man-made disasters where rare events; times have changed to disasters becoming more of a common place event.
Every now and then, we hear of hurricanes and snow-storms, cold winds and thundershowers, earthquakes and tsunami, landslides and forest fires, floods and volcanoes.
While some disasters are totally unexpected outcomes of nature, others have just been a time-bomb that was waiting to be set-off by an act of man or God! Whatever the reason and whatever the calamity, it is always better to be prepared; so that we can take care of the safety and well-being of our families and dear ones.
Many people consider themselves safe hiding behind a false belief that disasters are common place in all other cities and towns that are far away from their own. Instead of following such blind and impractical beliefs, it is important to wake up to reality and understand that even when we live in areas where natural or environmental disasters are rare, man-made calamities and political unrest can place us in disaster-like situations.
Therefore, being prepared is imperative and of utmost importance. The time to get a survival kit in place is not after a disaster has occurred; but before it happens. You need to be prepared for the worst, not the worst prepared!
In tune with the changing times, our markets are flooded with several off-the shelf disaster survival kits. All that you need to do is buy them and stock them with the additional perishable items. Some of these kits are designed to take care of your needs during specific emergencies, like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, snowstorms, etc; while some others are designed as a common kit for several disaster situations.
The common kits contain almost everything that you would need during most calamities. There are also those who like to prepare their own survival kit by procuring individual items and stocking things as per their own requirements.
Whether you decide to buy a kit off the shelf or make one on your own; there are some quintessential items that should be a part of your survival kit. And these include water and food, blankets or jackets, first aid supplies, batteries and chargers, torches and emergency lights, shoes and clothing, some basic tools and accessories. Expert suggestion on the actual quantity of water and food that needs to be stored, for each individual, differs.
However, it is best to determine this based on the climatic conditions in your region and the individual needs of your family. You also need to keep in mind that too much would make your survival kit too heavy and cumbersome to handle. You need to find the fine line between what you need and what you can afford to carry with you.
When it comes to first aid supplies, it is better to make your own kit with the necessary items for dressing wounds and other essential medicines; rather than go with ready to use first aid packs. Because more often than not; they just come with band-aids and basic lotions, which might not be sufficient during actual disaster situations.
Remember to include some basic pain-killers, anti-coagulants and pain relief lotions and sprays as part of your medical kit. If any family member is already on daily medication, these should also be included in your medicine kit. Sanitary and hygiene related material forms another important component of your survival kit.
While including blankets and jackets, you need to remember that these are intended to keep you warm; however, it should also be easy to carry around. Therefore, light-weight options are the ideal choices for your kit. Bright coloured ones could also add up as your signalling mechanism, in case you are lost or stranded.
When deciding on shoes, select those that can help you trek through long distances and will support and cushion your feet through the long walks. Choose clothing and accessories that are absolutely essential; you are on survival-mode, not on holiday-mode.
Some imperative accessories that are part of your survival kit should be selected with care; because, the regular or conventional contemporaries of these accessories might be futile in a disaster situation. Power-based, regular charging devices might not be a reliable source of powering up your accessories.
So ensure you have sufficient batteries to light up your torches; or even better, go for the self-charging torches and lights or solar panel chargers.
Although candles and matches can be included in your survival kit, they might not be an ideal option during hurricanes and storms. So ensure you also have light sticks or emergency lights. A radio and emergency phone could also act as an apt emergency communication system.
In addition to all these, there are several simple yet essential tools and equipments that could act as life-savers during emergencies. Therefore, your emergency kit should include a tool box with fire starters, multi-use pliers, ropes, duct tapes, pocket knives, saws, scissors, etc.
Tools and Equipment
While selecting the tools and equipment; choose ones that would help you save space, are compact, and at the same time serve multiple purposes. Flexibility, portability, light-weight and ease of use are some of the aspects you need to look into. For instance, a pocket chainsaw could be the preferred choice when compared to the conventional chainsaw.
Finally, a disaster survival kit should be something you can always pick up and move out during an emergency; and of course, something that will help you and your family survive in case of a calamity or disaster. So, don’t stuff too much and don’t forget the essentials. Plan well and plan ahead. After all, if you are missing the most important things, what use is a survival kit; and if it is too cumbersome, it is the same as having none.
Getting the right things in place and knowing you have the right things in place could make the difference between managing a disaster situation efficiently and just trying to keep alive through it. A survival kit does not guarantee your survival; but it can ensure your chances of survival are higher during unforeseen challenges.
Being prepared for the worst is always the best insurance for your family. And having a disaster survival kit is the first step towards it. Take the step and keep your family safe!