As Hurricane Sandy reminded people along the East Coast, the necessity of being prepared in the event of a disaster is more critical than ever. Catastrophes like Sandy and unforeseen events beyond our control can leave us extremely vulnerable. What do you do if power is lost for more than 2, 3 or even 5 days? What if you’re stuck on the road or at the office? We have compiled a list of survival kits that you may want to consider putting together, for the future.
Home Survival Kit
Living without power or having to evacuate your home is no easy affair during an emergency, but planning how to survive afterwards needs to be the utmost priority. While a flashlight and batteries are always good to have on hand, an adequate home kit will include an assortment of items for a minimum of three people. Emergency ration bars that are U.S. Coast Guard approved for a 72-hour food supply, along with emergency water boxes with straws are essential. For more options, consider purification tablets or a water filter, since they work best to remove bacteria. If you’re relying on canned food, make sure to have a basic G.I.-style can opener.
As for lighting and communication, don’t forget green or yellow light sticks, waterproof matches and a solar/hand crank-powered flashlight and weather band radio. No survival kit is complete without a first aid kit, safety whistles, space blanket, and sanitation products like toilet bags and chemicals. Finally, in addition to your home kit, you may want to consider a bug-out bag; a portable kit designed to carry items to survive for 72 hours when evacuating from a disaster. Beyond carrying food and water, it will allow you to store critical documents such as your license and birth certificate, as well as maps and travel information. The bug-out bag is meant for evacuation purposes only, and differs from traditional survival kits, which focus on the long term.
Office Survival Kit
The idea of remaining over night at the office certainly doesn’t sound appealing. But then again, emergency survival inherently entails inconveniences. Just like the home version, a good office kit will contain the most effective and reliable survival food and water supplies, as well as a radio for communication. Have a rough estimate of how many people work in the office, so that there are enough flashlights, headlamps, or battery powered lanterns to go around. First-aid and sanitation kits must be on the list, as well as a USB device charger, so your colleagues can stay in touch with family or friends during emergency situations.
Car Survival Kit
While car battery jumper cables, tire puncture seals and an oil funnel should be included in any car kit, you will also need a simple but durable nylon bag with handles, to store your essentials. Include a map, compass, duct tape, reflective tape or reflective triangles, and nylon rope. Pizza or a hamburger may be your preference for a meal on the road, but in this instance, protein bars for sustenance are much better suited for emergencies. Rounding out the car kit should be your first-aid kit, for potential cuts or injuries, an old cell phone for communication (keep it charged), and a flashlight or headlamp (the latter allows you to keep your hands free, while changing a flat tire).
Garage Survival Kit
A garage kit can consist of the items that you normally wouldn’t have enough room to store in your home. Items that are already part of your home kit can also be included in the garage version. However, now you can add bulkier items such as a generator, water jugs and containers, and even sleeping cots and fleece blankets if neighbor or friends ask to stay over. Since a garage is already used as a place for storage, maintaining clear access to you kit is imperative. Perhaps you can build or designate a shelf rack for organization and easy storage. You may also want to add a “distraction item” like a board game or deck of cards, to keep your mind off of the unsettling circumstances.
Sick Survival Kit
The idea of using a sick day at work is certainly tempting when you feel a bit under the weather. But what happens if you are suffering from the flu or someone in your household is sick and the power goes out. Having supplies on hand to sustain and nurse the sick and infirm can be the edge needed to survive an emergency. If there are special medical devices that are needed, make sure that these devices have a back-up power supply. Most do. Keep a crank radio handy, with a battery and a crank power supply, so the radio can work without batteries. A radio is an important piece of equipment, allowing you to keep informed on events and emergency messages that are being broadcast. Have on hand easy-intake foods and beverages, for when you’re suffering from a severe cold or flu. Chicken broth is perfect as it soothes the throat and is good for the body. Herbal tea and honey also act as a wonderful soother. Electrolyte drinks, like Gatorade, are important, since dehydration is a big concern for flu sufferers. Last but not least, keep a good supply of tissues and a working thermometer.
Zombie Survival Kit
Last but not least have you ever wandered around a heavily destroyed and ravaged planet, trying to survive while escaping human-like creatures who are trying to eat you? No? Well, just in case you do someday… (Yes, it’s a bit unconventional, but you want to be prepared for anything, don’t you?) Your zombie survival kit should have a solid balance between survival essentials and protective equipment. Your essentials should include water supply/filters, non-perishable food, warm loose-fitting clothing (range of motion is important), trail running shoes (you need to be fast on any terrain), and a fire starter/waterproof matches. If you can afford further luxuries, we suggest a hand crank radio/flashlight (many have USB charging capabilities), a headlamp, a fully loaded multi-tool (Zombie bites are bad. Splinters are also bad.), a roll-up dart board (good for entertainment, aggression, and target practice), emergency thermal blankets, and a bandana (unless you think the smell of rotting flesh is going to grow on you). For protective measures gather whatever weaponry you can. We recommend having an ice axe, which is light, portable, and can do a bit of damage (on ice or zombies) when necessary. Also investing in leather garments may be a good idea, as it’s difficult to bite through, and when life hurts, wear a helmet.
The examples listed above are just a few to consider as you decide which kits to put together. We will have another list shortly that will cover other scenarios, and if you have any ideas you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to add your comments below.