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The most important part of off-grid living and emergency preparedness is having an alternate power source with the ability to recharge batteries.
During an emergency situation or a disaster, it is very helpful to have an extra supply of survival materials. These may include, first aid kits, medicines, food and water, and even money.
It is also ideal to have enough supplies for the next seventy-two hours, equivalent to three days, while other members of the family, rescuers or emergency responders are focusing their attention to people with urgent necessities.
Whatever the nature of the emergency situation, it is best to keep an emergency kit always. The items that are present in an emergency kit are easily available.
The Significance of An Emergency Kit
An emergency kit can contain essential items used on a particular occasion and for emergency purposes.
Travellers normally carry an emergency kit that contains money, first-aid kit, flashlight and batteries, candles, waterproof matches, can opener, canned and packed food and potable water.
An emergency kit can also be prepared in homes by homeowners. It could contain the basic necessities, tools and equipment that can be used in times of emergency or calamity.
An emergency kit can be composed of a storage bag containing the basic entities. It may also contain first aid kit, essential equipment that can be used in calamities or during dark periods and communication devices. The size of the kit may vary depending on the number of items that can be stored.
An emergency kit is very important in times of calamities where people are confined in their houses for a few days or staying in an evacuation centre.
You should prepare the emergency kit for a minimum of three days. It should also be stored safely and securely. An emergency kit is significant for the survival of a person, a group of persons or a family in times of disasters.
An emergency kit is similar to a survival kit. Perhaps, the two are interchangeable terms although military operations prefer to call the items packed and stored for emergency uses as survival kits.
Meanwhile, campers use the term bug-out bags for emergency kits or survival kits. Homeowners may prefer to name the collection of items for emergency uses as an emergency kit.
An emergency kit can be customized according to the needs of the users. It may include more than just the basic necessities. However, the things that can be stored should be essential and usable.
To be prepared in times of disasters is a helpful attitude to have. Preparing the emergency kit is one of the helpful ways to overcome the challenges in a survival situation. Aside from the emergency kit, individuals may also have to make an emergency plan.
An emergency preparedness plan can be made for an individual or for the family. It helps a person or a family the proper things to do in case of an emergency. Making an emergency plan may just take less than an hour.
The occurrence of disasters has definitely soared to an alarmingly high frequency. With unexpected destruction caused by a variety of different hazards and ever-occurring emergency situations, it is highly imperative to own a number of essential tools that ensure safety.
Without these tools, tackling emergencies can prove to be quite a challenge. You may be thinking about buying extra supplies that are hard to find. But no, much of the materials found in an emergency kit are the typical home supplies.
The issue is how you can put all these common household supplies into a useful emergency kit. There are basically three things you need to consider when preparing and putting up an emergency kit. Consider a basic emergency kit, extra emergency supplies and an emergency car kit.
Also include duplicates of your house and car keys, cash bills, coins for calling payphones and a copy of your emergency preparedness plan.
Emergency Kit Basics:
Come up with a compact storage or a convenient-to-carry bag for these emergency kit supplies. Store it in places where it is easily accessible.
Since some of the supplies are perishable like water, medicine and food, make sure to maintain and keep your supplies updated.
You could opt for preserved or canned foods or even dehydrated meals such as Mountain House Classic Bucket meals.
If you have pets and animals you need to store a minimum of 30 to 90 days of stored food and water for each pet, special medications, toys, and the ability to handle pet waste if the pet cannot go outside for 90+ days.
A back up of your basic emergency kit is the extra supplies. These include:
- Warm blankets
- Sleeping bags
- Whistle to call attention in case you are lost in a strange location
- Hand gloves
- Household hand tool kit & auto repair set
- Swiss knife
- Compostable food storage bags
- Compostable garbage bags
- Hand crank solar-powered flashlight
- Manual can opener
- First aid or medical kit
- Gerber Bear Grylls fire starter
- Starter kindling firewood sticks
- Extra footwear and clothing
- Personal care products and toiletries for personal hygiene
- Family photo and individual photo of family members
- Important documents, like birth certificate, I.D. cards and passport.
- Board games and books to keep busy during power outages.
An emergency car kit may include some of the supplies in the basic emergency kits, but with the addition of shovel or snowbrush, road map, anti-freezing agents, rope, flares and fire extinguishers.
If you have babies you might want to stock up on baby formula, medicines or prescription for family members with disabilities.
Also stock up on extra clothing, underwear and spare shoes for at least 2 weeks and a manual non-electric portable washing machine. To repair torn clothing, also pack a sewing basket and accessories. Install water-saving showerheads to save water in the long term.
Store enough tarp and plastic sheeting for temporary repair of roof, windows, and siding from storm damage and large-head nails and wood strips to attach them.
You could build a hardened saferoom for protection from tornadoes, extreme weather, and crime and an air filtration system capable of providing positive pressure in a safe room area, with spare filters.
Keep a 72-hrs emergency preparedness kit for 4 persons and have enough cash, gold or silver and anything you can barter on hand.
Download and print recipes for the food you store. Buy maps of the surrounding area, waterproof map cases, a compass, protractor, rulers, grid squares, alcohol-erase markers, pencils, grease pencils etc.
Alternative Energy Systems:
You might want to have a generator that has the capacity to power your electronics, freezer and refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
Use LED lights as far as possible as they consume less battery power. If you want a diesel generator or a biofuel generator, you’ll also need to store enough fuel to power it for at least 2 weeks.
Depending on your location and what sort of renewable power sources you have access to, you can also opt for different types of renewable energy kits that are capable of running all critical devices indefinitely, such as:
- Off-grid solar panel kit for locations with plenty of sun
- Hybrid solar and wind generator for locations with sufficient sun and wind
- Wind turbine kit for windy locations
- Francis turbine micro-hydro generator for areas with rivers, streams or waterfalls
- Home methane digester biogas system for farms where manure is plentiful
- Tesla Powerwall Home Energy Storage Battery to ensure 24/7 power availability
Ensure you have a solar power inverter, spare parts, and the manuals for all these generators as well as computer manuals and backup discs for your laptops so you can fix them yourself.
You might also want to download Kindle books for like ARRL’s Small Antennas for Small Spaces.
All your computers and sensitive electronic equipment should be connected to Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), and it’s a good idea to have items like spare extension cords.
To stock up on cheap, spare mobile phones, buy certified pre-owned Gazelle-certified Smartphones. Also, get extra charging cords and spare batteries for your cell phones. Input all the numbers from your emergency preparedness contact list into each of the cell phones.
You will also require basic defensive firearms with adequate ammunition supply, spare parts and cleaning gear as well as repair manuals.
Here’s some more communication equipment you might want to get:
- Satellite phone
- Ham radio dual-band walkie-talkie
- Mobile ham VHF/UHF radio and a pocket list of frequencies
- Yagi antenna
- Emergency solar hand crank portable radio to listen to the news and the weather report
- Energy-efficient laptop
- Multiple USB drives with your computer OS, software, license codes and data files.
- Rechargeable batteries
- A long-distance phone calling card
- Door Intercom for communicating with people outside your door, while staying safe inside
- Packet radio for short-distance digital communications
- Winlink worldwide radio email
- Solar-powered home surveillance camera
- Solar outdoor floodlights with motion sensors
- Night vision binoculars
- Lightning/EMP surge protector on all sensitive equipment
First-Aid & Medical Supplies:
As far as medical preparedness goes, unless you are a trained doctor or paramedic, you should never do medical procedures that you haven’t trained for, as you can easily end up killing people if you get it wrong.
Having said that, you should definitely be prepared to deal with minor medical issues, and your first-aid and medical kit should be well-stocked with everything you could possibly require.
In case of an emergency, you don’t want yourself or your family to suffer because of the small medical essentials that you could have easily bought.
So what things should you have in your first-aid and medical kit? Here are some you might want to check off your emergency preparedness checklist.
- Medical emergency equipment like a home AED defibrillator, mouth-to-mask CPR kit and CPR and first-aid manual.
- Styptic pencils, Curad blood stop hemostatic gauze, WoundSeal powder and QuikClot advanced clotting gauze, to quickly close lacerations, stem bleeding and prevent infection.
- Sterile wound care products like sterile saline irrigation solution and Hydrogel wound dressing to irrigate and debride wounds.
- Transparent waterproof adhesive film skin dressing, hypoallergenic soft cloth surgical tape, hydrocolloid wound dressing pads and a bulk pack of gauze stretch bandage roll to dress and bandage wounds.
- IV Start Kit and gauge piercing needles and catheter needles kit for IV Start Kits
- Products to soothe and treat burns such as Curad Soothe and Cool clear gel bandages and organic aloe vera gel.
- Insect bite treatment anti-itch and skincare cream for relief from mosquito, flea, and other insect bites.
- Potassium Iodine/Iodate (KI) tablets, enough for a minimum of 14 days for each person
- Radiation meters and dosimeters
- Tweezer set to remove facial hair, ingrown hair, splinters, blackheads and ticks.
- Ven-Ex snake bite kit, bee sting kit, emergency first aid supplies, and venom extractor suction pump.
- Natural remedies to relieve pain, swelling, bruising and inflammation, like Penetrex Intensive Concentrate and Brazmedics Arnica Cream.
- Neosporin topical antibiotic ointment and Clearly Confident anti-fungal cream with Miconazole nitrate and Emu oil to treat bacterial and fungal infections.
- Boiron Oscillococcinum Homeopathic Medicine is for flu-like symptoms and temporarily relieves fatigue, headache, body aches, chills and fever.
- Natural saline nasal spray, and Levocetirizine Dihydrochloride tablets for allergy relief.
- Oral IV daily hydration shot with electrolytes and trace minerals to prevent dehydration.
- Natural magnesium muscle relaxer cream for leg cramps, sleep and muscle soreness
- Reusable ice-pack for hot and cold therapy, injury recovery, joint and muscle pain.
- Shaving supplies like double-edge safety razors, double-edge safety razor blades, razor disposal case and all-natural shaving cream for men.
- Products for outdoor use while hiking or hunting such as sunscreen lotion, waterproof blister protection and natural insect repellent spray.
- Dental hygiene products like natural organic bamboo toothbrushes, organic OraWellness tooth oil, toothpaste & mouthwash alternative with clove oil and also temporary dental fillings.
- Essential Oil Guidebook and therapeutic grade essential oils kit for daily ailments.
- Buy The Herbal Apothecary and learn how to woodcraft sustainable, herb information, make a tonic, a salve, and other ways to apply your herbs.
- Two pairs of eyeglasses, both with a current prescription
- Activated bamboo charcoal deodorizer
- List of medical information for each family member, including blood types, allergies, medical conditions etc.
Cooking & Kitchen Equipment:
Here’s a list of items you might want to include in your kitchen and food supplies:
- 100% Compostable Cutlery for short emergencies where water shortage is anticipated
- Mountain House Classic Bucket meals for 30 to 90 days
- Camping cookware for open fire
- Cast Iron Camp Fire Tripod to cook over a fire pit
- Folding Campfire Grill
- Spice Rack Organizer and spice refills
- Electric Food Dehydrator Machine
- Cooking Oils & Cooking Oil Dispenser Bottle
- Portable Solar Oven
Now, that you know how to put up an emergency kit, waste no time and start gathering those supplies. Your emergency kit could be your family’s only lifeline during a disaster.