Short term emergency kit
Before we start I am not a survivalist or a boy scout, how ever I am a father and a partner and my family are important to me just as yours are to you.
A little wile ago we had a power cut for a few hours and I was surprised that neighbours of ours didn’t even have candles or spare batteries for a torch in their home, although power cuts are rare in our area they are not uncommon, they do happen enough to warrant some sort of plan!
Last winter although not as severe as other countries it was the worst we had endured in 40 years. For a few days even going to our local shop was difficult and when you got there your choice was limited. In some parts of the country power was off for days, we were only inconvenienced for a few days. What if that had been a week or more, we could have been in trouble!
If the experts are to be believed and we are going to get more severe weather trends, it seems to me that making sure you are ready you will be less inconvenienced too much, if at all. In other parts of the world, even in the west, people cover themselves for difficult times like winter and other unforeseen problems; however we in the UK have been blessed with a reasonably mild climate and fairly good facilities for that climate so that when it goes wrong we get bitten in the bum by it. I am not talking about building an ark or a bunker in your garden but just trying to set out a basic kit for the little inconveniences we are likely to face. Even if it’s a local flood, power cut or heavy snow there are thing we can do to help ourselves.
Look around your home and ask yourself if you were stuck there for a week how well would you cope?
If you live in a rural area or small town you tend to have more food and things in than someone who lives in a large town or city. A lot of people do a weekly shop and if you are lucky any problem you have will happen just after you put the bags away, I find myself and most people are not that lucky! So keeping some items in a cupboard or back room to be forgotten until needed is a wise precaution. Researching information on what to keep handy, I have filtered out things like a 1600 kilowatt generator or a water purification plant in your shed as a little extreme. This list is for short term unforeseen issues that happen more often than we would like but not a enough to make us prepare on a regular basis.
- Water, 1 gallon (4.546 09 litres) of water per person per day for the minimum time you are planning, for drinking and sanitation. Remember you can fill your bath and other utensils for a lot of this and bottled water from the supermarket is good to add to your kit. A point to make on bottled water, the 2 litre value water is more than adequate for this you don’t need designer water this is just to help you cope. Cans of drink and bottles of cordial may come in handy if you have children.
- Food, for the minimum time you are planning of non-perishable food. Your fridge and freezer will be used before you should be touching these supplies.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and extra batteries.
- Flashlight, extra batteries and candles, house hold candles are cheep and most homes have some candles even those little tea lights. Make sure you have some thing to put them on or in as the last thing you need is a fire.
- First Aid kit, reference book, painkillers and Prescription medications: kept out of the way of children.
- Whistle or horn to signal for help, make an unmistakable blast on it three times. Be sure to pause for a few seconds between each blast and for a few minutes between each group of three.
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape for sealing gaps.
- Baby wipes, bin bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation in case the plumbing goes to pot.
- Spanner or pliers to turn off utilities, a small tool kit is always handy in the home.
- Can opener (if kit contains tinned/canned food)
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter, solar charger, windup chargers are available and reasonably cheap.
- Infant formula and nappies most parents of young children tend to over stock!
- Pet food and extra water for your pets.
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
- It doesn’t hurt to have some spare cash and change.
- Emergency reference material such as First Aid book, local phone book and advice leaflets.
- Extra Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items i.e. spare tooth brushes, toothpaste and toilet paper in a bag or container you know you will run out of them when you can’t get to a shop.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Duct tape, rope and string and a knife or scissors to cut them
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels. If your water is off you don’t want to waste what you have washing up.
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children and adults, keeping occupied is important to stop you getting cabin fever or just getting bored.
- Sleeping bags and warm blankets enough for at least one per person. At least one complete change of clothing per person. Keep them in waterproof bags out of the way of any potential flood.
- Some thing to cook with if the electricity or gas is out.
These are a guide, you have to take into account the risks you are likely to face in your area and how much space you want to spare for your kit it could be as little as a bag under the bed or several boxes in the back room.