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How to be prepared for a disaster

Updated on March 22, 2011

Begin preparations

The earthquake and subsequent problems that are beleaguering the people of Japan right now has got me to thinking.  How to be prepared for a disaster?  Since I have a large family, some that live with me, some that doesn’t, I have to prepare and give lists to those that aren’t here. 

Some say the world of coming to an end, some say it’s just the natural course of events.  Whatever the case we certainly are seeing our share of natural disasters that scare the bejesus out of most of us.  If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news you will understand what I am referring to.   Our Government has been down playing the seriousness of it, to me that is sad.  On the other hand, people panic and get a little crazy when they are scared.  Personally I’d rather be prepared than caught unawares. 

Obviously I can’t prevent things from happening, but should we survive the disaster then we need to be prepared for surviving several days possibly a week or two wherever we may be.  At the very least, until help arrives.

Here is what Amazon has available

Various sites

I was shown a site that sells a backpack with ton of items the pack neatly away with room for a few clothes. This was darned neat, but was only for 2 and should last 2 weeks. It could be purchased for around $80.00, there are others that provide for 4 that are around $140.00. These are quite handy, they come already packed, just throw it on your shoulder and go! You can keep one in your car and one in your home, ready to roll when or if the time comes.

I have found similar items on the Amazon website that I am sharing if you would rather do a few clicks than go in search for yourself.  There are various sites available to meet your needs.

Here are a list of the items to be found inside pre-made 2 person pack -

Here are items that you should have inside your backpack.

Food and Water:
12 - Boxes of Aqua Blox Water Boxes - twice the amount of water as leading suppliers and has a 5 year shelf-life
12 - 400 Calorie Food Bars - 5 year shelf-life (4800 Calories)
20 - Water Purification Tablets - each tablet purifies 1 liter of water

Light and Communication:
1 - Am/Fm Radio with Headphones and Batteries
1 - Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight - 3 LED flashlight which generates and stores power by squeezing the handle (NO BATTERIES NEEDED)
1 - 30 Hour Emergency Candle - can also be used as a stove
1 - Green Emergency Glow Stick - lasts for 24 hours
1 - 5-in-1 Survival Whistle - compass, signal mirror, flint starter, waterproof container, lanyard, and shrill whistle
1 - Box of 50 Waterproof Matches
1- Bic Style Lighter
Shelter and Warmth:
2 - Emergency Survival Sleeping Bags - Recommended over common "space blankets"
2 - 16 Hour Body Warmers
2 - Person Tube Tent with Rope
2 - Emergency Ponchos with Hood

1 - 16 Function Knife
1 - Leather Palm Working Gloves
2 - N95 Respirator Dust Masks
1 - 60 Feet of Nylon Rope

Hygiene and Sanitation:
2 - 24 Piece Deluxe Hygiene Kits - toothbrush, toothpaste, 9 wetnaps, bar of soap, .34 oz shampoo and conditioner, dental floss pick, .25 oz hand and body lotion, deodorant gel, twin blade razor, 5" black comb, 4 maxipads, shaving cream packet, and washcloth.
6 - Tempo Pocket Tissue Packs

First Aid:
1 - 42 Piece Bandage First Aid Kit - Contains 42 Pieces - 10 Spot Bandages, 10 Sheer Junior, 5 Sheer Medium, 5 Sheer Strips, 2 Antibacterial, 3Clear Strips, 2 Fabric Strips, 1 Extra Large, 2 Alcohol Pads, and 2 Gauze Pads&
1 - Guardian First Aid Essentials Kit - 1 Trauma Dressing (5"x9"), 3 Sunscreen Lotion Packs, 1 Sting Relief Prep Pad, 1 Burn Cream Pack, 4 Non-Aspirin Tablets, 4 Antacid Tablets, 4 Ibuprofen Tablets, 1 Lip Ointment Pack, 1 Antibiotic Ointment Pack, 1 Pair of Vinyl (non latex) Gloves, 2 Finger Splints, 10 Cotton Tip Applicators, 1 Roll of First Aid Tape, 1 Roll of Gauze Dressing, and a First Aid Instruction Guide

Deck of playing cards for entertainment
Infectious Waste Bag
Emergency Survival Kit Information:

As you can see it contains a lot of stuff that fits neatly inside an easy to carry backpack.

Always be prepared

Depending on how frugal you are, or what your need is, you may choose to purchase these items individually at most stores that have camping supplies. This is entirely up to you.

For those of you who work in offices of high rise buildings, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few of these handy. Maybe you can look through the list of items and decide what would benefit your needs. Talk to the Boss, see if he/she will approve of such purchases. If not, keep one of your own. Even keeping a case of bottled water handy will help immensely! Keeping these items tucked away in a closet or drawer could save your life. Should the need arise, you will be thanked heartily for your forethought.

What ever you decide, purchase pre-packed or pack your own, it never hurts to be prepared!  It could save your life or someone you love.

Some of you were Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts - The Motto - Always be prepared. It’s not like your wishing for a Disaster, just being prepared. Since I did this digging I felt it would be remiss of me not to share with my followers and readers what I have learned on how to be prepared for a disaster.


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    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      LOL, well thank you!! What a terrific compliment!! Thanks for stopping by!

    • MrGooseyMoose profile image

      MrGooseyMoose 6 years ago

      Fantastic hub! I'm pretty new around here, ya see, and so I'm just taking a look around to see how the experienced hubbers do it haha. It's immediately clear why you have so many followers! Very insightful piece. =)

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      I knew there were things I needed 'just in case' but I waited and waited to purchase them... All of a sudden I realized that you don't get much warning before an emergency strikes.. If you prepare now, it helps later...

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A great hub. These tragedies do make us stop and think don't they !

      Thanks for this one.

      Take care


    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      I purchased an emergency first aid kit for my husband, it is amazing the amount of items that are packed away in that little box, with room for more!! Had I done this prior he might have had an easier time when he broke his ankle!! It's amazing how we can create just a little ease of mind for ourselves with a little preparation.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Love, love, love the detailed list. I'll be printing this list up because there are a lot of items I never thought of. Great topic in light in the crisis in Japan. Very relevant!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks!! Oh please do get at least an emergency kit handy!! I have one here.. Must have my coffee!!

    • profile image

      Healing touch 7 years ago

      Great hub. Yes, the sign of the times are making me uneasy. I love the back pack idea and all the other great ideas. I guess I am not prepped either. Hit all buttons up.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, with all of the problems the world is having I can only hope to reach those before something strikes and make the unprepared just a little more prepared! Best of luck on your shopping expedition!!

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 7 years ago

      Wow, this list makes me realise how woefully unprepared I would be if a disaster strikes. I consider myself unusually prepared if I know where the candles and torches are in the case of a power failure. I was in the boy scouts and have not followed the principle of being pepared. Voted up and useful. Well done.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Not a problem! We all have to work together to help each other.

    • Golfgal profile image

      Golfgal 7 years ago from McKinney, Texas

      Hey susieg, I agree with can anyone recover from the devastation we have seen in Japan? I too have written about disasters this year. I moved to Dallas and tornados are what I fear. You may be interested in my hub about survival kits. I am linking this hub up with mine for reference. Thanks for sharing your preparations.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      You are most welcome! So glad you stopped by and enjoyed...

    • Donna Suthard profile image

      Donna Suthard 7 years ago

      Thanks for the great ideas! well written article! Thank you!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      @ Merlin - Exactly!! This disaster in Japan got me thinking of what I didn't have here at home. So I went through the list, got what I needed and added to the list... Just in case..

      @ Chatkath - Some of my facebook friends think that I am jumping the gun or worrying too much. It's really not that, I'm just preparing. Something that I have thought of in the past but never did anything about. Now I am mostly ready.

      @ veronicanotes - yes, everything does fit in a backpack, amazing isn't it? It's all small and not made to last, just mostly a 1 time use type of thing. Some very neat packaging I think!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • profile image

      veronicanotes 7 years ago

      WOW!!! That's alot of survival stuff! It's amazing how much they could fit in just one pack for two.

      Thanks so much for the info, it sure is making my wheels turn.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Great timing Susie, I think this latest disaster has everyone a bit on edge, and being prepared is just smart. Take some of that anxiety and channel it into being more proactive-since we really never know what could happen. Thanks

    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 7 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      Food for thought Susie, it's amazing how so few of us are prepared for any kind of emergency including minor ones like a power cut in the dark of winter. How many have a decent torch...That works, with spare batteries. Candles and a means to light them ?

      Silly little things, but when you need them...!

      In bad weather out on a journey are the things we carry in the car fit for any emgency ? I doubt it..!

      Thanks for making us think !

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Yeah Dave, you might want to do what I did, go through the list, see what you NEED and do with that. I ended up making my Hubby a really nice emergency kit for his truck. With a few things for myself. Just those 'have to have' items. Enamel stove top coffee pot... Now that is an emergency item for me!!

      There has not been an earthquake where I live since 1968 and that was a very small one. The worst thing we have are bad storms and power outages. So I am prepared now! Candles, flashlights and hurricane lamps! Go me!!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Sweetsusieg: This is an interesting hub, thing is I 'm not sure I can afford everything on the list or even find it all. Living in Toronto,Canada I'm thankful that very few almost none of these natural disasters is capable of reaching where I live, although there are maybe other problems that could arise. Thank God I live where I do.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      @ Minnetonka Twin - Essentially people want to feel safe in their homes and in the region where they live. They have high hopes that their Government will protect them. But in truth, we have to be the ones to protect ourselves in the long run. Our survival rests on our shoulders.

      @ mslizzee - Please - Before canning meat, get a book on how to can meat (it's been years since I've done this) you will need a pressure cooker (unless things have changed) to preserve your meat. But it is one heck of a good idea!! You also can preserve fish (Yum, canned salmon!) Venison and of course beef! I'm not sure about Pork that would have to be looked up.

      If your in to dehydrating that also is a terrific idea. I would love to learn how to preserve in a salt brine like they did years ago before refrigeration.

      Thanks fo stopping by!

    • profile image

      mslizzee 7 years ago

      I've already started stocking up on food. In fact I think I am going to buy a canning thingie and can meat so that I can make tacos. Can't do without tacos :)

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 7 years ago from Minnesota

      Hey Susie. Great information but something most of us don't want to talk about. I have also been thinking things are getting really scary these days. Natural disasters, criminal activity, government we cannot trust. Let's all get out of here and go to the moon. LOL

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Sweet!! Do you think you can get us a ride on the next shuttle? Cause I really want to leave too!! This is really getting scary.. Some of the media is down playing what is going on, some isn't. So I guess it's all about common sense, and being able to use it.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Our world is getting scarier and scarier. Just be advised, susie, if the world does come to an end, I plan to go some place else! You can come with if you wanna.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      @ WillStarr - You betcha!! Got to have that 22 (or bigger) and of course ammo! Hey the book never hurts!

      @ L.L. Woodard - Glad I could help turns those gears!

      @ Mokie.Solstice - Since I can't foresee me not being able to stay within the confines of my home (at this point) I have prepared with a small camp type stove (2 burner) so not only can I cook my own meals, but I really GOTTA have my coffee!! Bought one of those nifty stove top enamel pots. Now to see about having a hand pump installed on my property! Gotta have my water! On occasion we have had power outages and these are items that could be used for those purposes as well!

      Thanks for stopping by!!

    • Mike.Solstice profile image

      Mike.Solstice 7 years ago

      Great hub! One thing to take into account when it comes to emergency rations, is the sodium (salt) level in them. Most of them, particularly MREs, are very high in sodium which of course, will cause dehydration; they also need to be re-hydrated themselves. A general rule is 1 Gallon of water, per person, per day. So make sure when calculating your water supply, you take that into account. There are some bars out there that are low on sodium & still taste great (according to reviews). The ones I've personally ordered are Datrex 3600 Emergency Bars, they're low on sodium & coconut flavored. Always take your personal allergies & health issues (if any) into account, and if you are on any prescriptions, make sure you have at least a 30 day supply on hand.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      You've got my gears turning now. Thanks for the info.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Nice Hub.

      Our survival gear also includes a .22 rifle, ammunition, and a Boy Scout Handbook