Preparing for survival is not limited to any one specific area, because nearly every city and every community are subject to some type of natural disaster. Whether it be hurricanes, nuclear explosions, earthquakes or floods, it is important that your family be prepared for an emergency disaster situation. Regardless of the region, there are five basic necessities for survival…food, water, communications, light and shelter/warmth.
When preparing your survival kit, you should have enough supplies for a minimum of three days, however, the more days you are prepared for, the better. Prepare a survival kit for each member of the family, make sure the survival bag is easy to carry and keep the supplies in a location that is easily accessed. Back packs are the best option, because they come in different sizes so you will be able to prepare a kit that even the children can carry. The basic preparedness supplies to pack include:
• Food supplies-all food items should be non-perishable and packed in watertight bags. Canned foods, ready-to-eat meats, powdered milk and peanut butter are excellent options. You may also want to include crackers, cereals, soup, canned vegetables and canned fruits. Remember to pack a manual can opener.
• Water-the minimum amount of water you will need, is one gallon per person, per day. It is best to buy water in gallon jugs, because they will be completely sealed. Date the water with a permanent marker and replace it every six months to make sure it remains fresh.
• Communications-a battery powered radio is vital to keep you updated on the disaster.
• Light Source-LED flashlights that do not require batteries are the best choice; however, a standard flashlight will also work. Try to pack at least two flashlights per person. Pack at least one battery operated lantern for a larger light source. Candles can be used for light as well as for cooking.
• Shelter/warmth-there are a few different options you can use for shelter. A small, folding tent that fits in a back pack is the best option for providing shelter to two or more people. A large rain poncho will keep you dry and it can be used for cover. A sleeping bag or thin, but warm blanket should also be packed.
In addition to the basic supplies for survival, you will need a variety of other preparedness supplies including, waterproof matches, first-aid kit, hand sanitizer, extra batteries, map and hygiene products. Preparing your family is an important part of the preparations. Have a plan in place of where you will meet should the family become separated and if you want to make sure your family is ready for a disaster, go on a two or three day camping trip and only take the supplies you will pack in a survival bag.