The first step to disaster preparedness is knowing your risks!
I took a short quiz on preparedness. You can take it here.
Of the ten questions, I answered "no," as in not prepared, to nine of them! Yikes! My biggest risk is lack of effort!
Today I am going to talk about the disaster supply kit. I have known for many years that I should have three days of food and water on hand for an emergency. The reason I don't have it has been logistics.
Our apartment is fairly good sized, but it lacks storage. Where would I store food, water and clothes for three days?
I thought of storing it in a bin in my closet, but in an earthquake, I imagine that my clothes and boxes will all fall on the floor of my closet and bury my survival supplies. I also considered storing bins out on our balcony. But, again in an earthquake, if our building is structurally compromised I am not going out there! Maybe the trunk of our car? No, that is in the lower garage some six stories below us. Probably not a safe place after the earthquake!
My fears and concerns have been largely addressed by this wonderful disaster kit that I received from California Volunteers! My whole problem was that I was thinking too big! Water and food for three days means survival rations, not actual meals.
These are some of the items in my survival kit!
1. The first is an Emergency Ration bar . This little bar broken into serving rations will provide enough calories for survival for the two of us for three days! Although it says "pleasing lemon flavor" I am sure it will be quite gross. Still, it is the foundation. Now, I can keep other foods in my pantry and use and restock them as needed to supplement the kit, but the bare necessities are in there and it will last for up to five years! The ER Bar is available here for $2.95.
2. Next in the kit is "The Light Saver" a solar powered flashlight radio that can also charge a cell phone!! You can get one here.
3. Itty bitty first aid kit. This tiny box has a bunch of stuff, but no rubber gloves. I added a pair of those and will get a few more pairs soon. These kinds of kits are available everywhere.
4. The next item, Emergency Drinking Water in a pouch was a real eye opener for me. When they say drinking water for a day, they don't mean the huge water bottles I normally drink in a day, they mean enough to live. These pouches contain 4.225 oz and they reccomend drinking two a day. So for us, six pouches would be enough for three days. Compared to plastic water bottles, it takes up hardly any room and weighs very little packaged this way. Also these pouches have a five year shelf life. A six pack of these pouches is just over $1!
5. Many different brands of these face pads are out there. What a nice thing to wash your face when I imagine the air conditioning will be out!
6. Disinfecting wipes. Love it in a travel size!
7. This little silver pouch is an emergency blanket! When I was thinking about blankets, I was imagining, well...my woobie. Big, bulky, pluffy goodness. At the very least I was thinking sleeping bags. We have those things and can grab them, but this little emergency blanket is really what we need in a pinch.
8. A Pur Water Purifier Kit. I'm thinking this could be very handy since the above water pouches are just the bare necessity. This kit would help provide water for cooking and extra for drinking.
9. Flashlight with batteries.Also included in the kit was a box of baby wipes. We all know how handy those are!
QuakeKare.com has a wealth of information and sells a variety of these kinds of kits already made up. For about $100 you can get a really comprehensive kit. I plan to add a few additional things to my kit. I need to add an extra set of house keys, Purel, rubber gloves, matches, sunscreen, a can opener, toothbrushes and toothpaste, a hat for each of us and sunglasses, Tylenol, and a few other personal care products. I think I can squeeze in a pair of socks and underwear for both of us as well. There is a great checklist for creating your own kit here.
As for my storage concerns...
The basic kit fits under my sink! This vanity is located right by our front door on an interior wall so it's pretty safe and best of all out of sight!
I hope that this post has inspired you to make your own kit!
Soon I will blog about a family disaster plan. I am currently working on completing ours.
And, over at my other blog...I am giving away a coupon for a free pack of Pampers Diapers!