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Disaster Preparedness – Surviving Any Emergency

Everyone's stress level will be through the roof, and food provides security and comfort. You'll need a supply of food that will keep fresh for long periods without refrigeration. Canned foods will store safely for many years. You'll be very surprised when you shop for your survival kit, by the variety of interesting things you can get in a can these days. Don't forget to include a manual can opener in your kit.

Another good choice for your kit are "dry goods" such as grains, cereals, and pasta.

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However, these require precious drinking water for cooking, and airtight storage. Remember, if air can get in, so can bugs, and you don't want that. Other choices are "meals in a pouch. Camping foods are another option. These are freeze-dried, very lightweight, and long-lasting. However, they are very expensive. Just bear in mind, for the relatively short-term duration survival event we're considering here, the more familiar, comforting, and filling the food is, the better. Food Storage and Preparation. Don't count on having refrigeration.

If possible, eat up your refrigerator food as soon as you lose electricity.

Food Supplies in Case of Disaster

Eat from the freezer next, although if you lose power to the fridge, you won't be able to use your microwave, oven, toaster oven, etc. Gnawing on a semi-frozen block isn't too much fun. Be really careful with mayo based foods and others that can quickly "turn. Thankfully, mustard and ketchup never require refrigeration, and can make boring foods taste a lot better. Your camping gear can serve double-duty in your survival kit.

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A good portable camp stove is essential. A mantle lantern is very nice to have too. You'll need to decide between propane and white gas as fuel. Propane is cleaner, easier to use, and safer. White gas is cheap and you can substitute unleaded fuel siphoned from your car's gas tank in a pinch. Propane may not be as easily available.

If you can take your gas barbeque grill inside, that might be suitable but… and I hope this goes without saying, NEVER use a charcoal grill inside an enclosed space. The carbon monoxide could kill you. You must have several good flashlights and plenty of alkaline or lithium batteries on hand.

The new LED bulb models are particularly suitable in this situation. They give good light yet last much, much longer on a set of batteries than regular flashlights. However, there is no substitute for a good mantle lantern, which can give as much light as a regular light fixture. It's amazing how big a psychological boost good light can give you.

I know this firsthand from a multi-day blackout we had during an ice storm a few years ago. Evaluate the Safety of Your Home. After a natural disaster or massive explosion, you should evaluate the structural integrity of your home.

If you're unsure whether it's safe or not, you may need to evacuate. Unfortunately, if the event was severe enough to damage your building, it also probably made the roads impassible buckled pavement, fallen trees, downed electric wires, flooded, etc. Regardless, the roads are probably gridlocked with people trying to escape. In this situation, you're probably best "camping out" in your backyard or in an auxiliary structure like a garage. Here's how to tell if a building has sustained major damage: Thin cracks usually aren't serious, but large cracks, broken beams, significant distortion buckling, twisting, etc.

Listen for creaking or cracking noises, indicating potential collapse. If you're in serious doubt, get out quickly. If you decide to stay indoors, sweep up broken glass and try to make the environment as safe as possible, particularly if you have little kids around.

  • Step 1: Availability of Water;
  • Disaster Preparedness – Surviving Any Emergency!

If you need to evacuate, cash will be an essential element of your survival kit. That's because we have a cashless lifestyle and don't normally keep large amounts of cash money around.

Most of our purchases are made with credit cards, debit cards, or checks. However, during and after a major disaster, it's unlikely that merchants will be able to process charge cards or validate checks.

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If people are selling things, they're probably going to accept cash only. Also, they may not be able to open their electric cash drawers, so don't count on getting change back from your hundred. Better to have smaller denomination bills available. Keep some fifties though. They may come in handy for bribes. Please click only once and wait.

In a major disaster, wired phone service will almost certainly be disrupted; lines may be cut or the circuits jammed. Your cell phone service will probably remain operational, although it will likely be overloaded. You'll have to keep trying to get an open cell. If landline phones are down, then cable TV is probably off the air, although broadcast stations will most likely still transmit.

However, unless you have a pair of "rabbit ears" lying around, and know how to hook them up, you're not going to receive those signals. That means a battery-operated one with fresh batteries available. It may be your sole link to the outside world. Even better, get my Cool Thing of the Month: In this age of global Internet access, the concept of getting all your information through a transistor radio seems awfully quaint.

However, you'll be very happy you have that little device. With it, you'll be able to find out what's happening in your local area and statewide. You'll hear how widespread the destruction is, and whether you can expect help to arrive anytime soon. Most importantly, you'll hear evacuation orders if they're announced.

Other important information may concern whether the water supply is safe to drink or not, and whether civil disturbances like rioting or looting are taking place. Unfortunately, disaster situations bring out the worst as well as the best in human nature. Some people consider a firearm or other weapon an essential part of their survival kit. This goes along with the survivalist fantasy of being threatened by people desperate for food and water.

In good conscience, I cannot advise you in this area. You should know the chance of a horrible accidental discharge far outweighs that of needing a gun to fend off marauders. To me, having a cudgel or baseball bat makes more sense. Rent the movie Casino for detailed usage instructions. You need a first aid kit and you need to know how to use it. This checklist has the essential items. This little spiral-bound book will give you the basics of first aid: You can't count on anyone coming to help you. If there are injured people around, you're going to have to help them by yourself.

However, if you have the supplies, and a little knowledge of what to do, you'll be able to render good emergency care, even to yourself. The most important thing is to remain calm so you can think clearly. If people in your household take medicines on a regular basis, you'll need to have access to them. The best is an extra supply in the emergency kit, but you need to make sure they don't go out of date. Weapons of Mass Destruction Many people are worried about terrorists using weapons of mass destruction. This could happen, although I believe it is unlikely.

These are the facts from the California Department of Public Health: They can be released by bombs, sprayed from aircraft and boats and used to contaminate the air and food and water supplies.