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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

72 hour kit, Go Bag, Bug-Out Bag (BOB), Get-Out-Of-Dodge (GOOD) Bag or Emergency Supply Kit

Key Point:  Put together a kit of important needs and wants to help you live if you needed to evacuate.

I am reluctant to post about this subject. People get complacent and focus on building a kit instead of a long term strategy of saving 3 months of everyday food, storing water and saving money. But a kit can be a step in the right direction.

                                                

Whatever you call your emergency kit, it seems we need it more frequently. The most recent example is Hurricane Sandy Oct 28, 2012-no power, heat, water or transportation). This Frankenstorm combined Hurricane Sandy CAT-1 strength with high tide and a cold front with Canadian arctic air hurling it into the most densely packed population centers in the U.S.A (between Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York and Boston). A storm that ranged 1,500 miles across that resulted in 2’ of snow in some places, 5’ of water in other places and many people disregarding or unable to comply with State and Federal Authority’s demands to evacuate.

1. The first order of effects were snow, rain, inland flooding, fires, storm surge, high winds and blocked roads.

2. The second order of effects were people not evacuating causing resources to be diverted to rescues, loss of power, contaminated water, loss of gas for homes to heat, loss of transportation from flooding in subways and roads, limited gasoline for cars, and no power meant phones could not charge.

3. The third order of effects were loss of power to phones with a loss of communications. Flooding resulted in loss of subway and taxi transportation resulting in lost time at work. No home heating and no way to cook means hungry, cold children and elderly. A crumpled crane that hung precipitously hundreds of feet over city buildings and apartments that required evacuation and shutting off of adjoining building utilities.  Rain water collecting in the streets mixed with fuel, garbage and sewage.

The point of this example is you need a bag, container, back-pack, whatever you want to carry out of your home in a time of emergency that is pre-packed. Grab and Go. What should you put in your kit? That depends on your circumstances but generally consider:

                                                     

1. A flashlight with spare batteries

2. A bottle of water

3. Comfort snacks such as nuts, jerky, M&Ms, unsalted crackers, granola bars, hard candy)

4. Ear plugs (so you can sleep in a shelter)

5. Hand crank radio with batteries

6. First Aid (Band-Aids, Pepto-Bismal, Motrin)

7. Non-electric entertainment (book, puzzle, toy)

8. Socks and underwear

9. Toiletries (toilet paper, wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, towel, hygiene products)

10. Medicine, eye glasses

11.  Cell phone charging cord

You may want to consider other items such as:

1. Hand warmers

2. Dust masks

3. Baby formula

4. Blanket

5. Documents

           

Ultimately the kit is as heavy or light as you want to make it. Variables include how many are in your family, their ages, season of the year and type of emergency. Each kit is unique to a family.  I don't recommend a compass, flint and steel or other types of gear because I am not outfitting you for a Scout campout or survivalist training.  This is to make evacuation away from home more peaceful and give you time, food and peace of mind to get to your family or hotel room.  Don’t get overwhelmed with all the good advice. Just make one and periodically replace batteries, food and cloths as situations and seasons change. Don’t spend a lot, just do it.

Links you may want to look to for additional information:

1. LDS Church and 72 hour kits: https://www.lds.org/topics/food-storage/frequently-asked-questions?lang=eng#10

2. FEMA: http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

3. RED CROSS: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/get-kit

4. NYC: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/get_prepared/supplies.shtml

5. California: http://www.earthquakecountry.info/roots/step3.html

6. Florida: http://www.miamidade.gov/fire/emergency-supply-kit.asp

7. Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bug-out_bag

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