Remember the story of Chicken Licken who believed that the sky was falling when something hit him on his head? He then decided that he should inform the King, and along the way he warned everyone that the sky was falling. In the end, it turned out to be just an acorn that hit his head and the moral of the story was not to be a “chicken” but to have courage.
This story occurred to me when the discussion of the Mayan calendar came up and the fact that the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 and there are some people who are running around like Chicken Licken professing that Armageddon is on its way. Some people view this as an omen that the world will come to an end and others believe this is just another Y2K.
I don’t know what the truth is but I will say that I have a hard time believing that the world will be coming to a complete end on December 21st. Yet, I have no guarantee that this will be as uneventful as Y2K. So what if Chicken Licken got hit on the head with an acorn because there was an earthquake that shook the tree? For me, living in California, this is a very plausible reality. And let’s not forget all of the natural disasters that have occurred over the past decade and the images of people stranded with no home, food or water for days or weeks. Shouldn’t we at least be preparing ourselves for an unexpected disaster? The moral of this story is it’s better to be prepared than not.
In speaking with a friend of mine, I was mentioning that my husband had been preparing an emergency kit for the house and one for each car. She stated she thought it was a great idea and that she should make one up as well and then she said “but I wouldn’t really know what to put in it.” I shared with her a few things that my husband had packed and she said “you should write a post on this because there are probably people out there that don’t know where to start.”
So here I am, no frilly foo foo post with beautiful photos this time, I am going to share with you some essentials for putting together an emergency kit.
The first thing you want is a good and complete First Aid Kit which should include bandages, compress dressings, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, gauze pads, tape, tweezers and another good idea is Quick Clot which stops you from bleeding if you’ve been hurt.
Include a space blanket for keeping you warm if you find yourself sleeping outdoors or in your car. You may want to include a rain poncho with a hood as well. It’s also not a bad idea to have a tent in case the structure of your home is uninhabitable.
Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being in a disaster such as Katrina, a water purifier may come in very handy for converting any type of water available into suitable drinking water…at the very least, pack some water purifying tablets.
Include light sources such as flashlights with a stock of the appropriate batteries, lightsticks – some last up to 12 hours, others are brighter but only last for a 1/2 hour, and have a battery operated lantern on hand. A few signal flares might come in handy too.
Utility equipment such as a heavy duty sharp knife and a Swiss Army or Leatherman type utility knife that has a knife, bottle opener, scissors, tweezers and more attached. An axe is also a good idea to keep handy at home or a smaller heavy-duty version such as a Tomahawk that will help you break through a car window should you be stuck inside.
Include heavy duty duct tape, cable ties and parachute cord for attaching items together. The parachute cord can also be used to tie around your arm or leg to help stop bleeding if necessary.
A pair of binoculars so you can see what is going on in the distance and/or look for help.
Ready to eat foods such as protein bars, nuts & granola type snacks, canned foods such as chili or tuna – preferably with a pull up lid and of course water, water, water! It’s possible for your body to go up to 7 days without food but your body needs water to live. Should you find you haven’t had to use the items in your kit, be sure to switch out the items every once in a while to keep it fresh.
Other items to have would be a battery operated radio, a car cell phone charger (in the assumption you can use your car if all electricity is out or if you are on the road when this occurs). Also, consider always keeping at least a half of tank of gas in your car as you may not be able to refill it in a timely manner.
Here is a completed kit with all of the pictured items above in a case approx. 2-1/2 ft L x 2 ft H x 1 ft. D which will nicely tuck away in any closet in your home or fit in the trunk of your car…and you should consider having one in your home and in your car as you never know where you will be when the big one comes.
My husband has also considered buying a generator. To me this seems like a luxury item since we live in the suburbs but I’m sure I’d be quite happy we had it, if needed. However, if you live in a remote area, it would probably become more of a necessity item for you.
Do you have a family “meeting” site should you not be together when something occurs? Do you have an evacuation plan for your home if it is on fire? Things like this are all survival essentials that should be discussed as a family.
Go ahead and call me a Chicken Licken but I’d rather be prepared should an unfortunate disaster come along. And if it turns out that a falling acorn on my head is all I have to deal with in my lifetime, then I will consider myself one lucky girl.
I know some of the items may seem extreme or inconvenient but these are only suggestions. You can create a basic emergency kit based on your own needs and what would be appropriate for you. I would love to hear what you have in your emergency kit, plans you have discussed and implemented with your family and how you plan to survive a disaster.
**I do not endorse any of the brand name items shown here, they just happened to be the items that I had on hand.**