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Survival preparedness. Survival kit

Natural disasters and terrorists� activity create great danger for people. Natural disasters and terrorist attacks produce not only destruction, but can turn cities in chaos, bring disorder, mass riots. You must prepare yourself and your family for probable emergency survival actions. The following article provides essential emergency survival tips, recommendations on survival preparations.
In order to be able to react quickly, and get through the crucial early hours of a crisis, you should prepare a 'family survival emergency kit'. This survival kit should contain a first-aid kit and first-aid instructions, emergency food, water, water-purifying chemicals and a water filter, some source of light and the other items that you may want or need in order to survive (like duct tape to seal off the room, a radio, medicines, hygiene necessities, baby needs, candles, matches, a tin opener...). The survival kit should also contain an emergency decontamination kit. You can buy ready-made survival kits or you can also take care of preparing them yourself.Ideally, you should have enough identical survival kits, so that each member of the family can easily access one: at home, at work or school and in the car. At a minimum, you should have at least one kit in your 'safe room'. Everyone in your family should know where to find the kit, what it contains and how to use it. Family emergency drills are an excellent way to familiarize everyone with use of the survival kits (they can also be fun and a great psychological help if a real crisis ever occurs).
It's important to periodically change the food and water of the kits with fresh food and fresh water. Your family emergency drills can also be an opportunity to consume outdated supplies before they are replaced. You should also check that all the other contents of the survival kit are in good shape and functional.

Preparing emergency water supplies

There are three things a body needs to stay alive:
- Air: A person can go without air for only a few minutes.
- Water: A person can survive without water for up to three days.
- Food: A person can go without food for up to three weeks.
Let us firstly assume that the air is not contaminated and that you can breath safely (later we will look at surviving if this is not the case). This leaves us with water and food. Water is considerably more important than food for our ability to survive a reasonable length of time. This means that having a supply of safe water is essential to surviving a sustained crisis situation. When it comes to water storage, you have basically two options: 1) buy bottles of water to store or 2) store tap water. The first option is the most convenient. But, if you are to store enough water to ensure your entire families survival over a sustained period, then this will be expensive. If it's stored properly, tap water is every bit as good as bottled water and, of course, it costs a lot less.
Choosing the proper containers to store your water is important. There are several options:
- Buy plastic containers which can be found in most stores.
Be very careful to make sure that they are appropriate for water storage. If not, there is the risk that chemicals will penetrate the container and contaminate the water.
- Disposable plastic soft drink bottles.
Start collecting your soda and water bottles and build up your supply. Glass bottles are also safe, but are more difficult to store and too easily broken.
- Use camping thermos jugs.
Carefully wash the container and let it completely dry before filling it. Add some chlorine bleach, or hydrogen peroxide (about ten drops per gallon of water). This will kill most microorganisms, without having too much impact on the taste. Fill the container completely to the top, to force out all air. Store the water off the floor, in a place where it can't freeze (frozen water will expand and break the container), away from direct sunlight, and away from chemicals.
No matter how much water you store, in a sustained crisis, you risk running out. For this reason, it's important that you have the means to purify more water. There are some water-purification chemicals available and even simply boiling it can be effective. However, the easiest and most reliable way to make water safe to drink is by using a water filter.
The most common filters are ceramic filters impregnated with tiny quantities of silver that kill harmful bacteria. Some ceramic filters are operated by hand-pumping action. A hose is placed into the unfiltered water, and the purified water exits via a spout into an appropriate container. Others rely on gravity. Two thermos jugs sit on top of each other. The dirty water is poured in the top one and the filtered water drips into the bottom one. Some filters are a combination of a ceramic filter with a carbon filter that removes dangerous chemicals. Some filters also chemically treat the water to kill disease-causing Viruses.
The recommended quantity of water to store is one gallon (4.5 liters) for person per day, and ideally another gallon for cooking and washing. Use your judgement when deciding how big a stock of water you can reasonably keep. Probably the best approach is to stock enough water to keep your family going for a week or two and have a water filter ready in case this isn't enough. If you feel that you can reasonably stock enough water to keep your family going for a longer period, then go ahead and do so. The more the better.
Like food, stored water doesn't keep for ever. Rotate your stored tap water every six months. Mark the fill date on each container so that you know when it's due to be updated. Empty the containers, clean them as explained above, and refill them with fresh water.

Preparing emergency food supplies

The food currently stored in your refrigerator and in your pantry has a relatively short shelf-life. This type of food will not keep you going very long in the event of a sustained crisis. To be properly prepared, you need to store food specially formulated for survival situations. As a minimum you should aim to store enough food to meet the needs of your entire family for a week. Again, as with water, if you can reasonably build up a supply to keep you going over a longer period, then do so. The cost of preparing a large stock of food is inevitably quite high. Consider buying a little each week and building it up over time.
There are different types of food can be considered to include into your survival store:
- Canned Goods
Ready-to-eat soups, meats, vegetables and fruit. Stock a minimum of 3 cans per person per day.
- Survival Food Bars
One bar will provide you with more than the normal daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. Survival food bars are very high in protein which will help you cope with stress. A typical bar contains 400 kcal. They have a long storage life (often 5 years) and can be stored without deteriorating even in very cold or very warm environments.
- Meals-Ready-To-Eat (MREs)
Meals-Ready-to-Eat are army-style rations, sealed in triple-layered foil or plastic packs. They have a long storage life (usually 5 to 7 years) if stored in a cool environment (storing MREs at normal room temperature will cause the taste and nutritional values to deteriorate). Meals-Ready-to-Eat don,t require the addition of water (except to the drink base) and they don't need any cooking or preparation.
- Camping Pouch Products
Camping pouch products are either freeze dried or dehydrated. They are packaged in an aluminized foil pouch and have a shelf life of about 2 years when stored at room temperature. Many of these products don't require any cooking and only involve adding hot (or cold) water.
- Long Shelf-life Food Supplies
This is the type of food you will want to store to prepare for a long term survival situation. This food is either freeze dried or dehydrated, packaged in double-enameled cans and has an expected shelf life of 10 to 15 years.
� Keep your food up to date. If some products are approaching the end of their shelf-life, then replace them with new ones.
� Don,t forget that you'll need a can-opener!
� Don,t forget to also store food for your pets!
� Keep in mind that dehydrated and freeze dried survival food need the addition of water.

Emergency electricity

In the event of a power failure, you will need to have a portable generator. When choosing one keep in mind what needs to be powered (the refrigerator, a few lights, a radio). A portable generator is used where the device requiring electricity is plugged directly into the generator�s power outlets using an extension cord. Generators are available fueled by gasoline, diesel, and propane. Keep in mind that the use of a generator is a short- term solution due to the amount of gasoline or other fuel you can safely store.
NOTE: Generators emit deadly carbon monoxide and so should be placed outside the house where there is sufficient ventilation.
Electricity can also be generated using alternative sources like wind energy or water energy. However, the most efficient source of alternative energy is generated from solar power. Solar electricity is generated when the sun shines on solar (Photovoltaic) panels. Solar panels range in size and power capability from a very small panel, capable of charging a couple of AA size batteries or powering a small radio - to larger panels that could power several essential appliances.
Another approach to using solar power is to equip yourself with a number of essential appliances (radio, lighting, etc.) with their own built-in solar panels.

Emergency lighting

In order not to find yourself in the dark, the very minimum you need is:
� A supply of candles. Ordinary candles are fine, but long-burning candles are recommended. Don,t forget to also store water-proof matches and/or a few cigarette lighters.
� A few flashlights (battery operated, windup or solar powered).
� Emergency lighting. Ideally, your emergency lighting should be left plugged into strategically selected outlets in your home so that it will turn on automatically when power fails. Don,t forget to also store spare batteries and bulbs.

Emergency communications

If a crisis situation occurs, you need to know what is happening around you to help you plan. The minimum you need is an AM/FM radio. A radio capable of receiving short-wave bands is recommended. Of course, a mobile phone can be indispensable in this kind of situation. A CB radio can also be useful in a long-term survival situation. A police scanner can be useful to stay abreast of the developing situation.

And now look for brief survival guideline provided by Rod Purnell - additional recommendations on survival kit preparation.

Disaster Preparedness Kit

Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Survival Kit:
� Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
� Canned juices
� Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
� High energy foods
� Vitamins
� Food for infants
� Comfort/stress foods

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car.
� (20) adhesive bandages, various sizes.
� 5" x 9" sterile dressing.
� conforming roller gauze bandage.
� triangular bandages.
� 3 x 3 sterile gauze pads.
� 4 x 4 sterile gauze pads.
� roll 3" cohesive bandage.
� germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
� (6) antiseptic wipes.
� pair large medical grade non-latex gloves.
� Adhesive tape, 2" width.
� Anti-bacterial ointment.
� Cold pack.
� Scissors (small, personal).
� Tweezers.
� CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield.
� Non-Prescription Drugs.
� Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever.
� Anti-diarrhea medication.
� Antacid (for stomach upset).
� Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center).
� Laxative.
� Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center).

For Baby

� Formula
� Diapers
� Bottles
� Powdered milk
� Medications

For Adults

� Heart and high blood pressure medication
� Insulin
� Prescription drugs
� Denture needs
� Contact lenses and supplies
� Extra eye glasses
� Entertainment (games and books)

Tools and Supplies

� Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
� Emergency preparedness manual
� Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
� Flashlight and extra batteries
� Cash or traveler's checks, change
� Non-electric can opener, utility knife
� Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
� Tube tent
� Pliers
� Tape
� Compass
� Matches in a waterproof container
� Aluminum foil
� Plastic storage containers
� Signal flare
� Paper, pencil
� Needles, thread
� Medicine dropper
� Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
� Whistle
� Plastic sheeting
� Map of the area (for locating shelters)
� Sanitation
� Toilet paper, towelettes
� Soap, liquid detergent
� Feminine supplies
� Personal hygiene items
� Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
� Plastic bucket with tight lid
� Disinfectant
� Household chlorine bleach
� Clothing and Bedding
� Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
� Sturdy shoes or work boots
� Rain gear
� Blankets or sleeping bags
� Hat and gloves
� Thermal underwear
� Sunglasses
� Special Items
Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons


� Important Family Documents
� Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
� Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds
� Passports, social security cards, immunization records
� Bank account numbers
� Credit card account numbers and companies
� Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
� Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
� Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
Keep items in airtight plastic bags. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Replace your stored food every six months. Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc. Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.

Survival preparedness. Survival kit