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Essential Emergency Kit Information & Advice

By Denis Korn Franklin quote

This post "Essential Emergency Kit Information & Advice" is a valuable companion to the previous post Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning - Including Vehicle Preparedness - Latest Update. You are encouraged to share this post and its vital information with family, friends, business associates, church and temple congregations and other members of any organizations to which you belong. May this post help you in your serious preparedness planning. Celebrate Peace of Mind!

Here are the crucial questions to answer when assembling your emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag - which is vital if you must leave your home or business quickly.

  • If an evacuation has been declared, a severe weather event is imminent or a significant disaster has occurred, how will I know?
  • If I have to evacuate, will I be in a cozy government evacuation center with food, water, blankets and a bed, or will I be on my own in the elements, a crude shelter or a friend's/relatives house?
  • If specific government, church, community and friend's sheltering options are not available, where do I go? How far? How do I get there?
  • What conditions can I expect to encounter? best scenario? worst scenario?
  • What are the weather conditions I am likely to encounter? What is the season?
  • Will I be alone, or are others depending on me? Family? children? elderly? pets?
  • Am I dependent on others? Who? Why? Do I expect the government to take care of me?
  • What kind of support is likely to be available?
  • How long should I prepare for?
  • What if there is nothing left when I return?
  • Are my essentials, heirlooms, personal treasures, irreplaceable photographs, documents and financial assets secure if I leave with only my grab-and-go bag?
  • Do I have a reliable communication plan to contact family, friends and business associates at a moment's notice?
  • What is the potential severity of the emergency I might experience?
  • Will I have transportation, or will I be on foot?
  • Do I have enough money on hand to pay for possible shelter, food or supplies if I am suddenly evacuated and away from home or business?
  • Am I truly prepared for the unexpected, a procrastinator or am I in denial?

To have a truly adequate emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag the above questions must be answered. Your personal preparedness bag contents will vary depending on numerous factors such as time, number of persons, locations involved, mobility, support available, season, comfort level desired and the degree of peace of mind you want.

Here is a list of the bare essentials for every kit. Each category will have multiple options depending on how you answer the above crucial questions. Cheap, inadequate and poorly made provisions don't belong in a quality kit. Prepare your kit as if your and your family's life and comfort depended on it - because it does!

  1. Water - bottled/filters/purifiers/tablets/containers
  2. Food - ready-to-eat/bars/trail mix/freeze dried/shelf stable/food preparation equipment
  3. Medical - quality medical kit with instructions/prescriptions/glasses/essential medications/sunscreen/dental medic/foot care/safety pins/dust mask/gas mask
  4. Special Needs - food/medical/children/elderly/disabled/pets
  5. Tools - multi-tool/knife/wire/cable ties/duct tape/rope/paracord/gloves/small axe/repair tools/super glue/aluminum foil/ /manual can opener (often on multi-tool)/bungee cords/foldable or wire saw
  6. Communication - radio/hand crank - solar - battery/two-way radios/cell phone
  7. Fire - fire starter/lighter/matches/tinder/flint starter/magnifying glass
  8. Signaling & Orienting - whistle/signal mirror/compass/maps/GPS device
  9. Lighting - Hand crank - solar - battery/headlamp/flashlight/lantern/candles
  10. Power & Energy - batteries - regular and rechargeable/power-pack for batteries & cell phone recharged by solar and/or hand crank/solar and/or hand crank that charges devices directly
  11. Shelter - tarp/tent - tube or larger/plastic sheeting/insect protection
  12. Emergency Blankets/sleeping bags - emergency or larger or bivy sack
  13. Personal Hygiene/sanitary supplies/disinfectant
  14. Plastic Bags/ties
  15. Personal Security - weapon & ammo if appropriate/pepper spray/bear repellent/mace or other options
  16. Appropriate Clothing and Footwear - protection from the elements/apparel for warmth/heat packs - hand and body warmers
  17. Identification and Essential Documents - Bible/compact survival handbook/personal ID/insurance and other key documents/entertainment
  18. Spare Keys
  19. Phone Numbers and Addresses - friends, relatives, and emergency organizations/agencies
  20. Instructions on meeting and/or communicating with family and/or friends during or after an emergency
  21. Cash/credit cards
  22. Pen/markers/paper
  23. Configured Compact Emergency Kit with Essential Items
  24. Carrying Device - carry bag/backpack/suitcase/sturdy container/Food & Supply Brick/duffel Bag (very durable and if you anticipate carrying your bag any distance shoulder straps should be available with your carry bag or duffel)

If time permits, take irreplaceable items such as heirlooms, heirloom jewelry, photographs, military/marriage/birth/deed records, computers, tablets, and personal contact information and documents not included in your grab-and-go device.

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