Monday, April 12, 2010

Preparing emergency survival kits

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 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, tin opener, clothing).

You can buy ready-made survival kits or you can also take care of preparing them yourself

Ideally, you should have enough identical 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). You should run a drill every three to six months.

How much water do you need to store?

The recommended quantity of water to store is one Gallon (4.5 liters) per 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.


It's important to periodically change the food and water of the kits with fresh food and fresh water. 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.

Your family emergency drills can also be an opportunity to consume outdated supplies before they are replaced.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 kit are in good shape and functional.

If you family doesn't practice with will they take care of themselves if you are not there?

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