An emergency kit is one of the most useful things that you can have in order to keep you safe in the event of a disaster or emergency. The purpose of an emergency kit is to either help you survive and stay where you are, or to help keep you alive and well while you’re traveling to a safe place. Either way, the basic purpose is to keep someone alive until a solution to the crisis is available, or until the natural disaster is over. These kits could be as small as a few items, or as large as a storage box packed full in a basement or in the back of a car. Whether it’s small or large, choosing what to add to the kit depends on the intended mobility and weight of each item. A backpack, for example, should be light in order to allow the person to travel if necessary; as opposed to a car kit, which could be heavier and more bulky. While there are many types of items that can be placed in an emergency kit, the main categories to address are: Food and Water, Shelter, Fire and Light, Medical, and Self Defense. These are the 5 basic things that every kit must have in order to be successful.
Food and Water:
This is an important category because no human being can go long without food and water. The average human can go about 3 days without water before severe dehydration sets in. On the other hand, the average human can go several weeks without food and survive. Even if someone doesn’t have food and water, although they may live, they will become weak and unable to mentally survive an extreme situation. Also, depending on the situation, knowing how to hunt and get your own food could also be very successful. Having food and water could easily be the difference between life and death.
Although not as important as food, shelter is important for long term survival. or survival during rough conditions. For example, having a basic shelter during a rainstorm or blizzard could mean the difference between being soaked for days or getting hypothermia. A shelter doesn’t have to be complex, but it should at the very least shield you from precipitation and wind. A shelter could even be necessary in a 60 degree sunny environment in order to prevent sunburn. There are many items that could be used for shelter, but the main items are ones that make a roof and a wall in the direction of the wind. Although a ground tarp or device is important, its not necessary for a shelter to be effective.
Fire and Light:
This category is important for several reasons. First, fire is necessary for warmth, cooking, and keeping predators away. Second, light will enable a person to see the hazards around them if night travel is a necessity, or during a power outage. Although fire sheds a good deal of light, a flashlight is best for seeing far distances and scaring off animals or people. Even when an emergency is not severe, having light gives most people a sense of safety and awareness. Imagine being stuck in New York City with no power and not being able to take the stairs to the street due to total darkness. Although the human eye can adjust to darkness, it may be impossible to see during a blackout.
A good medical kit could save many lives in an emergency situation. During a disaster, medical help may not be available for a long time, meaning that a simple cut that gets infected could lead to death if the infection enters the blood stream. Also, a deep wound could be stabilized during an emergency for as long as it takes for medical help to arrive. Even a person who catches the flu could develop pneumonia if the flu is not treated. A few fever reducers could prevent this, and are very light and easy to carry around.
During many disasters, looting or violent behaviors could occur. The most important thing to guard is yourself and your supplies. There are many different items that could be used for self defense, however the most useful would be a knife or gun. Depending on where you live, a gun would be the best self defense weapon that you can own. It gives you the ability to defend against multiple attackers while keeping you at a distance. A knife, which is legal in most areas of the world, is also effective, not only for self defense but also for basic tasks in the wild.
Although there are many more items and categories that could be included, these 5 are the most basic. In the next coming weeks we will be going into detail describing what needs to be in each of these five areas. Each section can contain many items, with some items having a dual purpose. The usefulness of each item may be debated and vary from person to person, but the list we will give has been thoroughly practiced and should cover all the basics. Anyone who needs specific medications or devices should add those items, but for the general population, our kit will be effective. Although an emergency kit doesn’t guarantee survival, its always better than having nothing. A well prepared kit could mean the difference between life and death.