As the summer season starts to approach and the possibility for more natural disasters comes into reality, do you think you are ready? If a tornado came through your neighborhood tomorrow and wiped out power, clean water, and shelter, what will your family do? It seems like I’ve heard more and more ads on the radio lately for Ready.gov and survival prepping. I’ve even seen billboards around town! Every time I see or hear the ads I remind myself that we are ready and I’m glad that I’ve prepared.
Where we live we’ve already faced flooding, fire, tornadoes, blizzards, and more. We’ve got to be ready for just about anything! A general emergency kit will prepare you for most occasions, although if your area is prone to a specific type of emergency you may need to alter your kit or add to it to make sure you are well prepared. My survival prepping list below is based off the info given to us by Ready.gov with my added recommendations.
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
Make sure your water is stored in hard plastic containers such as empty vinegar bottles or 2 liter soda pop bottles. Do not store water in milk jugs, they are not made for long term use. Also make sure to pour out your water storage every few months and replace with fresh water. You may want to consider a Berkey Water Filter System. We have one and LOVE it. Check out this article for more info on Stockpiling Water.
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Make sure that this is food that your family will eat! Don’t stock up on freeze dried foods if they won’t eat any of it.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
Make sure you get the Weather Radio that sets off an alarm when an alert is issued! You may be in bed sleeping and not paying attention to the alarm and be unaware of the danger. A tornado can happen just as easily at night as it can during the day. I also recommend getting a Police Scanner so you can stay in tune with the local police departments and fire stations during an emergency.
- Flashlight and extra batteries
Or get a hand crank flashlight! And make sure you keep one in each room so you can easily find them in the dark.
- First aid kit
Our first aid kit has both conventional healing items such as bandaids and surgical tape but also natural items such as a beeswax salve for burns.
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
A high quality air purifier is a good investment too as long as you have the electricity to use it.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
I’d go further than this and get a full small tool kit.
- Manual can opener for food
And make sure it actually works! Buy a cheap one too (the kind that just punches a hole in the can) just in case, for backup.
- Local maps
We really like the ones that are covered in hard plastic so they can’t get wet or dirty. If your local maps don’t have this feature you might want to cover them in contact paper.
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
I second the cell phone solar charger. That is the basic survival prepping list provided by Ready.gov. Here are some items I would definitely add to the basic kit.
- A few extra warm outfits for each member of the family.
- Baby supplies if needed.
- Extra perscriptions.
- Mylar Blankets
- Emergency Preparedness Books
Make sure to put your kit in a place that is easily accessible by everyone in the family. Also put it in some kind of water proof container, such as a 5 gallon bucket or a large plastic tote. For more info on the topic of building emergency kits you may want to also check out these articles:
- Building a Mini Emergency Kit
- Homestead Living
- Create a 3 to 6 Month Stockpile
- Best Emergency Preparedness Books
- Stockpiling Water
- Prepping on a Budget