Short term survival situations normally come after a disaster such as an earthquake, civil unrest, and even too much snow. The likely-hood of being caught in one of these situations in your life time is not only plausible, it’s high. Spending a little time learning some basic skills and putting together a disaster readiness kit will not only put your mind at ease, lower stress during these events, and give you a better sense of security, it could also save the lives of you and your family if you’re not able to get help or resources from the outside for a prolonged period of time.
Important things to have on hand for these type of disasters include:
1. Water: Plan on at least 1 gallon per person, per day. If you have a family of four it would be a good idea to routinely store between 50 and 100 gallons of water for an disaster situation. This can be done in a drum of water that collects from your rain gutters (check local laws), or in bottled water in a cupboard, or even in a bathtub if you have time before the utilities stop functioning. Another important water source can be toilets, including the back of the toilet, which isn’t ideal but can still be made safe with water cleaning products and thorough boiling. Two options to purify your own water, if you have a source nearby, that are quick and easy are the Travelers Supply Water Purification Tablets and the Katadyn Micropur Water Purification Tablets 8013692 (30-pack) both priced very low and can purify more water than you and your family would need in a month. They also have a very long shelf-life.
2. Food: Nowadays you can buy canned goods for an incredibly low price, and they take up very little space. You should try and stock as much food as reasonably possible in your situation. You can find products like the Emergency Survival Food 100 Meal Kit that use a powder that can be re-hydrated into a full meal, and provide up to 100 meals for around 60$. You can also purchase 10-12 cans of high quality soup or vegetables at stores like Costco or Wal-Mart for 6-7$. You can literally buy a few years of food for under $500. These are great places to pick up low cost food that uses very little space and will keep you alive when the refrigerator stops working. Other options include the Emergency Survival Food Supply 275 Meal Pack which can comfortably feed a family for a few months, all you need to add is water.
3. First-Aid kit: First Aid kits should have a place in every home, and are infinitely valuable in disaster situations.
4. Comfortable clothing for your area: If you live up north be sure and plan for events beyond your control to have a negative impact on your ability to heat your home, if you live in the south make sure you have comfortable clothing that you can live and work in if your air conditioning can’t keep you cool. Warm jackets, flannels, wool socks, and gloves are important to have on hand when facing northern winters. If there’s a natural disaster there’s a good chance you’ll need to be outside and working so it’s important you have clothes thtat allow you to do this.
5. Tools and gear: If there is a natural disaster there’s always a chance you’ll need to make immediate repairs to your home, to a neighbors house, or to your property. It’s absolutely necessary to have ample tools on-hand to allow you to make simple repairs. A good toolset includes a hammer, nails, screw drivers, chisels, wrench, pliers, pieces of wire or metal, some spare wood, a saw capable of cutting the branches/trees in your area. There are several kit options for this but it’s best if you piece together one yourself.
6. An action plan: Plan with household family, close neighbors, and friends. If the cost of acquiring the necessary goods is too high for your current budget, try splitting up the costs to share among neighbors, family, and friends who can save money buying in bulk. It’s also important to have a communication plan, meeting places, and safe zones if the type of disaster causes people to turn violent.
7. Secure a way out: This could include some extra gasoline for a vehicle, maybe hiking gear, or maybe a planned route to take with a shared vehicle with family or friends. If the area is contaminated or unsuitable due to violence, outbreak, etc. you’ll want a solid plan for leaving the area and a place to go. Another important aspect to this is planning WHERE to go, maybe an uncles unused cabin in the woods, maybe with relatives in a rural area, it’s important to know where you’re going when you set up a plan to leave.