Shelter, food, water, and security. These are the four basic elements you need to provide for. With an intelligent disaster plan, and the will to survive and a cache of food and supplies you will have what you need during the hard times.
The Basics for a 72 Hour Survival Kit
Use a backpack that you can realistically carry all the items you'll need.
Use the Rule of 3 When Making Your Kit: You could be dead in......
Three minutes without air
Three minutes from a severe wound
Three minutes from extreme freezing conditions
Three hours without shelter in severe weather
Three days without water
Three weeks without food
WATER AND FIRE:
In a major disaster, you may be faced with drinking from questionable sources. Always boil your water so you'll need to make a fire. Boiling the water gets rid of the bacteria so you can drink it. There are also water purification tablets which are effective but often bad tasting, but that should not stop you from using them if it means your life.
I suggest you carry at least three different methods: lighter, matches and a magnesium striker. Magnesium can be carried safely in a small block, but when you scrap the edge into small grit, it will ignite with a spark. The striker is a metal bar that when struck by the edge of a knife, for example, causes that high temperature spark. The wooden handles version is slightly different. The wood is oil soaked and the scraper is used to strap the wood to form tender which lights easily, even after a half hour under water.
Another tip to accelerate fire starting is to carry Cotton rubbed with petroleum jelly. I carry them in old film canisters or prescription bottles, both of which are water-resistant. The other benefits of fire are heat, cooking, protection from animals and a signal for rescue.
In a major disaster, you will be the doctor until help arrives...harsh reality but true. You will want to know how to help yourself, family and friends with medical assistance. A good start for customizing your medical kit starts with the basics of band aids and alcohol pads and an instructive first aid manual. Of course, you will want to build on this with sterile gauze, tape and painkillers such as aspirin and Tylenol. If you have to take prescription medicine, try to have at least a 2 week supply, along with diabetic supplies if needed. Cough and cold medicines for adults and children if needed should be included in the kit. Also, extra inhalers if someone in your group has asthma. You should have finger splints, knee brace, ACE bandage and spare glasses if you or someone else wears them. Customize your kit for yourself and your families needs.
Each kit should have an Emergency Survival Blanket, it can retain 90% of your body heat. They come in many sizes and qualities and can also be used for rain and shade protection.
A sturdy Poncho is also a must. It will keep the rain off of you and provide shade. A tarp is a good idea, as you can put it on the ground then cover it with a wool blanket to keep the chill from the ground off of you. Be sure to include some 550 Paracord. This will come in handy for a quick tent when tied between two trees or some kind of post..you drape your poncho over it and you have some shelter. You should also include hand warmers and feet warmers that are available through many websites or hardware stores.
THE RIGHT KIND OF CLOTHING:
You should have pants, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, and underwear packed as a spare. Try to dress in these types of clothing too. Pack a sock hat and baseball cap for cold and heat, and wear good boots that support your ankles and are waterproof. Each kit should have three types of gloves...non-latex for treating wounds, work gloves to protect your hands and weather appropriate gloves for insulation or sun protection. Try to carry at least three pairs of extra socks, and dry all clothes by a fire or in the sun to keep them from causing you any problems.
FOOD AND PERSONAL HYGIENE
there are so many choices in survival foods today. You can buy MRE meals like the military uses or energy bars that provide 3500 calories for energy need. I like to choose my own types according to my tastes and my families tastes. This is where our kits get very customized. We always add, tea bags, hot cocoa and dry cups of soup packets. You can make trail mix with nuts, fruits, m & m's, crackers and cereal and store in ziploc bags. Cheese and Peanut Butter crackers are also good, along with hard candy and gum. Pick what you want, but make sure it will give you the energy you'll need. We also supplement these items with vitamins. It is a good idea to every once a month to go through the kits and replace any of the food that has expired. If you have a baby with you, be sure to add formula or dry milk and baby food.
In a survival situation, your 72 Hour Kit should have everything you need to handle all normal biological functions. So, to this part of the kit you should add toothpaste, toothbrush, comb and brush, a mess kit for eating (can be found in camping goods at a department store.) You will also need tissue, feminine products, shaving cream, razors, Q-tips, hand sanitizer, wet wipes and shampoo. Of course, add your own personal products as needed for each family member. Another wonderful thing to have is LED flashlights and extra batteries, Glow Sticks and Emergency candles which will help for lighting and reassurance when it is dark. It is a good choice too, to have a set of Walkie Talkies with fresh batteries. You will also want to have some cash on hand, suntan lotion, a folding knife and can opener. Be sure to customize your kit for YOUR needs and the people you are with. It is a good idea to store water and more food at home too. Along with sleeping bags, blankets, lanterns, axe and shovel and anything else you think would come in handy if you are lucky enough to stay at home. Always be prepared for the unexpected.
In the event of a national emergency, you can almost count on a food shortages, rationing, and potentially even food riots. You really need to prepare as much as you can, while you can by stocking up on what you will need during this time. Don't try to sustain yourself indefinitely, just enough to get you through the crisis. It will help you to think more clearly when there is a crisis knowing that you prepared ahead of time. Because of how long it may takes it get the situation under control in the community and nationwide, I suggest you make provisions for at least 30 days with enough food and water for each person in your household. Ideally, you should have a 6 month supply, but this may not be realistic for most people.
Water....10 bottles of water per person each day at 12 ounces each. So, 50 cases of this water would supply a family of 4 people for 30 days. That's a lot of cases of water! Of course, you can also fill clean containers and store them for flushing the toilet and sponge bathing. You can add iodine drops to sterilize the water for drinking or boil it and this is a safe way of using water from ponds, streams, lakes, hot tubs, and swimming pools. You can invest in 5 gallon water bottles to store your water and use and refill them on a regular bases ensuring that they are fresh. In the first minutes of the disaster if you have the chance, fill your tubs with water and any containers you have left in the house. This will come in handy for many uses. Continue to use the tap water as long as it is available, but never use it if your community is flooded since it will be contaminated by overflowing sewage and make it unsafe to use. Be sure to store as much water as you can, and have back up plans on accessing water for long term survival from many different places. You need to plan for 3 meals a day, which is 90 meals per person for a 30 day period. You can much information from many good sites for preparedness, one of my favorites is www.BePrepared.com they have many of the items you can use for your kits. Stay safe!