Friday, January 05, 2007

Disasters large or small

Another public service announcement (read as, nagging session): Are you ready ‘in case’?

If there’s a good-sized disaster (fill in the one your region is prone to – out here, it’s earthquakes) and things are crazy-insane-mad for a few days, no running water, no electricity, no phone or fax or {shudder} Internet…are you going to be OK?

I had cause to notice our disaster kit was a little sub-prime when we removed it from Behemoth and discovered the water had expired two years before, the medicines were way past their shelf life, the flashlight had vanished…the list of AWOL items goes on.

So, right after we got Homer I went online to Be Prepared and bought one of these: Trekker 4-Person 72-Hour Emergency Kit. It contains the bare-bones essentials to get four people through three days worth of ‘aaaaaaah!’. They also have smaller versions for couples or singles.

It arrived today and it is cool. Very comprehensive list of goodies, with a pair of sturdy daypacks Mom and Dad can use to tote it all – the entire kit fit into the two bags, with room to spare. The 3600 calorie bar is the kind of thing you would only eat under pretty dire circumstances (IMHO), but hey. If it’s dire? We’ll be glad it’s there.

I’ve supplemented it with other things, making it more suitable for a family of six, some MREs and wool blankets (space blankets are OK, but give me wool any day), plus the comprehensive first aid kit from the old van (this first aid kit is designed for backpackers, with double the medications and the addition of children strength Tylenol melt-aways) and will keep it out in Homer, just in case.

You don’t have to buy an expensive kit like this one – our previous version was basically camping stuff in a ratty old box. You don’t have to be prepared for the End of All Things, build a bunker and stuff it with five year’s worth of canned goods. Just think it through, and be able to take care of yourself and your family for a few days in case the unthinkable happens.

A few days worth of food-that-doesn’t-perish, the ability to make heat and light in the absence of electricity or natural gas flowing through the grid, and enough clean water to hold you and yours for a few days not only saves you discomfort, but contributes to the official people’s ability to get things back to normal. It’s a lot easier to get things done when you don’t have thousands of people line up screaming that they’re hungry and thirsty and cold and hafta go potty.

Trust me on that one. This is the voice of experience speaking.


Stephanie said...

This was on my Christmas/birthday gift list this year. (My new plan - put things I know I *should* do but somehow never find the time to do - I suspect I simply don't want to do them myself - on gift lists. This is how my car got detailed this year too.) I got the car emergency kit with tire guage and a jack and charger cables and stuff for Christmas and I think my mom is setting my dad and brother all by their CERT-trained selves to the store to put together a life emergency kit for my birthday. I hope so anyway.

Jeanne said...

Now—did you add some emergency yarn and needles to the kit?