“This won’t happen to me,” is definitely not an attitude that a person can afford to take in this age of natural and man-made disasters. So, it is in your interest that you look at the Boy Scouts motto of “Be prepared” and have survival kits ready for your family.
For people living in earthquake-prone zones, an earthquake kit needs to be an integral part of your family evacuation and emergency preparedness plan.
Disasters can strike anywhere. Don’t believe that your local responders are capable of getting to you quickly in a large-scale emergency. There are too many residents and too few responders to get to everyone in need quickly.
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This is why you need your own disaster survival kit. You may have to rely on yourself and your own personal resources for at least a couple of hours before government agencies arrive to help. Depending on the size of the disaster, help may not arrive for days. Because of this, it is always a good idea to get your survival kits along with the first aid supplies ready and placed in strategic places so they are available during an emergency evacuation situation.
Remember that a survival kit is definitely not restricted to just earthquakes. A disaster survival kit can be used during a hurricane, tornado, house fire, flood, or any sort of situation in which there is a loss of water and electricity.
The size of the kit is going to depend upon the size of your family. What are the important items which should be present in a disaster survival kit?
» Have appropriate clothes according to the weather.
» Lightweight rain gear and the lightweight space blanket for warmth.
» Waterproof matches and/or lighter. You can also add PLBs (personal locator beacon), candles, flashlights, compasses, paper, and pens.
» A first-aid kit. Your first-aid kit is going to have sterile gauze, bandages and first aid tape, scissors, disinfectants, and Ibuprofen. Include soap, feminine personal hygiene products, and insect repellent.
» Essential medications for the family. It may not be feasible to keep medications in a kit, so you may want to keep a short list of items like this that need to be included in the time comes.
» Food and water for a 72-hour kit include water purifying iodine tablets and salt for food, canned foods, and a can opener.
» Some people also put in portable radios with a long-lasting battery or crank charging radios and flashlights in the kit.
A good survival kit can be considered to be a 72-hour kit because you need to prepare yourself to be away from rescue operations for about this time. This is, of course, the worst-case scenario, but three days is the bare minimum of time for which you need to be prepared.
Important family papers, like certificates, passports, driving license, etc. can also be stored away in the survival kits. Also, put in some ready cash and credit cards in the kit. Keep a list of important phone numbers to contact in case of an emergency.
Now you need to look at the water supply. Each family member needs at least one gallon of water, every day. So you need easy access to stored water and kept away from the sunlight.
Here are some other multipurpose items which you can add to the kit — needles and thread, cable saws for cutting wood, parachute cord, and a multipurpose hobo or Swiss knife.
A little bit of effort now in the making up of your survival kit may save you during a possible future catastrophe. Emergency planning and preparedness only take a few minutes, now is not a bad time to start.