Natural disasters are unavoidable events that sweep everything in their path away.
They are unfortunate, but consistent aspects of our lives and, while we can do nothing to stop them in their erstwhile march, we can certainly prepare for them in the best ways possible.
Sometimes this preparation takes the form of equipment, food, and bunkers, sometimes this preparation means having an escape plan or route to somewhere safe, but everyone needs at least one plan to fall back on should things begin to fall apart for those caught in disasters.
In this article, we will talk about what you need to survive a natural disaster and what your emergency kit should at least have for every situation.
Shelter Or A Safe Place
If you have been residing in the same place for a long time and want to continue doing that, then one of the best things to do is to create some kind of shelter or safe place you can go to.
Depending on the disaster and depending on how secure your home is, you could make this place in your house.
The shelter in your home has to be a very secure place, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be that big, it just has to be structurally sound and safe to be in.
For hurricanes, tornados, or fires, a basement is a very good shout. It is embedded in the ground, so it is structurally secure, it can hold a lot of items, and it is easily accessible.
For disasters such as floods, a basement is a bad idea, so maybe having a second shelter upstairs for those scenarios might help.
If you do not feel your home is safe enough or that you can’t create a safe for a shelter, then it is best to pick somewhere best to home.
Your town will have information about where an emergency shelter would be located on the radio or news, so jot that information down and when the disaster starts approaching make your way there.
The other option is to go find a natural shelter, like a cave or a high plateau. If you do this, make sure you know your route by memory, you do not want to get lost in poor conditions.
No matter what happens or how well-prepared a certain location is, you always want to have an easily portable emergency kit of supplies.
If the hurricane comes with flooding, then your basement is useless, what would you do then without an emergency kit?
To help you through the disaster, your kit should contain:
At least one galleon per person per day, with a minimum of a 3-day supply.
If you can’t fit the water in, then try to get enough for 2 to 3 days and also include a fair amount of water purification tablets and LifeStraws.
These can be used to make water found outside drinkable in an emergency.
During and after a disaster, there won’t be any food stores open and much of the food in certain areas will be contaminated.
Therefore, you need a store of non-perishable food that can last months after being opened.
Cans or easy to prepare foods are great for this, like peanut butter, pretzels, crackers, dried fruits, nuts, even MRE’s if you can afford or be bothered to get them.
First Aid Kit
The likelihood is that you or someone else will be injured during this disaster. Having a first aid kit (Also check out What Is An IFAK?) can stop infections and help you suture wounds easily.
You should also pack it with a week’s supply of any continuous medication you or your family need.
Depending on the disaster, your house may be out of power and water for some time. Some disasters – like floods – can make you wet, cold, and dirty as well.
Having clean, dry clothes can keep you warm and also provide a mental boost from being in clean clothes, not just dirty old clothes.
Personal Hygiene Items
What we said about the dirt just now is not a joke, it will become a constant companion throughout a disaster event.
Dirt can get in wounds and make sickness more common, therefore having a few personal hygiene items on you can help prevent this from becoming an issue.
Even just some wet wipes or hand sanitizer can go a long way.
Without our modern electricity, there is nothing to keep the lights on at night, and you don’t want to be struggling with fiddly tasks that need doing in the dark.
Getting a flashlight is a reliable and easy way to stop this being a problem.
A battery-powered radio can give you information when other things can’t.
If a cell phone tower goes dark or the power goes out, this little device can keep you informed of the status of the disaster, the potential problems in the future, and any chances of rescue without running out of power or losing signal.
Batteries are a fantastic independent energy source for tools you need. They don’t rely on a power grid, and they are tiny.
Keeping a flashlight or radio powered is a lot easier when you have a lot of batteries in a disaster.
A multi tool is a small tool with lots of different pieces of equipment on it. They will almost always include: a knife, scissors, wire-cutters, pliers, screwdrivers, and saws, on them.
When you carry one through a disaster, you have all the equipment you need to survive without searching each tool individually in the house.
You may not have access to beds for a while and nights can get cold. As such, you will need a warm thermal sleeping bag to get you through it.
Cash And Personal Documents
Credit cards will be useless if a city loses power, and you can easily prove who you are if you have some personal documents on you.
Phones don’t have much battery nowadays, but by bringing a portable charger, you can ensure that you have what you need to keep it going for a couple more days than it would have gone.
This list may seem like a lot, but almost all of it will fit in a large Duffel bag or rucksack, and many people bring all of these on treks.
However, the plan and the kit will mean the difference between life and death in a natural disaster, and your odds of survival will increase significantly by making it.