With hurricane season upon us once again, it is a good time to start putting together a survival pack. In fact, survival packs are not just for hurricane season, but for any time of the year. A survival pack comes in handy in case of a natural disaster or power outage, or even an ice or snow storm. Survival packs received the most attention after Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina, but most government agencies recommend that every family have one prepared at all times.
Things You'll Need
- Suitcase with several days' worth of clothes
- Bottled water
- Cell-phone charger
- Important documents
Preparing a Survival Pack
Pack suitcases for your family. When you pack clothes for a survival pack, you should fill one large suitcase with enough clothes for all of your family members. In general, you should include at least two days' worth of clothes for each family member. If you have a young child in your family, don't forget to pack diapers and wipes as well. Keep in mind that, in case of an emergencyy, ou might not have time to look for these items before you have to leave your house .
Prepare a small suitcase full of food. Obviously, the food must be non-perishable, considering that it will be sitting in your survival pack for a long period of time. Do not pack items that must be microwaved or cooked on a stove, since you will not know when you will next be in an area with electricity. Some of the best items include snack bars, peanut butter, cereal, beef jerky, canned fruit and dried fruits.
Put copies of your important documents in an envelope and pack it in one of your suitcases. This envelope should contain a copy of everyone's birth certificate and Social Security card. It should also include recent tax filings, automobile registration and/or loan documents and home-ownership information. If you think an original will be required instead of a copy, pack that. Just make sure you have extra copies of the document somewhere for backup purposes. In this envelope, include several hundred dollars in cash. If there is a loss of power, ATMs will not operate.
Keep in mind that, in case of a natural disaster, you will not know how far you will have to travel, or how long it will take to get somewhere that has electricity. Make sure you have a flashlight in your survival kit. You can purchase a battery-powered emergency charger for your cell phone at cell-phone stores, grocery stores and convenience stores. Make sure you have an extra charging cable for your cell phone your kit as well. If you plan on taking a laptop computer with you, pack an extra battery, along with a charging cable.
Create a list of the phone numbers you feel you must have if you are forced to leave your home. It is a smart idea to print out these numbers on a business-card-sized piece of paper and have it laminated. You should have one of these made for each member of your household who will be with you. This way, everyone will have the phone numbers they need. This card should include your cell-phone number and your spouse's number, labeled as "mom" and "dad" on your child's laminated card. This will come in handy in case you get separated and someone finds your child.
Keep all of these items in a location in your house that will be easily accessible in the event of an emergency. This location should not be in the basement if flooding is common in your area. Neither should you store survival materials in the upper levels of the home, or in hard-to-locate areas. Your kit should be stored so that you can find it in five minutes, in case you have to evacuate immediately.
Tips & Warnings
- You should replace the food in your survival kit on a yearly basis. Also check your flashlight every six months.
- Do not use this kit as a spare supply of batteries for around your house. If you do, you could find your supply empty when an emergency arrives.
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