In the light of the recent events, we have been reminded how important the old scout motto is. I keep a list in my camping first-aid kit of things I would absolutely not want to be without for more than a couple of days. When I go camping, I update the list. It is really hard to think of what you need while you at home and you have everything readily available, but when you are out in the woods, it becomes obvious what is essential and what is just for comfort.
The Department of Homeland Security suggests keeping three days’ worth of supplies on hand. Here are some essentials:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps (paper!)
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Some additional items you may also need:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) – PDF, 277Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Emergency Zone has several kits on Amazon.com. The one below is a pretty good starter kit. When you start with a purchased kit you will want to completely unpack it and get familiar with what is in it. You will want to add items based on your particular situation.
Emergency Zone® Brand. This kit includes the following: 1 Organizational Backpack, 1 3-in-1 emergency light, 2 8 hour light sticks, 1 folding stove with 8 fuel tablets, 1 box of 20 waterproof windproof matches, 2 emergency sleeping bags, 2 emergency ponchos, 2 body warmers, 1 tube tent, 5 utility candles, 2 3600 Calorie US Coast Guard approved Food Bars with a 5 year shelf life, 12 US Coast Guard approved Water Pouches (125ml each) with a 5 year shelf life, 1 bottle of 50 water purification tablets, 1 Lexan bottle (1L), 1 multi tool knife, 1 5 in 1 survival whistle, 1 50 ft. rope, 2 pairs of work gloves, 2 N95 masks, 1 deluxe first aid kit, 1 hygiene kit (2 toothbrushes, toothpaste, comb, washcloth, 10 tissues, 12 wet naps, shampoo), 1 roll of toilet paper, 1 note pad, 1 pencil, 1 sewing kit and 1 emergency preparedness guide.