Hurricane season approaches. Hard times are coming. As we discussed in our last post, the government advises us all to have three days of supplies, so that we can be self sustaining until the cavalry arrives. I have a disaster plan, and I keep updating it as I change my opinion or as my needs change.
This is not about being a survivalist or about surviving. Surviving is a part of living, but surviving is not the main goal, it is merely a path to our goal. This is about being able to survive a disaster and being able to recover as much of your life as possible. We must survive, recover, and rebuild.
Recovery is the area where most people spend the least effort, but where a little preparing goes a long way. You need to safeguard the documents and other things that we need to live in the 21st century: Documents, family photos, licenses, certifications, and other important records. We also need to have meeting places (rally points) and other essential details worked out in advance. For more on that, see this post.
Now we can start thinking about supplies and kits. Remember that preparedness is not a kit. Don't think you can put a kit together, and you are all set. The kit is a means to an end. Here are the categories that I recommend for a kit:
Records: The aforementioned documents, photographs, and other needed items. I include a moderate amount of cash on hand ($300 or so) in this category.
First Aid: Medications, drugs, bandages, disinfectants, etc. Nothing elaborate. Simple is better here.
Heat and cooking: You can live on cold canned goods and MREs, but they are simply not tolerable for more than a day or two. Hot meals are best.
Light: Flashlights, lanterns, fire, batteries for them, chemlights, and other ways of creating light.
Tools: People are tool users. Screwdrivers, knife, hammer, hatchet, etc.
Communications: There are many ways to communicate. Cell phones, radios, flags, spray paint, chalk or grease pencil markings left on buildings, signs stapled to telephone poles, etc.
Food and water: Obvious. From half liter bottles of water to reverse osmosis, MREs to farming, we need to consider short and long term food and water needs.
Shelter: Tents, homes, hotels, tarps, even your vehicle. Any way to get out of the weather.
Security: Weapons, cameras, sensors, rotating watches.
Energy: Solar, fire, electric, generators, etc. Anything that helps us power our equipment or our selves that is not cooking or heating related.
The exact contents of those categories will vary depending on the length of time we are to be self sufficient, our finances, the amount of space we have for storage, and the disaster we want to be prepared for. My two week hurricane kit is in yesterday's post.