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  • Everything You Need to Know About Emergency Kits

    What is an Emergency Kit?

    emergency kitAn emergency kit, according to Ready.gov, is “simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.” Many of the items found in your personal emergency kit may vary from person to person (due to personal circumstances), but the majority should remain constant.

    Emergency kits are your bread and butter during times of disaster and other crises. Everything inside should help you get through whatever disaster comes your way. Of course, all disasters come with different challenges, but the basic necessities will always remain unchanged. Which brings us to the next question…

     

    What Should an Emergency Kit Contain?

    Keep what you need to survive. What do you need in an emergency? The obvious answers are food and water. But that’s just the beginning. With more gear and tools, you will have a much easier time getting through your crisis.

    The following list is what Ready.gov recommends you have in your emergency kit (and should last you for at least three days):

    • Emergency KitWater
    • Food
    • Radio
    • Flashlight
    • First aid kit
    • Whistle
    • Dust mask
    • Moist towelettes, garbage bags
    • Wrench or pliers
    • Can opener
    • Maps
    • Cell phone charger, inverter, or solar charger

     

    All these items serve an important purpose for not just survival, but obtaining whatever comforts you can when everything else is out of reach. Whistles are essential for calling for help without wasting too much energy. Moist towelettes can be used for sanitary needs. Food for eating. Water for drinking. Well, you get the idea. Everything in your kit should help you succeed during a disaster.

     

    What Should You Do With Your Kit?

    Emergency kits are to be used in the event of an emergency (as the name implies). That means it must be ready when an emergency happens. If your kit has sat unused for years, there’s a chance some of the items won’t be usable when the time comes.

    Flashlight batteries could be dead, food could be old and bad, and other things could be wrong with the contents if you haven’t looked through it in a while. Ideally, you should be checking your emergency kits every six months, rotating your food, water, and other gear when necessary.

     

    Keep it Handy

    It would be great if we could plan when and where disasters strike. That way we would always be ready. But, as life would have it, controlling those outside factors just isn’t something we are able to do. Usually, disasters give us little or no warning, which means you’ll need to act fast when a crisis comes for a visit. And, since you never know where you’ll be when disaster strikes, it’s ideal to have an emergency kit in many different locations.

     

    Home

    You spend a lot of time at home. If nothing else, it’s where you sleep, and many disasters have been known to wait until the wee hours of the morning before making their presence known (i.e. tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.). Having an emergency kit at home is vital to your success, day or night.

    Speaking of night, it’s never so dark as when the power’s out and you’re looking for your gear. That’s one reason why it’s imperative to store your emergency kit in an easy to reach location. Likewise, disasters may force you from your home without a moment’s notice (much like those who fled the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta). When this happens, you grab what’s available and get out of there. By having your emergency kit in a handy, easy to reach location (such as your front closet), your emergency kit becomes your bug out bag, which will help you get through the next 72 hours of uncertainty.

     

    Vehicle

    Trunk Emergency Kit All these emergency items can pack up small for maximum trunk space.

    From mudslides in California to snowy roads in many other parts of the country, your road trip can take a turn for the worst without so much as a warning. Drivers have been stranded in their car for days, relying on whatever provisions they had for their road trip to see them through until help arrived. Usually, it’s just a few snacks, rather than anything substantial. By having an emergency kit in your vehicle, you can not only have the food and water needed for survival, but tools to help get your car unstuck and back on the road. At the very least, you can have ways to call or signal for help.

     

    Work

    Aside from your home, you spend quite a bit of time (too much, perhaps?) at the office. Find out what your business’s emergency contingency plan is. If they already have kits for their employees, great! But chances are you’re on your own in that regard. Put an emergency kit together to put in your locker, slide under your desk, or somewhere else it will fit.

     

    School

    Your kids deserve to be ready for anything, and you can help them. There are many instances in which your children may have use for a mini emergency kit, such as a school lock down, severe weather, bus accident, and more. Just like any kit, your children’s school emergency kits should have water, food, an emergency whistle, a first aid kit, and other essential items. Of course, this kit should be small, so as to fit in the bottom of your children’s backpacks. Additionally, have your children keep another emergency kit in their locker. This way, they can have larger items (such as an emergency blanket) already at the school should they need it. For more information, the Mom with a Prep blog discusses what each child’s emergency kit should contain, as well as why it’s necessary.

     

    Get Your Own Emergency Kit

    Now that you know more about emergency kits, the next step is to acquire one of your own. You can either make one yourself, buy a pre-assembled kit, or add to an already assembled kit with your own customizations and personalizations.

     

    Purchase a Pre-Assembled Emergency Kit

    We’ve put together a wide range of pre-assembled emergency kits, containing all the basics you need for various situations. Check out our line of emergency kits and get the one(s) that will best suit your needs. Once you have your kit, feel free to add to it. You might include personal documents, extra flashlights, and anything else feel you may need.

     

    Make Your Own

    If you already have everything you need for your kit, or you just want to use other products not in our pre-assembled kits, you can make your own easily by getting a backpack and filling it with all the supplies you need (see above for a list of important items). Or, you could make a hybrid by taking one of our kits and adding other items of your choosing.

     

    When emergencies strike, you’ll want some basic supplies to help keep yourself safe and healthy. Emergency kits, when properly packed with frequent rotations of items, are the ideal resource to help see you through those tough times. Keep them in your home, in your car, and at work and school. After all, you never know when or where a disaster will strike. But when you’re prepared, there’s nothing you can’t handle.

     

    Click here to shop our emergency kits.

     

    Emergency Kit with Box

  • 6 Days Stranded in a Car: The Case for Winter Driving Preparedness

    Anyone who has spun off an icy road knows the dangers of winter driving. But when a family was traveling from Oregon to California, their trip took a dangerous turn.

    stranded-family-via-yahoo-news The Sanquist family - via Yahoo News

    Following their GPS to reach their destination in the fastest way possible, the Sanquist family found themselves stuck on a snow-covered road. The mother and father were with their 9-year-old daughter and the family dog. They were trapped overnight, but managed to make the trek out for help in the morning.

    Ron, the husband and father, lamented that cell service was unavailable, and they had no shovel to use in order to dig themselves out. If his two-mile hike in the morning hadn’t given him cell service, who knows how much farther he would have had to walk in the snow?

    Another, similar experience that happened to a couple in Wyoming was even more dangerous.

    In 2013, Mark Wathke and his wife, Kristine spent six days in their car – stuck in a foot of snow – before they were found. Again, they were following their GPS, trying to get to Montana from Yellowstone National Park, when it took them down a highway that is always closed during the winter due to treacherous weather conditions.

    “We never saw any road-closed sign, any barricades,” said Kristine, “[nothing] indicating it was trouble.”

    But trouble there was.

    All they had in their car was a bit of food for their road trip, and by the time they realized they weren’t going anywhere, all that was left was eight pieces of bread, half a jar of jelly, and a few bottles of water. During the nights, temperatures dropped below zero. They put on layers of clothing from their suitcases to stay warm.

    They even got out a notebook and wrote goodbye letters to their friends and loved ones.

    Fortunately, on the sixth day, a rancher found them on his snowmobile. He was able to rescue them and see them safely off.

    Both scenarios show two different groups equally unprepared. Fortunately, both parties eventually got out of their predicaments, but only after a frightening experience. Both groups were regular people, just like you. So what sets you aside as someone who would fare better?

    Preparation is one thing. Your trunk should have some sort of emergency kit, consisting of food, water, warmth, and some necessary tools like a radio, whistle, and shovel. These are all items both groups could have benefited from while stuck in the snow. Small, folding shovels tuck nicely into a corner of your trunk. They don’t take up much room, but are certainly a welcome companion when you need to dig out your car.

    Nobody plans on getting stuck in the snow. In both these examples, they were even following directions from their GPS. Even if you think your directions are reliable, don’t put yourself in danger if the roads or terrain looks even slightly risky.

    But above all else, make sure you have the gear you need to survive a lengthy stay in the cold should you find yourself in a similar situation.

     

    Winter_Storm_Blog_Image2

  • Trapped in Traffic: Prepare Your Car for Winter Driving

    For Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law, his wife, and a few cousins drove from Utah to California to visit family for the holiday. As they were driving back to Utah the following Sunday, the weather turned sour. It wasn’t snowing heavily – just light rain and sleet, according to my brother-in-law – but that didn’t stop a wreck from happening 80 miles away from their home.

    winter-traffic winter drivingFortunately they weren't involved, but traffic was at a standstill. They would later discover that a semi-truck had jackknifed on the freeway, blocking all lanes. My brother-in-law took a side road – along with everyone else on the freeway – in order to get around the accident. As it turned out, traffic slowed to a crawl – and then full on stop – on that road as well. They moved six miles in an hour and a half. It was 8:00 at night, and they had work and school the next day.

    Later, they learned what had caused the stoppage on the access road – another semi-truck had jackknifed.

    Such experiences can be very frustrating. Fortunately, they all made it back safe and sound. The only casualty was a bit of sanity and some much needed sleep. But they’re alright, and that’s what matters.

    Winter has arrived here in Utah, and if it hasn’t arrived for you yet, it could very soon.

    We talk a lot about preparing your home and food storage for emergencies and disasters (which also includes winter), but today we’d like to help you get your car ready for winter driving conditions.

    First off, how’s your car’s emergency kit? Just like in your home, your car should be prepared with the essentials, just in case you slide off the road or are otherwise stranded in the cold. Ready.gov has a list of necessary items for your car’s kit. Some of those include the following:

     

    • Shovel
    • Windshield scraper
    • Flashlight
    • Water
    • Snack food
    • Blankets and warm clothing
    • Road salt/sand
    • Booster cables

     

    These are some of the basic necessities that need to go with you wherever you travel throughout the winter. Of course, you may have special circumstances and needs which you should prepare for as well, such as medications, pet supplies, or other such items.

    Thinking back on the experience of my brother-in-law, what might have happened if they had things not worked out for them? My first thought is gas.

    What would their trip home have been like if their gas tank had been low going into that traffic jam? During a chilly winter night, they could have been stuck without heat. Blankets, hats, mittens, and other warm clothing would have been a very welcomed resource in that situation. Fortunately, their gas tank was full enough until they could reach the next town (the towns are spread out quite far in the area in which they were stuck, so things could have been a lot worse).

    winter driving

    If they had been stuck on the road, snacks and water would not only do wonders for their morale, but help keep them hydrated, alert, and functioning properly in the event they needed more than just corn ships. Flashlights would have been useful in checking under the hood in case of car trouble (or having light by which passengers could read while they wait). A traffic jam is one thing. Sliding off the road in the middle of nowhere and having to wait for help to arrive would certainly require an emergency stash of gear.

    And the list goes on.

    You see, we never can plan for disasters (including two jackknifed trucks blocking two roads on one trip). That’s why it’s so important to have emergency gear and supplies in your car. The example scenarios above are only meant to give a hint of what could have been – the possibilities of what could have happened are many.

     

    Winter_Storm_Blog_Image2 winter driving

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