Survival Kits: Preparing for Calamities and Disasters
When it comes to the safety of our family, we can never be too prepared. Natural disasters are but part and parcel of our lives. We have seen this time and again, most recently in Tacloban when typhoon Yolanda wreaked havoc on the city, rendering countless of families homeless and in despair. While we hope and pray that such disasters never strike our neighborhood, it is necessary to prepare for them.
Carina Guevara Galang, mom of one, says, “Preparation is everything. We really have to prepare for ourselves. It would be foolish to rely on government, even the US government took days to respond to Hurricane Katrina. We owe it to ourselves and our children to be prepared.”
Fellow mom Asun Soler agrees. “We need to be prepared so that we won't be afraid. We have to prepare ourselves mentally and physically as well,” she says.
Map out a clear emergency plan, giving clear directions to every member of the family on what to do during emergency situations, advises Galang. Prepare for all types of scenarios, from floods and earthquakes to fire and home invasion.
At their home, Soler shares, “We go through different scenarios and make it like a game of 'what ifs.'”
It's also good to arm yourselves with proper information. Go to websites like those of the United States' Federal Emergency Management Agency. Watch disaster preparation videos and tutorials. Soler adds, “There are many shows that give an accurate idea of what could happen, and how to survive. There are online forums as well.”
Having a survival kit is essential too. Here some of the emergency bags now available in the market:
GO BAGS BY MOMS
WHAT IT IS: Survival kits prepared by Carina Guevara Galang and her mom, this go bag is assembled using semi-water repellent material. At 18x8x10 inches, it weighs around 12 pounds or 5 kilos, inclusive of 3 liters of water. Galang says, “It is important to educate everyone in your household about the bag and that the contents should only be used in case of emergency. This bag must be placed near clearly designated areas that everyone is informed about.”
WHAT'S IN IT: WATER/PURIFICATION SUPPLY: 2 bottles of 1.5 L water, 6 Aquatabs water purification tablets
FOOD: 4 packs crackers, 3 packs raisins, 2 cans easy-to-open sardines, 1 pack nuts
EMERGENCY TOOLS: 1 multi-function pliers, 1 multi-function knife, 1 20-meter rope, 1 duct tape, 1 emergency blanket, 1 3-in-1 whistle, 2 adult-sized raincoats, 1 reflectorized vest, 1 lighter, 1 box matches, 2 dust masks, 2 pairs of sterile gloves
LIGHTING AND COMMUNICATION: LED light, torch, 1 rechargeable/ solar flashlight
SANITATION/HYGIENE: 2 face towels, 1 package of wipes, 2 garbage bags, 2 pieces adult diapers, 3 pieces sanitary napkin, 2 rolls toilet paper, 1 large ziplock bag, 1 small ziplock bag, 1 bar antimicrobial soap, 1 razor, 1 bottle alcohol, 1 bottle mouth wash
SPECIAL NEEDS/ MEDICATION: 4 pieces Diatabs, 1 tube Terramycin, 4 pieces Biogesic, 3 packs Glucolyte, 2 antihistamine tablets, 1 small pack of sore throat medication,
FIRST AID: Instant cold compress, 12 pieces Band-Aids, 1 adhesive tape roll, 1 sterile gauze (4 x 4), 2 pieces sterile gauze (2 x 2), 1 pack cotton, 2 alcohol wipes, 1 bottle hydrogen peroxide, 1 small tube of iodine CONTACT: 0920-9065650
WHAT IT IS: A survival pack designed for the whole family’s safety and convenience of use, its primary purpose is to allow your family members to evacuate safely and quickly when disaster strikes. It may also be used for sheltering during power outages. It can be stashed at home, in the car, at work, or at school to make you ready for any emergency. Life Pack is designed for a family of four and made to last emergency situations for up to 48 hours.
WHAT'S IN IT: WATER/PURIFICATION SUPPLY: 2 500ml bottled water, 2 purification tablets
FOOD: 2 easy-open canned goods, 2 protein or granola Bars, 4 crackers, 2 choco Cereals, 2 ready-to-drink coffee in can, 2 ready-to-eat peaches in a cup, caramel candies
EMERGENCY TOOLS: Glow stick with whistle, Victorinox Swiss knife, 2 ponchos (raincoat), 2 thin warm emergency blankets, working gloves, 2 dust masks, 2 disposable masks, duct tape, rope
LIGHTING AND COMMUNICATION: AM radio transistor, 2 flashlights, gun lighter, 4 whistles
SANITATION/HYGIENE: Antibacterial soap, basic toiletries (4 pieces toothbrushes, toothpaste), alcohol, sanitary napkin, tissue roll, anti-bacterial wet wipes
STORAGE FOR IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS AND MONEY: Waterproof case for important documents/records storage and gadget protect
SPECIAL NEEDS/ MEDICATION: Ointment, Biogesic, Kremil S, Aspilets, Hydrite, Powder, Amoxicillin
FIRST AID: Clean cloth, Betadine Solution, Petroleum Jelly, 2 gauze pads 4x4, 1 micropore tape, cotton buds, cotton balls, Band-Aids
CONTACT: 0927-7613592; email@example.com; https://instagram.com/lifepack/; www.facebook.com/LifePack
WHAT IT IS: It is a survival pack designed for one individual's safety and convenience of use, and made to last emergency situations for up to 48 hours.
WHAT'S IN IT: WATER SUPPLY: 2 bottled water
FOOD: Sky Flakes, caramel candy
EMERGENCY TOOLS: Poncho (raincoat), dust mask or disposable mask for kids
LIGHTING AND COMMUNICATION: Whistle flashlight (with blinking for signal)
SANITATION/HYGIENE: Anti-bacterial wet wipes
SPECIAL NEEDS/ MEDICATION: Biogesic or Aspilet for kids, Kremil-S or Hydrite for kids
FIRST AID: Alcohol, Band-Aids, gauze pad for wounds, Micropore tape, Betadine, ointment, cotton tissue
CONTACT: 0927-7613592; firstname.lastname@example.org; https://instagram.com/lifepack/; www.facebook.com/LifePack
PHILIPPINE RED CROSS LIFELINE KIT
WHAT IT IS: The PRC Lifeline Kit is a backpack containing everything from a first aid kit to a survival bag, which can be grabbed in the event of a disaster.
WHAT'S IN IT: WATER/PURIFICATION SUPPLY: Collapsible 20-liter water container, six bottles (500 ml) of water
FOOD: Six canned goods, a set of eating utensils (spoon, fork, plate, bowl),
EMERGENCY TOOLS: Five whistles, two blankets, two mats, a mosquito net
LIGHTING: Two flashlights, two boxes of matches, candles
SANITATION/HYGIENE: Bath soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and shampoo, a trash bag,
It also contains a first aid kit, a sealed plastic envelope (for important documents), and a guide book (with emergency numbers, an evacuation plan for the family, lists of medicines, legal documents, clothing, etc).
CONTACT: http://www.redcross.org.ph/; email@example.com; 790-2300
PREPPER PLUS GO-BAG
WHAT IT IS: It's a lightweight and waterproof portable kit which contains items one needs to survive for 72 hours. Each accessory is color-coded to match its speciﬁc kit pouch for easy access and organization. Included in every bag is a “PREPPING 101” disaster preparedness guide that not only has essential emergency numbers but also pointers on what to do before, during, and after a disaster.
WHAT'S IN IT: WATER/PURIFICATION SUPPLY: Collapsible water container 1 gallon, 3 pieces
FOOD: Energy bars, crackers, canned good, disposable plates, disposable utensils
EMERGENCY TOOLS: Whistle, glowstick, flasher, survival knife, multipurpose rope, waterproof matches, thermal/heating blanket, extra batteries, window breaking hammer, seatbelt cutter, pry bar, work gloves, goggles, dust mask, disposable gloves,
LIGHTING AND COMMUNICATION: Portable AM/FM radio, flashlight
SANITATION/HYGIENE: Resealable platic bags, antibacterial soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, sanitary napkin, alcohol, antibacterial wat napkins
SPECIAL NEEDS/ MEDICATION: Anti-diarrheal, antibiotics, pain relievers, other prescription medications
FIRST AID: 50 pieces adhesive strips, hypoallergenic medical tape, bandage, triangular bandage, wound dressing, antiseptic swab, tweezers, scissors, safety pins,
OTHERS: Disaster preparedness guide, emergency numbers, USB thumb drive for important scanned documents
CONTACT: www.prepperplus.com; 0917-8081626
RESCUE 72 VEST BAG
WHAT IT IS: This disaster-preparedness kit functions as a vest, a floater, and a bag to contain food, clothing, and shelter – the essential things one needs to survive for 72 hours, or until help comes. It can carry up to 30 pounds, but considering that it may be carried to long distance, it should not be overloaded. It should be placed near an exit of your house. WHAT'S IN IT: Its features include a rainhood, lifeline/shoulder strap, radio/phone pocket, whistle, distress light, first aid/tools/document compartment, reflectors, ID holder, groin strap, food compartment, tube tent, clothes and personal effects bag, water holders, and snack compartment. EMERGENCY TOOLS: Multi-tool with spoon and fork, matchbox, rope
LIGHTING: Flashlight (batteries not included)
SANITATION/HYGIENE: Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, tissue roll
FIRST AID: Band-Aid, Povidone-iodine, gauze, bandage
CONTACT: http://www.rescue72.org/; 0917.905.2084; firstname.lastname@example.org
Make Your Own Survival Kit If you're thinking of preparing your own survival kit, here's a listing of the items which you may want to include, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the United States.
BASIC EMERGENCY KIT * One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days * Food, three-day supply of non-perishable food * Battery-powered radio and extra batteries * Flashlight and extra batteries * First aid kit * Whistle * Dust mask * Plastic sheeting * Duct tape * Moist towelettes * Garbage bags * Wrench or pliers * Manual can opener for food * Local maps * Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
ADDITIONAL ITEMS FOR THE EMERGENCY KIT * Prescription medication * Infant formula and diapers * Cash or traveler's checks and change * Important family documents in a waterproof, portable container. * Emergency reference material * Sleeping bag or blanket for every member of the family * Complete change of clothing * Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper (When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant.) * Fire extinguisher * Matches in a waterproof container * Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items * Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils * Paper and pencil * Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
FIRST AID KIT * Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves * Sterile dressings * Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes * Antibiotic ointment * Burn ointment * Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes * Eye wash solution * Thermometer * Prescription medications * Prescribed medical supplies * Non-prescription drugs: Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, laxative * Scissors * Tweezers * Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
Want to read up on disaster preparedness? Here are some resources: * Reading This Could Save Your Life: 42 Earthquake Safety Tips and Steps * Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness * Online Resources from the Philippine Red Cross
First aid box image courtesy of m_bartosch at FreeDigitalPhotos.net