An Inside Look at an Emergency Survival Kit (122)

pm122_640If an emergency forced you to evacuate your home, would you be prepared? Matthew Stein, author of When Technology Fails, shows what to pack in your 72-hour emergency survival kit — and why. Check out the first aid kits, sleeping bag and space blanket, LED flashlight, hand-crank disaster radio, portable stove and cook set, freeze-dried food, multi-tool, compass, water holder, and essential water treatment items; plus sewing, repair, and health items. The packing list is on his website, Episode 122.

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  1. Bug out bag. Try to take foods that do not take water to prepare, I see so many bug out
    bags with things like, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate & soups. The water should be for
    drinking & take vitamins & protein bars. I also take a bottle of fiber, not only is
    fiber needed but it also swells for a full feeling. I came across what is called
    Lifecaps. They are a capsule that has everything needed to survive without food with
    the exception of water. It is full of vitamins & minerals plus Iodine. Anyway, you take
    three of them a day & drink water. I can actually take enough food in one backpack to
    las 6 months because of these little Lifecaps, protein bars, fiber & water. I will run
    out of water in a week so I do carry a small filter & a couple of those straw water
    filters that filter the water as you suck.
    You do not always have the ability or time to heat water to make soup or oatmeal. Anyway,
    after I bought 25 bottles I found a coupon code & bought 75 bottles more. The coupon code
    is… healthcap It will get you 33% off. There are also sites that have those filter straws
    that are cheaper than any of the stores around here. (SLC) I think they are a really good
    idea along with some purification pills. I cannot remember the sites off the top of my head
    but you can Google for aquamira filter straw. Aquamira is the manufacture but do not buy
    off there site because I have found them for almost 1/2 what they want on their own site
    on other sites. Good luck, Gods speed & get serious about your bug out bag!

  2. Great post…..Wherever we are, there will be always an emergency happen, and we dont know when will it happen. And being prepared and have the things or having emergency kit that we possible need whatever type of emergency will happen, is a clever thing that we do.

  3. In addition, just for the record, Mr. Stein knows what he’s talking about. Everything he said was spot on, especially the bit about Crypto, often overlooked. On his site he suggests going out and practicing with your gear through camping. You betcha.

    One thing he did not speak of and is not listed on his site, however, are tarps and 550 cord (parachute cord). A couple of poly-tarps, 10×10 or bigger, are extremely useful. Out of the gate they can be strung up to provide shelter. With two, you can have a ground cover as well (or an even bigger shelter).

    Unlike tents, they can be strung up just about anywhere and in any configuration you may desire or need.

    I’ll add that in addition to protection from the elements, a shelter is a psychological cushion as well. It’s a little house, a little place that your stuff is in, a place you can go and come back to. It forms the basis of a camp or a base. A tiny piece of “Yours.”

    It also helps create a clear delineation between public and private space. That may seem odd, but a rucksack sitting in the open can be construed as in the public space. One inside a shelter is clearly in your private space. That’s important to the human animal and will become even more so during a “Disruptive Event” especially if everything that was “Yours” is now gone.

    Most come in blue, I go with brown. Sometimes it pays to be discrete.

    One last thing; BUG NET. If you live anywhere “Skeeters” exist, you’ll thank your decent nights sleep you had one in a stuff sack.


  4. I concur with Logan, mindset is key. Gear is great, but only if you know how to use it. That requires conducting a drill or two.

    Another name for this sort of 72hr kit is “Bug Out Bag.” I call these things “Refugee Kits,” because that is what you become and it’s unlikely you’re going to get back home in 72hrs.

    What this will do for you is give you basic gear to leverage your ability to stay outside your normal supports for more than 72hrs, especially when it comes to making sure your water is safe. That’s A number one.

    Most emergencies we face in this country at this time usually feature shelters, Salvation Army trucks, etc. In those cases, notorized copies of all important documents is far more important than a water purifier.

    I would also add to that your family photos and harddrives. I saw in the watersoaked family albums the saddest thing I witnessed during all the time I was in New Orleans. People got out, for the most part, and things like social security cards and such got replaced eventually. But the family albums, caked in flood scum, totally destroyed, were irreplaceable. It was heartbreaking.

    The other heart rending thing I saw was scads of abandoned pets. NOLA authorities had utterly failed to take pets into account and people in some cases were forceably seperated from them at evacuation points.

    Plan for them too!

    Which brings me to PLANNING.

    If you are starting to think about these issues in this way, think about the PLAN.

    Great, you’ve got a refugee bag…what now? You grab it and go…what now? Where to? Why? How?

    These things had best be planned out ahead of time, preferrably in writing, in a tabbed ring binder, categorized by scenario. (this also necessitates a Threat Assesment Survey…IE: What am I at risk of? Hurricane in California? Probably not. Chemical freight train de-railment? maybe.)

    The planning part is critical. When the “balloon goes up” your mind is going to start playing all kinds of tricks on you. Not the time to be trying to figure out what you’re going to do besides leave.

    If you’ve got that ring binder in hand, all you have to do is follow the instructions you wrote in there when you were cool, calm and collected.

    More later…

  5. Great topic! It is very difficult to cover all the areas related to emergency preparedness in a 28 minutes and Mr. Stein did a good job of breaking down the nuts and bolts of “emergency gear” that is difficult to improvise.

    Although the topic was building a kit, one aspect of emergency preparedness I would have liked to see in Matthew Stein’s presentation here was mental preparation (although he does cover this essential step in his book). Mental preparation is known by many names but it basically distills into an “I can do this” attitude complemented with skills of “how to” address a problem. This does not come as quickly as it sounds and won’t come from reading a book on your sofa. Preparation for obtaining this mindset takes time to learn and practice those skills. For example taking a “wilderness” themed first aid class and going camping with your emergency kit to familiarize yourself with the components will lower your anxiety by knowing how to apply your tools. Many search and rescue volunteers will tell you stories of lost hunters that had a backpack full of all the essentials to survive…yet died of “exposure” (hypo or hyperthermia) due to sheer panic.

    Having the “stuff/kit/gear” is the simplest component of emergency preparedness but it is by far not the most essential. Knowing the order of your most basic survival priorities: a calm mind, warmth and water you can dramatically improve your situation and maintain your health. Good luck and stay safe!


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