When Mother Nature flexes her strength in the form of a hurricane, blizzard, tornado, earthquake, fire, or other natural disaster, many are left with the option of bunkering down or fleeing to a safer place. How prepared are you if you find yourself in an emergency situation?
I believe everyone should have two different kits to cater to different situations. One should focus on a stay-at-home and wait-it-out situation, and the other should be a grab and go bag stuffed with lightweight, absolute necessities.
In either case, you should be prepared to survive on your own for about a week after an emergency situation hits. At a bare minimum, you need 72 hours of food and water plus any special necessities like prescription medicines.
Not only should you have all of the following items on hand, you should also keep your survival kit in an easy to access location that isn't likely to be compromised during the disaster. For example, if your in flood territory, keep your emergency kit out of the basement and on higher ground!
Let's look at the situation where you are able to remain home. This is ideal as your house will have the majority of what you will need already, and you only need to prep for perishables, loss of electricity, and loss of heat/running water.
Your home emergency kit should include:
In the unlikely scenario that you need to flee your home, prioritizing your safety and irreplaceable valuables are of utmost importance.
If you need to flee on foot, prioritize items that will keep you safe and alive and leave unnecessary weight behind. On foot, the most important thing is to cover ground quickly.
If you cannot take your animals with you, use spray paint to tag their bodies before letting them loose. For example, if you own horses, spray paint your address onto their body so that you have an easier time recovering them.
Each emergency situation will vary which is why it is important to have a good enough base supply; this will allow you to adapt to the situation at hand and, most importantly, stay safe.
If you are preparing for an emergency situation or simply putting together a kit in case the unthinkable happens, remember to document what you have stored away, any applicable expiration dates, and to always have an emergency plan that your entire family knows.
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If you’re applying for the Pacific Crest Trail permit lottery or already have your permit issued, then congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards the adventure of a lifetime!
For many, food is the largest source of anxiety when planning a long-distance backpacking trip. Read our resupply guide for more information on successfully planning your food for the PCT.
As a fellow backpacker, athlete, or active outdoorsy person, you know how vital the right food is to your success — especially when you’re on the trail or on the go.
The problem is finding time to source, cook, and pack food that’s lightweight, tastes great and is actually good for your body (the holy trinity of backpacking food!)