Snowfall and cold the likes we have not experienced in decades. Rain storms and floods as not seen in many years. Birds falling from the skies dead, not once but repeated times no conclusive reason. Fish floating belly up by the thousands for no known reason. Horrific tornadoes spread far and wide. Volcanic eruptions round the world. Earthquakes and tsunamis to follow. Is it TWOG? I hink not but I am surprised there are not doom-sayers on every corner telling us that The Wrath Of God is upon us. Is it TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it)? I doubt that too.
While I do not think the end of the world is upon us, I do think that all of those things I just mentioned are a good reason to have emergency supplies on hand. You never know, or certainly only have very little warning, that such things are about to happen and when they do, it is often too late to run out to the store to stock up. So what should you have on hand? Well, I could write up a list that would take hours for me to compile but I will keep this one pretty basic. In fact it will cover what I think are the bare minimum that you should have on hand at any given time in your home (and it is not a bad idea to also have something in each of your cars).
Drinking Water: First and foremost you should have a supply of clean drinking water. Have at least 3 days worth though enough for a week would be better. How much water is that? It is recommended that you have on hand a minimum of about 1 gallon of drinking water per person per day. That may be higher in desert or tropical areas.
Food: Again, at a minimum, you should have a 3 day supply of food per person. As with water, more food is recommended and a weeks supply would be better than a few days worth. Right now, I figure I have at least a 10 days to 2 weeks supply at hand in my home, that includes everything in our daily use pantries and whatever else I have in survival storage. Remember I am talking about food that does not require refrigeration since the power may be out. So types to have on hand could consist of: MREs, canned foods (remember a can opener), packaged foods, snack bars, and so on.
First Aide: I have a fairly decent first aid kit available for emergencies. I am not a doctor or a medic nor an EMT but I do no how to administer basic first aid. I recommend not only having a first aid kit but also taking a course I how to administer first aid to those in need. A little simple preparation could save a life.
Weapons: They are right up there on my list and I am listing things in order of importance, the most important at the top and working my way down in level of importance, as I see these items. I have firearms, ammunition and knives at the ready at all times. A good strong knife is a must have in a survival situation. If at the onset of a disaster, I could have nothing else other than water, I would want a good strong sharp knife.
Flashlights and Batteries: I have several flashlights in our home, one in each car, and carry one in my pocket at virtually all times. As far as batteries go, I buy sufficient number of them to last a few days to a week with minimal use of flashlights anticipated. I buy fresh replacement batteries at least yearly for those I keep in storage. I replace batteries in flashlights as needed and check them at least quarterly even if I have not used them since batteries can drain without use.
Candles and Matches: I have a good supply of both, waterproof matches at that.
Grab & Go Supplies: I have a plastic container set up with grab and go items. In the event we have to evacuate our home, we can grab that box and will have at least a few days worth of food inside of it. I have a case of 24 ounce bottles of water to go with it (I need to get another case). t is not a bad idea to have at least a grab & go bag, in your house, for each family member. Keep at least a days worth of food, water in it along with first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, some cash, a change of clothing, emergency blanket, matches, candle, weapon such as a firearm (when and where legal), knife. There are many other things you can put into a grab & go bag, just remember you need to carry it and be able to move fast, it is for use in case of quick evacuations. Having it read at all times means you are ready when need be.
Weather Appropriate Clothing and Blankets: You should have something at easy reach in case you need to evacuate. A good wool blanket goes a long way to keeping you warm, even if wet.
Cell Phone with Charger: Almost should go without saying nowadays.
Extra Pet Food & Water: Probably a good idea to have a few days to a weeks worth of food and water for you pets on hand.
Emergency Radio: A battery operated radio, at least AM/FM to listen for public service announcements during a disaster. Of course this means having batteries on hand for the radio. A radio with alternate power supply, such as a solar powered radio or crank powered radio is a good thing to have in case of emergency, they usually operate on batteries, ac/dc, solar power and can be crank powered too. Some of these emergency radios have the capability to charge cell phones.
There are a lot of other things I could think of to recommend to you to have in the event of an emergency but those I just mentioned can go a long way toward helping you survive many disasters that could befall you. Having similar items in your car can do likewise if you are caught on the road during a SHTF situation. If you carry weapons in your car make sure it is legal to do so.
All the best,
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