Archive for bug-out box

Creating A Basic Starter Emergency Kit

Do you have a basic emergency kit? Governments around the world are encouraging their citizens to be prepared in light of more frequent disasters, both natural and man-made (Germany, Russia). Your basic kit should include everything you need to ensure your survival for several days or until help arrives.

Drinking Water

One of the first things that will get you into trouble in any type of disaster or emergency is sawyerwaterfilterdehydration. Make sure you have safe drinking water for several days stored. A good alternative or addition is a small water filtration system you can use on unsafe water sources to extend drinking water. I have the Sawyer portable water filter. It can filter up to a 100,000 gallons of water and includes a cleaning plunger to periodically clean off the filter.

Food and Accessories

Next, it’s good to have at least some emergency food rations. This is particularly important if you have small children, pregnant or nursing women, elderly, or anyone with diabetes or low blood sugar in your family. They can make it even fewer days or hours with food than you can. Keep some easy, ready to eat food on hand like granola bars, nuts, and canned foods. Make sure you have any tools or accessories you need to open the food containers and utensils to eat with. Manual can openers can be super cheap. I suggest keeping 2 of the really cheap ones in your evacuation bin just in case one breaks.sosrationsemergencybars

Focus on food items that won’t perish quickly and that can be eaten cold in a pinch. Chances are power will be out and you’ll have no way to cook or heat the food you’ll be eating. Something like these S.O.S. Rations emergency bars would be good. They’re compact, have a lot of calories, and will help keep you alive until you can get to something better (note: doesn’t taste like candy, if you know what I mean).

Radio, Flash Light, and Cellphone

Next, let’s talk about small electronics, or electric, hand-cranked devices. You want to be able to get the information you need and see where you’re going. A good flashlight with long battery life is aacuriteweatherradio must, as is a small weather radio. This can be battery operated or hand-cranked. I previously mentioned this battery- and ac-powered weather radio that we have. We’ve had it since 2012 and have not had any problems with it. If you’re using battery operated devices having a spare set of batteries in your kit is always a good idea.

Last but not least, when disaster strikes, grab your phone and charger, if possible. You want to be able to get in touch with loved once as soon as possible. I recommend also keeping a paper copy of your contact list in your evacuation bin.

First Aid Kit

Afirstaidkit small first aid kit that includes bandages, alcohol wipes, Band-Aids, scissors, and some basic pain medicine is another must have. Make sure it also includes any medication you take regularly. If you have family members with severe allergies, antihistamines or even an epi-pen may be an important and potentially life-saving addition. You can start with a commercial kit and then build on it according to your family’s needs.

Assorted Tools

There are various tools that may come in handy in an emergency. A good knife is a must and can come in handy in a variety of different ways. A wrench or pair of pliers is handy if you need to turn of utilities in an emergency. A multi-tool can have myriad uses. Last but not least, consider adding a whistle and flashing light or emergency flares to your tool kit so you are able to alert rescuers to your location.

Also include a few days worth of clothes and basic hygiene items for each family member. Remember to change these clothes out seasonally and as sizes change!

You may not be able to get everything right away, but getting anything is better than getting nothing!

PS. I have the bin in the featured image. It’s 27 gallons, professional grade and you can find it here.

5 Ways To Keep Important Documents Safe And Secure

We hope and pray that nothing will happen to our home, but it’s a good idea to be prepared “just in case.” You likely have insurance on your home and many material things in your house can be easily replaced should disaster strike. Other things like photos and important documents can be hard or impossible to replace. Missing documents can make it harder to rebuild after disaster strikes. That’s why it is a good idea to keep them safe and secure.

1. Invest In A Fire Safefiresafe

A good fire safe will survive a lot of damage. Invest in a quality one for any documents you want to keep at home. You can get a fairly small box that can be stashed away in a closet or cabinet. Make sure both you and your spouse know where the safe is kept and has a key to open it.

2. Get A Bank Deposit Box

You may also want to rent a bank deposit box and store important documents, or notarized copies of them there. This will come in handy when you need the information on the documents (i.e. your insurance policy number), or you need to replace documents that didn’t survive a home emergency.

3. Make Physical Copies

It’s amazing how much easier it is to get a replacement passport or birth certificate if you have a copy of the original. That’s why it’s helpful to make these paper copies and keep them in a secure offsite location (like a bank deposit box). You could also keep them at a family member’s home. Make sure the copies are stored safely to avoid issues like identity theft.

4. Make Digital Copies And Store Them Online

Go ahead and scan the documents or take pictures of them with your phone and store them on a secure online server. Places like One Drive, or even Google Photo, will store quite a bit of information for you free of charge. Since your document scans are living in the cloud, you can easily access them from anywhere with your phone or a borrowed computer. This also makes it easy to email them off to insurance agents, or government officials to get replacement documents made.

5. Upload to Thumb Drives

Upload copies of your important documents to thumb drives. You can keep one in your purse or thumbdriveswallet, car, everyday carry bag, and your bug-out bag. Set passwords so that they can’t be accessed if lost or stolen. Thumb drives frequently go on sale; I recommend purchasing them ‌in multi-packs.

Spend a little time this week to sort through your most important documents and get your paperwork in order. It won’t take you long to scan them, take pictures of them, and/or make photo copies. The little work you’re doing now to be prepared will potentially safe you a lot of headache down the road.

Schedule it on your calendar to revisit your documents every 6 months to make sure everything is up to date and in order. Once the original setup is done, it will be much easier to keep up with it. You’ll likely only need to change out one or two document copies a year.