Most Forgotten Emergency Essentials

It’s that time of year again… winter’s coming!  As much as I love seeing Christmas lights and the first snow, it takes time and preparation to be ready for the bitter cold.  For me, this is a great time of year to go through the family’s emergency preparedness kits.  When checking off the items in mine, I noticed several things that we had forgotten or did not have an adequate supply.  I decided to search the internet and create a list of items we may have forgotten.  Just in case, you’re in the same boat – I’m sharing it with all of you.

Water, water, water

Even if you live near a water source, you should have a minimum two-week supply of drinking water stored in your home.  That’s 1 gallon per day for each person in your family = 14 gallons per person.  Water sources can become contaminated with chemicals or environmental hazards.  Make sure you have a water filter preferably two different kinds with back-up replacement filters for each pack.

Copies or originals of all important documents

Emergencydude has a thorough, quick list of the documents you should have in your emergency packs.  Include a list of contact numbers for all family and all friends, insurance companies, and financial institutions.

Maps of your area and surrounding areas

If you are forced to leave your home, have you thought of other places that you could go?  To survive without cell phones and GPS devices, a detailed road map and topographical map of your area and the surrounding areas are a must.  During emergencies, highways and roads frequently become clogged with almost stand-still traffic or can be impassable in certain areas due to weather conditions.  Having a topographical map can help you to bypass the mess and find another route.

Medications, painkillers and vitamins

A first-aid kit is obviously a necessity, but what about prescription and non-prescription medications?  People are routinely injured while attempting to perform unfamiliar activities.  Some Ibuprofen or Tylenol can do wonders for your attitude if you become one of the injured.  A 3-month supply of all prescription medications for conditions (such as asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) is ideal.  But if the ideal isn’t possible, try to have at least 2 weeks’ worth on hand.  Vitamins are essential to stay healthy over the long term when you are surviving on emergency rations or possibly haphazard food storage supplies.

Tarpaulin and Heavy-duty (clear/unscented) trash bags

Have 2-3 different sized tarps in your pack.  Tarpaulin is extremely versatile and can be used as a rain or sun shelter, cover for supplies, bedding foundation, or a wind block.  Pack this with several yards of rope, a sharp utility knife, duct tape, and you have everything necessary to create a basic shelter.  Clear plastic trash bags are useful for more than just trash and waterproof food storage.  You can turn one into a makeshift poncho, use it for water collection, or any other number of uses I read about on the urbansurvivalsite.

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