What’s In Your Disaster Preparation Kit?

If there’s anything that I’ve learned living in the PNW for the last forty two years, it’s that no matter how prepared you think you are, it’s never really quite good enough.  Camping in mid summer, only to find evening temps can drop to close to freezing.  Snow falling in the mountains as late as the end of July.  Rain in August.  Sun in January.  Floods.  Freezes.  Droughts.   Heat waves.  Have you ever been caught off guard, and unprepared by nature? 

We as humans tend to think of only in the here and now, instead of being proactive and being prepared, we tend to be reactive and hope for the best.  So – what is in your disaster preparedness kit?  I am asked from time-to-time, why we should have so much set aside for a disaster – I mean, how long could we actually be on our own, so-to-speak?  I have a mantra that I live by:  It’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have.  Ask my family – drives them nuts whenever I drive across the pass to Central or Eastern Oregon – or even to the coast for that matter.  Shovel.  Solar blankets.  Water.  Food.  Extra clothes.  Blow torch.  Blow torch?   Wha???  Ever try to start a fire using wet wood and a match?  Signal mirror.  Radio.

There’s been several well documented cases in recent history where people have gotten off on the wrong path, are unprepared, and the end result is tragedy (http://abcnews.go.com/2020/kati-kim-tells-heart-wrenching-story-family-ended/story?id=12884927).  A terrible tragedy that could have been avoided with several additional components in their vehicle.

Just this last weekend, a motorcyclist in Washington lost control of his bike, went over a ravine, and spent almost a full day fighting for survival before a passerby discovered him (http://www.kptv.com/story/29261084/couple-finds-motorcyclist-down-gorge-embankment-day-after-crash).   How much longer could he have survived had that couple not stopped?

Having just a few rudimentary tools can mean the difference between life and death.  A flashlight.  A whistle.  A warm jacket.  A blow torch.

My point is, do you have everything in your emergency kit to survive a disaster, regardless of time of year?  In the winter, would you be able to thaw your frozen water for drinking water?  In the summer, would you have the right provisions to provide shade for yourself and your family?  Would you be able to open the hundreds of cans of food you have stored?  (Try this:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH2NahLjx-Y).

We tend to over simplify in many ways, and overthink in others.  Remember, your kit should be comprehensive enough to keep yourself and your family safely complimented with provisions for a minimum of one week.  Food.  Water.  Shoes.  Clothes.  Blankets / sleeping bags.  Tents / tarps / protective cover.  Cooking equipment / utensils.  Waste provisions.  Pet food.  Medications.  Self protection (from more than just other humans – especially if your located in rural areas).  Fuel.  A blow torch…

Things to think about…


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