Survival and Disaster Supplies: a Starter Kit

So you’re ready to start preparing for the inevitable – a terror attack, natural disaster, whatever might be on its way. Here are a few of the items you’ll be happy you had the foresight to have with you if anything goes wrong.

A kit like the Basic Survival Kit from InterAmer runs under $40 and covers the basics – food rations, an emergency blanket and a first aid kit, but where do you go from there? I’d recommend supplementing that first aid kit with some extra necessities. Extra moleskins, dressings, bandages and tape, along with saline and antiseptic wipes are a must to have in your kit. Coupons for these items are generally readily available, usually for roughly $1 off.

Canned foods are an excellent way to supplement your ready-made survival kit. If stored correctly, meaning in a dry and cool place, the shelf-life of canned goods can be extended by at least double the expiration date suggested on the tin. A good rule of thumb is to go by scent – if it smells fine, you should be good to go. This article by Prepper Resources showcases a few studies showing just how long canned goods (and other edibles) can last.

Reviews for those 3600-calorie meal bars are mixed – mostly to do with how well the vacuum seal really works, and related to that, whether the bars will reach the promised five year shelf life. Depending on how prepared you’re willing to be, they may be worth having in your kit, especially as a last resort. Make sure to test them before including them in your kit, as some have complained about them causing indigestion.

Another important item you might want to keep in your kit (or on your person), is a survival bracelet, also known as a paracord bracelet. These are sold in many online stores and camping supply shops, but are made on your own easily enough. Here’s an Instructibles post showing you how. These are useful in countless ways, especially when taking into account its inner strands. You can use the bracelet and inside strands for things like fishing, suturing, and for use as a tourniquet if need be.

Some kind of water purification tool is an absolute must for your kit – whether they’re purification tablets, or a Lifestraw (both from Amazon). There are numerous benefits when choosing the Lifestraw over other purification systems, namely its low cost, long shelf-life and most of all, its speed when purifying water – ready in seconds, compared to the 30-60 minutes it takes for traditional tablets to do their job.  

That’s mostly everything covered, now it’s time to take a look at your family and assess their needs – from over the counter medications, such as Advil and the like, to sanitary napkins, to a simple box of crayons and a coloring book could make all the difference in a case of survival. It’s best to know that what you need is at arm’s reach, allowing you to be prepared and stay calm.

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