Every year hundreds of families must deal with the tragic consequences of flooding, fires, tornadoes and other disasters. Victims must deal with situations ranging from loss of electrical power to complete loss of their homes. No matter what the situation, a disaster supply kit can aid families when tragedy strikes. Many civil defense initiatives suggest you have on hand a disaster supply kit for common emergency situations such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc. Your Nuclear Emergency Kit (NEK) should compliment the Disaster Supply Kit.
NUCLEAR EMERGENCY KIT (NEK)
If you are not prepared, you only option may be to evacuate. That means grabbing the kids, hopping into the SUV, and heading out of town. Can you imagine the traffic jam that will ensue? If you are caught in a traffic jam, your chances for surviving a close proximity attack are minimal as the fallout will overtake the area quickly. The further downwind you are from the detonation, the better your chances for evacuation.
- The best scenario is to be prepared and have a fully stocked Nuclear Emergency Kit (NEK). What makes up an effective NEK? We’ve curated the below list of our favorite products to make sure you are prepared.
Food – It is highly recommend that in addition to canned goods, dry cereals (beans, flour, rice, etc.), potatoes and other nutritious foods that you get your hands on some military Meals, Ready to Eat. Now, there are a number of copycats to the original, brown-bag MRE’s. Those will work, but usually have a low shelf life in comparison to military MRE’s. An MRE a day offers more than enough calories and nutrition for unlimited survival. There are even fruits such as peaches and strawberries in them! And, I’m not talking about the old MRE’s where such fruit came in the dry, “wafer” form. Use your judgment on the amount of food supplies. We highly recommend our partners at Mountain Home (I personally use them myself) You can check out their offers here
- Water – You are going to need fresh water. Allow at least a gallon or two for each person per day. Rotate your water supplies every six months. Though 4 or 5 days will likely be sufficient, you may have to stay in the shelter for up to 30 days. That’s a lot of water! My shelter has 200 5-gallon jugs of store-bought water, which are rotated for regular daily usage. Don’t waste your time buying cases of 16-ounce bottled water. You will not have room for the hundreds of plastic bottles – especially when you trash them. Buy 5-gallon containers (or larger). View our recommended Water storage containers solutions here
- Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets – Nuclear explosions produce heavy amounts of radioactive iodine. Take potassium iodide/iodate tablets immediately for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine. Radioactive iodine is released into the air where it can be ingested or inhaled. It is absorbed by the thyroid and can cause cancer of the thyroid. If taken just before or just after the ingestion of radioactive fallout, KI or KI03 pills will saturate your thyroid, reducing the possibility of radioactive iodine being absorbed into your thyroid gland. Keep in mind that most KI or KI03 pills have a shelf life of about 5 or 6 years.
- Iodine Solution (tincture of iodine or Betadine) – This is meant to be swabbed on your body (stomach, for example) for absorption into the body. Protects in a manner similar to the potassium tablets. Not as effective but better than nothing.
- Light Sticks – You’ve seen them. They are the “chem-lights” that you snap and shake. Lighting will last for up to 8 hours or more. These our favorites that last up to 12 hours.
- 5-Gallon Buckets – For use in disposing of excrement. You’re still going to have to “do business” when nature calls. Here is a great set of 3 durable buckets.
- Portable Toilet (optional) – These are the little johns you can buy from amazon here. In fact, you can get a lot of neat things at the camping section, if your budget will allow it. Make sure you get a few bottles of the blue solution used inside the porto-potty.
- Plastic Trash Bags – Obviously, you will need these for disposing of trash and keeping your shelter sanitary. They’ll also be used for disposal of your poo and urine.
- Bleach – A gallon bottle of bleach will suffice for sanitizing drinking water and for producing a cleaning solution. If you have been rotating your 5-gallon jugs of water on a consistent basis, you won’t need to worry about this.
DISASTER SUPPLY KIT
Assemble the supplies you might need. Store them in an easy-to-carry container. Duffle bags, large trash cans with a snap-tight lid or backpack type containers have all been used for containing the supplies you will need.
What Should a Kit Include:
There are six main categories of items that are needed in a disaster supplies kit. You and your family will need water, food, first aid supplies, tools and building supplies, clothing and bedding, and special items for family members.
- A supply of water for drinking and cooking (One gallon per person per day). This water should be stored in sealed, unbreakable containers.
- Have enough supply for at least three days (up to 30 days for a nuclear strike).
- You can get some delivered straight to your door here.
- Non-perishable (canned) meats, fruits, and vegetables
- Canned juices, milk, and soups (If dehydrated remember to store extra water)
- Salt, pepper, sugar
- High energy foods – peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars
- Foods for infants, elderly, or those with special diets
- Non-electric can opener
- Comfort/Stress foods – coffee, tea, hard candy, and sweet cereals
- If the Electricity Goes Off….. Use perishable foods from the refrigerator first. Then use foods from the freezer. To minimize the number of times you open the freezer door, post a list of the freezer contents on the door. In a well-insulated freezer, foods will usually still have ice crystals in their center, (meaning the foods are safe to eat) for at least three days. Finally, begin to use non-perishable foods and other staples.
First Aid Kit:
One of the most important things you can have. We highly recommend this Hospital Grade First Aid kit that includes everything you should have. You should have two first aid kits; one for your home, the other for your car. An emergency first aid kit should include:
Bandaging and Splinting Supplies:
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Assorted sizes of safety pins
- Sterile gauze pads
- 2-inch & 3-inch sterile roll bandages
- Triangular bandages
- Folding splints
- Safety razor blade
- Tongue blades and wooden applicator sticks
- Antiseptic spray
- Latex gloves
- Cleansing agent/soap
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Safety glasses
- Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antacid (for stomach upset)
- Eye Wash
- Rubbing alcohol
- Antiseptic or hydrogen peroxide
- Activated charcoal and Syrup of Ipecac (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)
Tools and Supplies:
- A self-powered/battery radio (with extra batteries)
- A flashlight (with extra batteries) We like this tactical flashlight
- Paper plates and utensils, including a bottle and non-electric can opener
- Toilet articles and sanitary needs (soaps, plastic garbage bags for waste storage, disinfectant, personal hygiene products)
- Fire extinguisher- This high-grade extinguisher works very well.
- Plastic Storage Containers (Baggies will work well)
- Wrench for turning off home utilities
- Plastic Sheeting for covering holes in roofs or keeping remaining valuables dry. Plastic is also useful for shelter-in-place actions during chemical emergencies
- City map
Clothing and Bedding:
- Powdered Milk
- Prescription Medications
- Denture Needs
- Extra contacts and glasses
- Personal Papers (Can be made part of the Family Disaster Plan)
- Wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks, and bonds
- Passports, Social Security Cards, Immunization Records
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and company contacts
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
- Inventory of valuable household goods