24 June 2009

Emergency Readiness Supplies - Part 2

See the previous posts:
Emergency Readiness Links
Emergency Readiness Supplies - Part 1

4. The Evacuation ERK

The evacuation kit is for a situation in which our family would be required to evacuate our home. It has been recommended that individuals be prepared with at least three days worth of supplies in such a situation, since help may not be available before then. The evacuation ERK will provide just that.

Everything in the evacuation kit is in a large Rubbermaid storage container, although three separate cases of water (one for each member of the household) are also considered to be part of the ERK. Further, it is expected that we will grab our grab-and-go kits (see Emergency Readiness Supplies - Part 1) when we evacuate, and we will most likely be evacuating in one of our own vehicles with a vehicle ERK, so we should have the previous two categories of ERKs with us besides just the evacutation kit.

With that said, the evacuation kit contains:
  • First aid kit (1)
  • Breakfast bar (6)
  • Energy bar (6)
  • Canned diced pears (9)
  • Instant coffee (1)
  • Lawry's seasoning salt (1)
  • Mrs. Dash's seasoning (1)
  • Peanut Butter (1)
  • Low sodium crackers (1)
  • Tang (1)
  • Tabasco (1)
  • Coloring book (1)
  • Paperback book (3)
  • Cribage board (1)
  • Deck of cards (1)
  • Uno (1)
  • Brandy (1)
  • Whiskey (1)
  • Aluminum foil (1)
  • Canned cooked chicken breast chunks (3)
  • Canned beef stew (3)
  • Mess kit (1)
  • Colapsable camp stove (1)
  • Solid fuel for camp stove (4)
  • Hand sanitizer (3)
  • Water boxes (12)
  • Latex gloves (4)
  • 13 gallon garbage bags (50)
  • Tent stakes (4)
  • Tarp (1)
  • Rope (1)
  • Canned pineapple chunks (6)
  • Feminine hygiene items (8)
  • Hot chocolate mix (10)
  • Crayons (48)
  • Hygiene sub-kit: Lip balm (3)
  • Hygiene sub-kit: Liquid soap (1)
  • Hygiene sub-kit: Drinking water treatment tablets (100)
  • Hygiene sub-kit: Facial tissue (8)
  • Hygiene sub-kit: Toilet paper (3)
  • Hygiene sub-kit: Toothbrush (3)
  • Hygiene sub-kit: Toothpaste (3)
  • Hygiene sub-kit: Handy wipes (24)
  • Hygiene sub-kit: Pre-moistened washcloths (4)
  • Medical sub-kit: First aid kit (1)
  • Medical sub-kit: Instant cold compress (2)
  • Medical sub-kit: Digital oral thermometer (1)
  • Medical sub-kit: Strip thermometer (1)
  • Medical sub-kit: Antacid tablets (24)
  • Medical sub-kit: Asprin (100)
  • Medical sub-kit: Ace wrap bandage (1)
  • Signal sub-kit: Radio (1)
  • Signal sub-kit: Wooden matches (160)
  • Signal sub-kit: Wax fire starter sticks (12)
  • Signal sub-kit: Emergency candles (10)
  • Signal sub-kit: Battery operated lamp (1)
  • Signal sub-kit: Green lightstick (3)
  • Signal sub-kit: Red lightstick (2)
  • Signal sub-kit: AC adapter for radio (1)
  • Signal sub-kit: AA batteries (10)
  • Signal sub-kit: Whistle (1)
  • Signal sub-kit: Flare gun (1)
  • Signal sub-kit: 12 GA flares (5)
  • Tool sub-kit: Latex gloves (10)
  • Tool sub-kit: Work gloves (2)
  • Tool sub-kit: Electrical tape (1)
  • Tool sub-kit: Hockey tape (1)
  • Tool sub-kit: Rubber bands (25)
  • Tool sub-kit: Multi-tool (1)
  • Tool sub-kit: Hammer (1)
  • Tool sub-kit: Screw drivers (6)
  • Tool sub-kit: Wire cutter (1)
  • Tool sub-kit: Plastic sheeting (4)
  • Tool sub-kit: Duct tape (1)
  • Utensil sub-kit: Ziploc 1 quart bag (11)
  • Utensil sub-kit: Pre-moistened washcloths (4)
  • Utensil sub-kit: Can & bottle opener (1)
  • Utensil sub-kit: Toothpicks (250)
  • Utensil sub-kit: Plastic fork (16)
  • Utensil sub-kit: Plastic spoon (13)
  • Utensil sub-kit: Plastic knife (14)
I have a couple of large plastic buckets that I would grab on my way out, as well. The two best uses of the buckets are garbage and toilet (line them with the 13 gallon garbage bags and secure those with one of the large rubber bands), but there many uses that you could come up with for them if you don't need them for sanitation.

The three big keys when you start building your evacuation kit are to keep it compact, avoid salty foods, and make sure that you will actually want to eat what you put in the kit. Bulky packaging will prevent packing a lot in a limited space, so find the single serve portions or reduced packaging brands; high salt will make you thirsty, and you will run through your water faster than you may want to; and foods that fit the kit's container, but that don't appeal to you or your family, will not make for a happy meal time.

Besides those keys, try to use pre-cooked foods that you can rotate from your existing food stores in your cupboards. This makes it much easier to keep the food current (you don't want to evacuate and then find that your food has all expired 18 months ago), it removes the requirement to cook the food when you need it (you may not be able to use a camp stove or open flame), and it also prevents a system shock to your body in a stressful situation due to a radical change in diet.

I use a similar technique to rotate the medical supplies. We have the same first aid kit for household use as we do in the evacuation ERK. This provides familiarity with the kit if we need to use it, and it allows me to rotate the first aid kit out of the ERK on a regular basis so that the medicines and other items in it are current.

With the kit above, and our grab-and-go kits, we will eat well for at least three days. We will also be able to get updates and entertainment via radio, and we will be able to entertain ourselves with the books and games packed in the kit.

I found that the best way to tweak the kit was to use it on a camping trip, since that is sort-of what you will be doing if you evacuate anyway. This allowed me to be able to buy supplies that we needed, but that weren't in the kit, and it also allowed me to determine which items seemed useful at the time, but weren't.

Also, camping with the kit has allowed me the opportunity to come up with some quick-and-easy recipes for things that can go in the evacuation ERK. For example, you can mix some peanut butter, whiskey, and tabasco together to make a peanut sauce that goes well with chicken. Or mix a couple of single-serve containers of ranch dressing, one can of chicken, sunflower kernels, and some chicken chili seasoning to make a chicken salad. With a little creativity, you'll be amazed what you can make.

The next post will deal with shelter in place.


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