A quick look around the internet shows a great many options for survival: if you’re avoiding zombies or interested in wilderness survival that is. But how does the everyday person manage? Can you make a fire, tell good berries from poisonous? Avoid roving gangs, thieves, and scavengers?
Neither can I; I can navigate the worst roads America has to offer, but survival without modern technology? Not so much.
Here are some basics, since I doubt very much any of us will have enough time to rationally decide what’s needed and what’s not if the worst happens.
I took this from the Ready.gov site on making a kit for those just in case scenarios. Apparently this is good for hurricanes, tornadoes, zombie attacks, alien invasions, and everything in between. One thing they don’t mention is keeping the car full of fuel, even during those miserable days when you really just want to go home.
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities (because we wouldn’t want to leak gas when zombies are attacking)
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps (for those of us with abysmal senses of direction)
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger (assuming the aliens haven’t cut off all communication)
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) (PDF - 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this website.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher (for bludgeoning that pesky zombie that just won’t die!)
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil (to tell your story of survival for posterity of course)
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Maintaining Your Kit
Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:
- Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.
- Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented or corroded.
- Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies.
- Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
- Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
- Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag.