A simple survival kit and contingency planning costs very little money and just may save your life.
Have you prepared for life after a disaster? Have you even put some thought into what you would do? Do you have a plan to be able to provide for your family? If you or anyone in your family has a serious medical issue, are you equipped to manage it for a few days without the aid of a drug store or access to an emergency hospital? These are big questions, and just the thought of what we will do when we do not have access to all the benefits of our modern lives may be so troubling that it can make us want to avoid the subject altogether. This is understandable, but ultimately, we need to have a plan and supplies to get us through a brief yet catastrophic moment.
A tough survival situation can take many forms, and can last anywhere from a few hours to a week or more. America is a large nation with a multitude of climates that play some role in the lifestyles of residents. People in the coldest climates understand that the prospect of being snowed in means that you should never let your pantry become bare in the winter, and heating must always be accounted for. People in the southwestern desert regions usually understand the importance of bringing water with them whenever they venture far from home. However, we are all susceptible to some major events that due to their relative infrequency, we are not as vigilant in preparing for.
Hurricane Katrina was a shocking moment not just for the people of the Gulf Coast, but for the country as a whole. Here we were seeing American citizens going without the basic, life sustaining services for longer than we have ever been used to. Blackouts and blizzards simply do not compare to the widespread devastation and desperation these people experienced. It was a worst case scenario actualized right in front of our eyes, and our government was unable to do anything about it. Those experiencing the worst were people with little food or potable water in storage, and whose medical conditions were not manageable on their own. If there is one thing we all should take from this, is that a disaster may make it so that government, first responders, and hospitals may be inaccessible to you for about a week or so. You need to be able to handle your most important needs and responsibilities on your own for at least a few days.
Whether you call it a survival kit or a bug out bag, every home and even some vehicles should have one. This kit will contain emergency items, such as bandages or medications for someone with a chronic illness. You should even put a little food and water in there as well. It just may get you through a brief moment of need.
Beyond the bug out bag, you may want to consider adding some solar or crank powered devices like radios, flashlights, and lanterns. Lighting will be a big issue in survival situations, and radios will keep you informed on what your local authorities are doing and what they want you to do to. In your home, storing some canned food is a great idea; dried rations or meals ready to eat are an even better idea since they are made to be prepared in less than optimal situations.
Some automotive-specific items that would make for a great car survival kit would be a mini air compressor and an automotive escape tool for breaking the windows in case the car is under water, cutting seatbelts, a safety whistle to get the attention of rescuers, and an LED flashlight.
You do not need to become a survival expert; just taking a few precautions will have already made you much safer.
Miles is an ever vigilant prepper who wishes to help others prepare for any survival situation that may occur. More than any piece of gear or survival kits, knowledge is the real power and little goes a long way.