Emergencies and disasters can happen anywhere and can range from small emergencies such as a building fire to a large catastrophic disaster with many casualties. While we have been encouraged to have an emergency kit on hand to provide basic emergency supplies to last for at least 72 hours (3 days), extreme disasters may require extreme emergency kits and survival gear. 3 days of self reliance might turn into 5 or 7 days. Weather conditions can range from extreme cold or heat to excessive rain.
It is clear based on recent events that first responders have to work through many logistical obstacles before they can reach the general public with necessary survival supplies.
A well stocked emergency kit should meet your basic survival needs for up to three days (72 hours) and should include survival supplies that provide for the basic survival needs. You should give careful consideration to extreme disaster or emergency situations.
Click on each of these links to see checklists from the Department of Homeland Security and the American Red Cross on what should be included in each in each 72 hour survival kit. These are the two lists we use to guide our development of LifeSecure survival kits and survival supplies.
Whether you buy an emergency kit ready-assembled by an emergency preparedness company or build your own, beyond survival supply basics, you should consider supplies for extreme conditions. For instance, a person should consider the following:
- Emergency kits that combine both extensive shelter-in-place and evacuation supplies.
- NOAA weather alert radio or flashlights that will allow you to receive early weather warnings to better be prepared.
- Hand crank radios or solar radios that have NOAA radio bands. Some emergency radios are capable of handling 2 way radio communications. Land line phones and cell phones might not work in an extreme disaster as such these 2-way emergency radios will be needed.
- Larger, more visible disaster survival backpacks. LifeSecure has emergency backpacks with high visibility reflectors and a built in signaling device.
- Emergency tents that are light weight to keep you dry and out of the extreme weather.
It is critical to have survival gear that is light weight in case you have to evacuate. Consider how much you can realistically carry should you end up on-foot. We find that many people prefer to have a rolling backpack kit in case they need to travel on-foot for some distance. Some of these rolling survival bags convert to survival backpacks or have a shoulder strap should they have to be carried over debris or rough ground.
One other important consideration when preparing a survival kit is the shelf-life of the survival supplies. Most people don’t care to be constantly inspecting and updating their survival kits nor paying to replace outdated survival supplies. If you value the ability to “buy it once, pack it once, and forget it”, make sure that you select food, water, light and communication options that will last for 4 to 5 years or more. Most commercially assembled kits provide long-shelf life options for these survival supplies. Because of their long-life, survival kits purchased from reputable emergency preparedness companies such as LifeSecure Emergency Solutions, can help to prepare a family for in the range of only $7.00 to $14.00 per person per year. That’s not a lot of money to spend to secure one’s family in case of a disaster.