With countries hostile to the US arming themselves with nuclear weapons and massive earthquakes being reported on a more frequent basis, it is a good idea to be prepared in the event of a major disaster. Most experts in disaster preparedness suggest having enough supplies for each person in your family for three days. But what exactly do you really need? Here is a list of a basic three day survival backpack:
Six to Ten Meals Ready to Eat or MREs are suggested for their long shelf life, extreme portability, and nutritional value. Developed for NASA in 1970 MREs are thermostabilized, laminated food pouches. With twenty-four different meal options, including four vegetarian ones an MRE can be found for every taste. Each meal provides about 1200 calories. Also available are 3600 calorie emergency ration food bars which are approved by both the US and Canadian governments. “A 3-day emergency ration food bar has a 5-year shelf-life and utilizes a unique non-thirst provoking formula that is engineered to provide a disaster victim with the perfect blend of required calories and nutrients to survive for 3 days. They are specially packaged to store safely for 5 years even in extreme temperatures and conditions.”
Lightweight, versatile, and user friendly, a tube tent “is one of the most common forms of emergency shelter found in survival kits. It comes with the ridge cord that lifts the center up and forms the tent. Tie off the cord to two trees.” Although tube tents come in varying sizes, the two person basic tent is the most common survival backpack.
They are shiny and silver and look like “huge sheets of aluminum foil”, but survival blankets have so much more potential. Made from a metalized plastic film: Mylar, and used for various purposes by NASA, this two-sided material either reflects or conserves heat. A space blanket takes up as much room as a deck of cards and should definitely be including in every emergency kit. In emergency situations, survival blankets can be used as impromptu tents. The reflective side of the blanket can also be used as a signal similar to a mirror. Mylar is thin enough it can be cut easily, making it ideal for turning into bandanas, hats, or other emergency clothing needs.
1 50 hour candle and box of waterproof matches. “These are long-burning candles with a self-supporting wick that provides extra light and heat, and last up to 50-hours.” Oftentimes a waterproof lid and waterproof matches will be included with a purchased candle making it easy to add to your survival kit. Sometimes emergencies call for instant warmth. In a matter of seconds, heat packets can generate enough warmth to last over 20 hours. Made of safe, biodegradable materials, thermal heat packets should be included in your kit. Sometimes candles can’t be used during an emergency situation due to the danger of gas, chemicals, or other flammable material. This is one reason why a Cyalume light stick should be included in your survival kit. Light sticks are a bright and dependable source of emergency lighting and are clean, non-toxic and safe in all environments whether near gas or oil, or any combustable materials.
A first aid kit is common sense but you would be surprised how easy it is to forget and how useful it is to have. Other common sense, basic items include camping spoons, a canteen, a Sierra cup which can be used for cooking, cleaning, or drinking, and a multi-functional pocket knife. A backpack or other container to store each person’s kit is also necessary. Water is the last but probably most important item. Retort water pouches are probably the most convenient, safe, and easily stored option.