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Basic First-Aid Needs
Basic Light Needs
Basic Communication Needs
Basic Shelter Needs
Basic Heating Needs
Basic Water Needs
Basic Tool Needs
Basic Food Needs

Basic First-Aid Needs

In a crisis or emergency situation, you will need to be your own doctor and dentist. A comprehensive first-aid kit would be a good idea so you can treat minor injuries. At a minimum, you should have gauze pads, gauze rolls, medical tape, topical anti-septic, 'Band- Aids,' pain reliever, and an anti-diarrhoea medication. You can get these things at any drug store. It would also be a good idea to include a first-aid manual for reference.

If you or members of your family are taking long-term prescription medicines, you should make arrangements to have a supply on hand so you don't run out after the stores have closed down.

Basic Needs:

• If anyone needs prescription medicines on a regular basis, make sure you have a supply on hand to meet your duration goal
• Standard first-aid kit capable of handling most injuries
• Over-the-counter medicines for pain relief, allergies, diarrhoea, etc.
• Check with your doctor about getting some general antibiotics and how/when to use them
• If possible, an extensive medical kit and first-aid training
• Emergency dental kit

Basic Light Needs

All of us have become very accustomed to having light at the flip of a switch. When the power goes out, you'll need to have another source of light. Flashlights are probably the easiest to use, but you'll need some extra batteries to keep them going. Candles and lanterns are another option.

Make sure that any candle you plan on using in an emergency are going to remain lit. Many of the cheaper, decorative candles will not stay lit very well as they were made for decorations and not for burning. Some of the best candles to get are the 10- hour votive candles available in nearly any department store.

Non-electric lanterns are another choice for providing light. You can get a lantern that runs on one of the following fuels: white gas, unleaded gas, propane, kerosene, and oil (the scented kind).
The kerosene and oil lanterns are not as bright as the first three, but a couple of kerosene lanterns might be more practical to use if you have a kerosene heater. You'd only have to store one type of fuel.

Basic Needs:

• Standard flashlights with extra batteries
• LED flashlights with extra batteries (last much longer than standard flashlights, though not as bright)
• Lanterns with extra fuel (white gas, unleaded gas, propane, kerosene, oil) to last your duration goal
• Candles, long burning type (decorative candles make poor choices as they don't burn well)

Basic Communication Needs

You'll need to be able to get information to find out what's going on. One of the easiest ways to get news to listen to AM or FM radio.
There are radio stations in every town that are designated emergency broadcast stations. They usually have a generator, so in case the power goes out, they can still broadcast. Make sure you have spare batteries for your radio.

Keeping communications between family members has gotten easier recently. In the past, the only choice we had for public radio communications was the Citizen's Band radio. Now, there is the Family Radio Service (FRS) band which doesn't require a license. FRS radios are sold everywhere, are relatively inexpensive, and run on common batteries.

Basic Needs:

• Battery-powered radio, AM and FM
• Extra batteries
• Police scanner, optional, it would be nice to hear what's going on in and around your neighbourhood
• FRS radios

Basic Shelter Needs

You need to be able to provide shelter and repair shelter. If your home gets damaged, like in a storm, you will need to make immediate, temporary repairs. If your home becomes inhabitable, you will need to provide shelter for you and your family.

Basic Needs:

• Ability to fix broken windows and holes in structure (plastic sheeting and staples or nails)
• A tent or tents to accommodate everyone in your family comfortably (even if you don't plan on relocating, you might be forced to leave)
• Tarps for extra weather protection
• Cordage and stakes to secure tents and tarps
• Ability to construct shelter (chainsaw, axe, hammer, nails, etc.)

Basic Heating Needs

Power outages during the winter are common. If you live in the northern part of the country, this means it will be cold. Maybe very cold. You'll need a heat source to keep warm. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, make sure you have enough wood.

Keep in mind though, if you have a standard fireplace, it won't be able to heat up much more than the room it's in. This means you might need to drain your pipes so they don't freeze.

Another method would be to get a kerosene heater and a supply of fuel. Kerosene heaters have become very efficient and don't smell nearly as much as they used to. However, there is a bit of a cost in buying a kerosene heater and storing kerosene, so you may want to consider the all the alternatives before you decide.

Another possibility would be to buy a generator capable of running your heating system for your house. While this method would keep the whole house warm, generators are rather expensive and you'd need a fairly large one to run your furnace. If you do decide to get a generator, have a qualified electrician wire it to a switchbox in your house so you can run on either house power or generator power.

Basic Needs:

• Need to have a method of heating your home, or at least one room, and enough fuel to last for your duration goal
• Everyone needs to have a sleeping bag or warm blankets
• Preferable for everyone to have a sleeping pad (may have to sleep on floor next to heater)
• If you have relocation plans, make sure you can start a fire under all conditions and have the ability to gather firewood

Basic Water Needs

We all know that we need water to live and that we can get water from the faucet any time we want. But, would you know where to get water if it stopped flowing from the faucet? Most of us wouldn't.
But, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you have water available.

The first thing you can do is to store water. Either buy water from the store, or get some plastic containers, like those used for camping, and store water in them. There's also a supply of water in your hot water heater (if you haven't lately, you should flush your water heater. Not only will this keep the water cleaner, but will make your heater run more efficiently). Simply connect a hose to the bottom and open the drain. You might need to open a hot water faucet to get all of the water out of the heater. Another highly recommended thing to do is to fill the bathtub(s) and any available containers if you think the water may be shut off or otherwise be unavailable. This will help give you extra water if you need it.

In addition to having a supply of water, you should also keep a bottle of plain Clorox around so you can purify it needed. Why would I need to purify water? Anytime you get water from a questionable source (including water that has been sitting in your tub) you should purify it. To purify, add 8-10 drops of Clorox bleach per gallon, stir it and wait 30 minutes. If it doesn't have a faint odor of chlorine, add another 8-10 drops and wait another 30 minutes.

You can also boil water, for at least 5 minutes, to purify it. However, this will require extra fuel in order to be able to purify large quantities.

A very good way of providing clean water is to buy a water filter, like those used in camping. However, there are many different types of filters on the market and you should research which one is best for your needs. Many camping stores can provide information on the filters they sell. You can also search the Internet for more information.

Basic Needs:

• Two week supply of water stored on hand
• Ability to filter or purify more water on a continuous basis
• Locate a nearby source of water that's reasonably clean

Basic Tool Needs

You'll need hand tools in order to make repairs to your home and equipment. Take a look at what you have already and compare that to what you might need to make repairs.

Basic Needs:

• Common tools to have would include axe, sledge hammer, wedge
or maul, shovel, pickaxe, pliers, wrenches, wire cutters, duct tape, pry bar, wood saw, nails, socket set, etc.

Basic Food Needs

Even though you can survive many days without food, it's not a pleasant experience. Also, in the event of a sudden crisis, having food (and other supplies) on hand will prevent you from having to go out and face confused, panicky people at the grocery stores and on the roads. We all have seen on the news how people react when there's no food on the grocery store shelves. Fistfights have broken out over the last loaf of bread or last pound of ground beef (very common in the Northeast just before a large snowstorm. You can avoid potential injury simply by having extra food in your pantry.

How much extra food do I need? Good question. Most likely, you probably have about two weeks worth of food in your home right now.
A good amount would be to double it to a one-month supply for everyone in the house. One month! Good grief ... that's a lot!! Not really; and if you buy a little extra each time you go food shopping, you'll soon have a month's worth of extra food. Be sure to rotate it out with new stuff you buy. For example, when you buy a can of corn, instead of using the can you just bought, use one from your pantry and replace it with the one you just purchased. Don't forget to consider anyone in your family that has special dietary needs such as infants, the elderly, and the diabetic.

Think of this extra food as an insurance policy. But, you can eat this insurance! Try doing that with your car or life insurance.
Minimum amount to cover your duration goal:

• Quick-fix meals (those that require very little preparation time)
• Rotation system for your everyday foods you bought from the grocery store
• Storage food (those that were packaged for a long shelf-life)
• Ability to hunt
• Books on edible wild foods
• Recipes using storage food
• Spices to help liven up usually bland storage food
• Paper plates, paper towels, napkins and plastic cutlery will help keep down the use of water (and disease spread)

Preparedness: A Concept of Life

Basic Preparedness Concepts

Earthquakes, floods, fires, lightning, crime, tornados, chemical spills, hurricanes, vehicle accidents, urban violence, food shortages, extreme temperatures, power outages, nuclear accidents.
How many of the above threaten your safety and that of your family's? A realistic analysis of the risks shows the answer to be more than we care to think about. In order to keep yourself and your family as safe as possible from harm and discomfort, you need to prepare for anything that might happen.

Does this mean you need to spend every extra nickel and every spare minute in preparation? Is this an end to quality time with your family? The answer is...No. Preparedness doesn't need to be an all- consuming task. And the reason for this is that most of the preparation for one risk will work for another.

For example, no matter what calamity occurs, you'll always need the basics of water, shelter, fire (heat/cooking), first-aid, clothing, and food. If you take a look at past disasters, you'll find that people are always in need of the same things: fresh water to drink, a place to stay, medical treatment, something to eat, etc. If everyone took the time and spent a little money putting away the basics, there would be a lot less people looking for handouts from the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and various governments.

Okay, now that you know most preparations will get you ready for most things, where do you start? At the beginning, of course. The very first thing you need to do is a risk analysis of the area where you live and work, as well as for everyone in your family. School can be considered work for those getting an education.

Start with the big three: Vehicle accidents; Fire; Crime. Odds are that you'll be affected by one of these before anything else. What comes next on the risk list depends on where you are. The key is to be realistic. If you are trying to prepare for foreign invasion, but don't have any auto insurance, you're not being realistic.

Once you've done your risk analysis, you can move into the planning phase. Keeping the possible risks in mind, devise a plan to accommodate any contingency. These contingencies will outline where you and your family are when the disaster strikes.

If everyone is together, it's just a matter of getting your supplies and staying safe. If the family (for the purpose of this article, "family" can mean a close group of friends) is not together, communication becomes very important. Knowing where someone is and that they're safe will relieve vast amounts of stress during an emergency.

There are several forms of communication that you should consider.
They are, but not limited to, landline telephone, pager, cellular telephone, and two-way radio. Landline telephone is the same phone we use everyday, it's connected to the phone company by wires.
During a crisis, you may not be able to call anyone in the affected area due to blocked lines, but you'll most likely be able to call outside of the area. Therefore, you should have a distant family member or close friend act as a contact point. This way, everyone can call the contact person and leave messages about their well- being.

Pagers have become extremely cheap, lately, making them quite affordable. In addition to staying in touch during normal times, through the use of simple codes, you can relay information to each other. Unless the disaster is quite severe, the paging transmitters should still be working as long as you can get an open phone line.
The cost of having a cellular phone has also come down to a level where they're affordable. Especially if you get a package designed for emergency use only and don't use it except when necessary.
Cellular phones connect into the landline phone circuits at the cell sites and are subject to the same disruption as landlines. However, having a cellular phone to use when you are stranded, or caught in a minor emergency, is invaluable.

If you noticed, the above three forms of communication all have one thing in common. Every one of them needs to go through a phone company to work. This leaves you quite dependent on someone else.
Using a two-way radio precludes having to rely on a "middle man."
However, there is one drawback; you are limited by the range of the transmission. For more information and a look at what's available, visit a radio-electronics shop. If they don't know the answers, they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Another part of your plan that could fall under communication is called the meeting place. You should have at least one meeting place, and it's location should be a safe place right outside your home. If a fire were to break out while everyone is sleeping, chances are that not everyone will use the same escape path. In order to know who got out okay, assign a point outside your home, a neighbor's tree, for example, where everyone will meet after escaping. This allows for rapid accountability.

The next part of your plan should outline what people should do if they are separated from the rest during a disaster. What should they do? Where should they go? Who should they call? Planning this out beforehand will save a lot of aggravation and prevent stress later.
Other parts of the plan should include things like, who'll pick up the kids from school? If someone is at home, should they stay there?
If they leave home, what should they do first, if possible? Go through your risk analysis list and discuss all the "what-ifs" that you can think of.

After you've completed the communication and what-to-do planning, the next step is to gather your emergency supplies. What do you include in your supplies and gear? First, start with the basics:
water, shelter, fire, first-aid, and food. How much and what quality to buy depends on your budget. If you can afford it (and congratulations if you can), buy everything at once and of the best quality there is. Otherwise, think frugal. The water filter can be one that works well but isn't rated for long term use. The tent used for shelter can be a budget-buy on sale. And so forth.

After the basic home supplies are acquired, do the same for each vehicle. Keep in mind that the temperatures in a vehicle can be very hot or very cold, depending on the season, and buy your supplies accordingly. If your entire family spends most of it's time on the road, you might be better off to make up the vehicle kits first as these can also be used at home. Since only you know your situation, only you can decide the best course of action.

After the basic supplies and gear are acquired, start adding the extra stuff that will make surviving more comfortable. Things like flashlights, compasses, maps, tools, hygiene stuff, etc. Anything that will increase your comfort level will make surviving the disaster more bearable.

After your plans have been laid, conduct drills and practice sessions to make sure everyone knows what is expected of them and what they need to do. Once an emergency occurs, the way you were trained and how you practiced will be the way you and your family do it for real. Consider this when trying to decide whether or not to take a shortcut during a practice or training session.

There are many ways of going about your preparedness plans and actions. Don't forget to include things like getting insurance for your home and vehicles, and medical insurance for every family member.

When putting together your supplies, try to think of what you'll need to do in order to survive. Camping trips, drills, and practice sessions can help identify those items you might have forgotten but will need.


• Be aware by recognizing danger. Have communication such as a radio, CB, or scanner. Use your senses. Panic spreads fast so when you feel threatened like your hair standing on end and the adrenalin working. Take action. Fight down the panic and stay calm.
• Get away-stay out of harm's way. Avoid trouble areas and/or dangerous parts of cities. Move away from dangerous cities.
• Avoid confrontation and try go around potential problems. Have an escape route that you have selected ahead of time. Remember, "Those who live by the sword, die by the sword." You might end up the target of a person's built up anger even though you are not a part of the problem.
• Act like the natives. Try to blend in so you don't attract attention. Be careful of what you wear. Be aware of your surroundings.
• Hide equipment/supplies away from your home. Have a retreat or place where you can escape to as a safe haven. As governments get more totalitarian they make the citizens outlaws by banning things like gun or gold. Bury things or have them hidden away.
• Learn to defend yourself. Choose an art that is compatible to your beliefs such as karate, aikido, mace, pepper spray, or shooting. If you face trouble head on, you should resist with everything possible in a life or death situation.
• Don't get involved in mobs or mob behavior. They become mindless and objectivity is lost.
• Crushed in a crowd? Self preservation is the key. Try to ride it out like a bouy in the sea. If caught in a crowd surge, stay away from anything solid like a wall, barrier, or pillar. Keep hands out of pockets and loosen tie.

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