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In Case Of Emergency, These Are Exactly What You Need

In Case Of Emergency, These Are Exactly What You Need

Have you noticed that weather around the world is more insane than usual, lately? Whether you’ll blame it on climate change/global warming, deviations of the Earth’s axis, alien influence, or an imminent apocalypse, it’s obvious that things are changing. Many people are caught in extremely difficult circumstances after storms, floods, blizzards, and other nasty bits of weather pummel their homes. Those circumstances may be alleviated significantly with foresight and emergency preparedness.

This doesn’t mean that we should all create bunkers in our basements, filled with Spam, military rations and chemical toilets. There are a few items that each and every one of us could and should keep on hand, just in case. We never know when some weirdness will strike. It’s better to have something and not need it, than need it but not have it.

A Bucket for Every Person

A large 5-gallon bucket is the perfect size to contain all of the supplies a single person needs to get through the first 72 hours of an emergency situation.

The average kit will include a few basics that everyone needs. This is a guideline, but it’s best to customize the kits for each person. In general, buckets should have as many of the following items as possible:

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General Supplies:

  • Utility knife (Swiss Army, Leatherman, etc.)
  • Dust mask
  • Whistle
  • Flashlight
  • Insulating blankets (mylar reflective emergency ones)
  • Strike-anywhere matches
  • Can opener
  • Cutlery/utensils (fork, spoon, knife, chopsticks, cooking spoon)
  • Candles (a few per day)
  • Sewing kit
  • Household twine
  • Portable cooking stove
  • Fuel
  • A small tarp
  • Duct tape (1 roll per bucket)
  • Pencils
  • A couple of garbage bags
  • Laminated list of emergency phone numbers (relatives, police, ambulance, insurance, etc.)
  • Cash money (if debit and credit cards can’t be used for a while)

Hygiene Products:

  • Pack of 10 tissues (1 or 2 of these)
  • Travel shampoo
  • Hand cream
  • A bar of soap (in a plastic travel container)
  • Sunscreen
  • Comb or brush
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste (travel size are fine)
  • Dental floss
  • 1 roll of toilet paper
  • A wash cloth
  • For women: tampons/pads (a 3-day supply)

Clothing:

  • Underwear (2 or 3 pairs)
  • Clean, warm socks (2 pairs)
  • Gloves

Earthquake_survival

    Photo by Global X, via Flickr

    First Aid Kit:

    • A basic emergency first aid manual
    • Ibuprofen (Advil)
    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
    • Aspirin
    • Hydrocortisone cream
    • Triple antibiotic cream (Neosporin)
    • Tweezers
    • Cotton swabs (Q-tips)
    • Hand sanitizer gel
    • A selection of adhesive bandages
    • Gauze rolls and pads
    • Waterproof adhesive tape
    • Thermometer
    • Cough drops/sore throat drops
    • Burn ointment
    • Crazy glue (can be used to seal cuts)
    • Allergy medication
    • Antidiarrheal (Immodium)
    • Triangular bandage
    • Notebook and pencil
    • *Any personal medications (heart medications, birth control pills, etc.)

    *Note: If you keep a supply of any kind of medication in your kit, it’s important to rotate it on a regular basis in order to keep it fresh and effective. No-one wants to be caught in an emergency situation only to discover that their medications have expired. Medication, such as insulin that must be refrigerated, should be stored per its instructions as long as possible, and it’s important to check how long these medications will maintain efficacy, if refrigeration is unavailable.

    Food/Water:

    When it comes to food and water, it’s good to have 1 gallon of water per person, per day, and approximately 2,000 calories’ worth of food. Keep in mind that all edibles should be shelf stable/non perishable. It’s important to ensure that the foods set aside for each person are those that can actually be eaten!

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    Many pre-made preparedness kits have a great selection that those without any food allergies or sensitivities can appreciate, but if there are any special diets that need to be adhered to, it’s best to assemble your own. It would be bad for a gluten-free, soy-sensitive vegan to be stuck in an emergency situation and discover that the only things to eat are freeze-dried eggs and meaty-wheaty bites in teriyaki sauce.

    Some food options may include:

    • Canned food such as fruits, vegetables, stews, and puddings
    • Canned protein sources (corned beef, tuna)
    • Milk and juice, in boxes or cans
    • Pre-prepared beans
    • Dried sausages/jerky
    • Trail mix that has nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
    • Granola bars
    • Crackers (go for low-sodium, as anything salty will make you thirsty)
    • Cookies
    • Dry cereal
    • Instant meal packets (oatmeal, cream of wheat, dehydrated camping foods)
    • Instant noodles
    • Nut butters

    Although you may think that your own personal survival kit should be well stocked with Fritos, soda, chocolate chip cookies, and vodka, it’s best to aim for a more well-balanced diet. You can slip in a couple of comfort foods as well, but nutrition takes precedence over candy binges in these situations.

    If you have pets, remember to make buckets for them as well! Dogs, cats, small mammals, birds, and reptiles all have their own unique needs, so be sure to stock a few days’ worth of any supplies your animal companions need, too. Cats and dogs should have harnesses and leashes in their buckets, birds and little creatures should have small travel cages at hand to keep them safe, and it would be good to keep a guide to emergency pet care in their pail too.

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    Most human medications can’t be given to or used on pets, with the exception of hydrogen peroxide and some antibiotic ointments. Research what is and isn’t safe for your companions, and then pack a small supply of medication that is pet-safe, just in case.

    A Week’s Worth of Wellbeing

    Some less-than-stellar situations may take a bit longer than 3 days to sort out, so in addition to the bucket-per-person as mentioned above, it’s a good idea to keep some additional items in stock at your home. The ideal storage place remains dry at all times, and has a consistent temperature that’s neither too hot, or too cold.

    An ideal spot would be a pantry, closet, or cupboard on either the main floor or lower level of your home. If the basement is prone to dampness or cold spots, it’s important to insulate it first.

    Consider this supply closet as an extension of your bucket. You can also use this space for larger items that may not fit in your pails, such as extra cooking fuel, a water purification pump filter, or even a tent.

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    The Boy Scout’s motto is “always be prepared”, and honestly, it’s a good motto for everyone to follow.

    Take care of yourselves, please.

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    Catherine Winter

    Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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