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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 January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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