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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 August 20, 2019

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

    I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

    You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

    Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

    When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

    I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

    Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

    Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

    Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

    1. The Inner Critic

    This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

    • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
    • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
    • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
    • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

    The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

    Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

    2. The Worrier

    This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

    The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

    3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

    This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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    This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

    The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

    4. The Sleep Depriver

    This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

    The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

    • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
    • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
    • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
    • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

    How can you control these squatters?

    How to Master Your Mind

    You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

    Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

    There are two ways to control your thoughts:

    • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
    • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

    This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

    The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

    Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

    For the Inner Critic

    When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

    You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

    For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

    You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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    “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

    If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

    • They rile up the Worrier.
    • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
    • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
    • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
    • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

    Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

    Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

    For the Worrier

    Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

    Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

    You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

    • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
    • Muscles tense

    Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

    If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

    Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

    “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

    Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

    If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

    Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

    Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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    For example:

    If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

    “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

    Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

    “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

    Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

    For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

    Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

    The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
    • Muscles tension

    I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

    Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

    Breathe in through your nose:

    • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
    • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
    • Focus on your belly rising.

    Breathe out through your nose:

    • Feel your lungs emptying.
    • Focus on your belly falling.
    • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

    Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

    Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

    One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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    Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

    For the Sleep Depriver

    (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

    I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

    Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

    1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
    2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

    When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

    From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

    For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

    If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

    You can also use this technique any time you want to:

    • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
    • Shut down your thinking.
    • Calm your feelings.
    • Simply focus on the present moment. 

    The Bottom Line

    Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

    You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

    Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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