Like the rest of the nation, I watched the devastation of Hurricane Ian in Florida and up the coast this week with a mixture of sympathy, terror and awe. What would you do? What could you do to prepare? The scale of this natural catastrophe is beyond comprehension. But there are a few things you can do to help during an emergency situation.
Last year I posted a few helpful hints for emergency preparations and equipment. I’d like to expand upon that a little.
First of all, you need a GO bag, or BOB (bug out bag). This is usually in the form of a backpack filled with some essential tools and equipment. You can buy variations of these emergency kits ready-made online or make your own. These can be tailored to your location, climate and season. Keep in mind the weight as you don’t know how long or far you may need to carry this.
I would definitely take a power bank which is already charged or can be charged from a solar-powered charger. Both of these items come in various sizes and weights. Add a solar-powered charger. And don’t forget your charging cords.
Then some rechargeable light source. Either free-standing or a headlamp so your hands will be free.
A portable radio, either rechargeable or hand-cranked.
A paper map. If the power grid goes down, your GPS won’t work. Familiar terrain may look totally different after a major event so a map could help.
Some cash money, as all the ATMs will be down if no power, as will the credit card machines.
Some high protein food, power bars, trail mix, etc. Water and / or containers, or even purification tablets.
Other items that may prove helpful would be a poncho or large trash bag, some smaller resealable bags, utensils, such as a knife or pot. Disposable lighters. Essential medications, or first aid kit. Good shoes and maybe a change of clothes. Copies of essential paperwork or at least an electronic copy on a water-proof flash drive.
As you can tell, the list is endless. It all depends upon the circumstances, the type of emergency you are expecting, and how long you expect to be on your own. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards, earthquake or any number of man-made disasters. You should be able to grab your bag and get out of Dodge in about fifteen minutes.
There are some excellent websites out there, as well as some informative books. One of my favorites is Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag by Creek Stewart. You can learn a few emergency survival skills without becoming a total prepper.
A little preparation and knowledge can provide you with the confidence you may need when faced with a difficult situation wherever you live.