Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Be Prepared

In the wake of assorted local, national and international natural disasters last summer, I was sufficiently freaked out to pack a small emergency kit. I think I was thinking mainly of unforeseen disruptions to infrastructure -- power, water, maybe roads somehow; what was mainly on my mind was fire.

Whatever it was, I assembled a zip-up carry-bag of the following: large plastic bottle of water, small first-aid kit, assorted energy bars and little packs of trail mix, tissues, wet wipes, small kit of travel-sized toiletries, candles, matches and a torch (and battery).

Somewhat to my surprise, family and friends were unanimous in their approval; obvs I'm not the only nervous Nellie in town. And after spending yesterday and today glued to the intertubes, I'm glad I've got that kit sitting there and will update it when I get a minute to spare. There are some things I plan to add: photocopies of essential documents (including prescriptions and cat vaccination certificates; nobody will board them without), two favourite novels, spare reading glasses and a large box of Nurofen Plus. A very large box.

20 comments:

Ampersand Duck said...

Oh, I've been meaning to set up an emergency kit for AGES and just mentioned it last night to the family. I'm going to use this post as a list to check off the items I/we need. So thanks, eh.

ThirdCat said...

speaking as someone who has a. lived in fire zone and is b. living in spitting distance of Iran as well as in the midst of other uncertainties, could I also suggest:

cash; piece of paper with record of important phone numbers and passwords; step by step list that children would be able to follow; data stick with photos; packing list in case you've got time to pack other things but aren't thinking clearly (eg spare shoes, purple jumper); map of area; solar-powered radio with battery back-up and spare batteries

(I'm not paranoid, really I'm not - I've given it a lot of thought, but I haven't done much about it)

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

I'm sure I've missed a few -- but you wouldn't want something that was too heavy to carry!

ThirdCat said...

no, well, I don't mean that much cash...just enough for a plane ticket

Ampersand Duck said...

The data stick with photos is *brilliant*.

Lynne said...

I am just gobsmacked by the amount of water pouring through Queensland at the moment. Having grown up in northern South Australia, I simply can't comprehend that much water in one place. Scarey, scarey stuff.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Hi Lynne! *waves*

clarencegirl said...

Very sensible idea. Waiting out the floods every couple of years I always have one on hand too. Don't forget the small flask of brandy - I always do!

JahTeh said...

I looked around last night and couldn't think what to grab if the water was coming that fast.
As for money, first I'd have to remember which teapot I was currently using as a hiding place.

JahTeh said...

I've just had an email and my grand daughters are both safe, one out of the flood zone and the other at home, high on a hill.

Suse said...

I clicked over to the commentbox to add 'a memory stick of important docs and photos' and was pleased to see thirdcat got in first but also added a step by step list for children. That's BRILLIANT.

Off to add it to our firepack, once we manage to get home out of flooded Queensland, that is.

Anonymous said...

For your emergency bag, don't forget a Leatherman multi-tool device. A Swiss army knife is not bad, and you should have one in your pocket anyway, but a Leatherman is more comprehensive and useful.

Too large for a bag, but necessary for the trunk of your car: a crowbar and a fire extinguisher.

Also a good large Exacto knife or other type of retractable blade that can be easily used to cut an automobile's safety belt. One of my brothers has saved the lives of a number of people from burning auto wrecks, by having one of these handy.

Another thing you should have in your bag is a pair of thick, padded leather work gloves. I've had to rescue people from areas that had a lot of broken glass about, and I was thankful to have work gloves handy. I keep them in my coat pockets at all times, after learning my lesson the hard way.

In California, standard earthquake-preparedness kits generally contain a kind of micro-blanket made of some sort of crazy space-age material, which you can use for warmth/shelter but which, when folded up, is about the size of a pack of cigarettes. Good for the kit bag and doesn't take up much space.

Anonymous said...

Not that it matters, but that was me in the long comment above about gloves and crowbars and so forth. Forgot to sign it.

-- j_p_z

p.s. another thing to keep in your emergency bag is a couple of packs of cigarettes. Even if you don't smoke, they're handy in a barter economy...

Also, are you aware that "Be prepared" is the Boy Scout motto?

Man, why on earth would I know such a thing? ;-)

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

I recognised you.

I'm guessing the news of what's happening in Queensland may even have made it to the US, so you'll know what has prompted these reflections. Good call re magic blanket, also Swiss Army knife or similar.

Ann O'Dyne said...

My life is a permanent 'Go-Bag' and I have a data stick with scans of every crucial thing on it.
There is an inexpensive torch available, which is powered-up by merely shaking, and works on that for 30 minutes at a time. I intend to get one, and comment them to all.
Pets are a big issue in any disaster, and people must have cat-carriers for every cat they own, not just one-between-three.
and a float for every horse too.

littlepilgrim said...

But no one has asked what the novels are! I'm stumped when I think about what books I would pack; what have you included?

Nabakov said...

I second most of these Go Bag suggestions and also recommend putting everything you can in separate ziplock bags which are very handy in their own right - and of course a spare pair of socks. Spending hours or even days in wet socks is not good.

The comment door bitch also recommends a "minelph".

Zarquon said...

Here's a list from a couple of years ago from an emergency responder in the US Jim McDonald's go-bag

Marshall Stacks said...

Here is the link for the $12.95 Tugga Torch which powers up via shaking, that O'Dyne mentioned above.
An ideal gift for a neighbour, colleague, etc

http://www.atomikgreen.com.au/

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Thank you, Ms Stacks, looks good!