They say that your emergency kit should contain the supplies you need to survive for 72 hours. As I mentioned in my previous post, updating my general survival project status, a company that we deal with at work, gave us a bunch of emergency kits. As promised, here’s my blog post about what they contained . . .
First, they came in these nice red bags. Easily identifiable as an emergency item.
A quick look at the inside and you can see that everything is nicely tucked away in pockets or strapped down. I like this because if you do have to use it in an emergency, it’s nice to know that things will be kept in place and not spill all over the place when you open the kit. There are even extra little loops that could be used to add a few other necessities to the kit.
The kit is designed to be a 72 hour kit for 1 person. So there are little emergency water pouches, SOS rations, some first aid supplies, a whistle, a dust mask, a couple light sticks, and an emergency rescue blanket. There was another card that was included with some suggestions on what else you would want in an emergency kit. It had pretty standard things like flashlight, radio, matches, toiletries, etc. I was impressed that they also suggested you include a pry-bar and an emergency toilet, as these are a couple of items that most people wouldn’t think to include in an emergency kit. I also really like the emergency blanket in there and would like to check it out some more. It’s tiny and I wonder how warm it would really keep you in cold conditions. If it is something that works really well, I think it’s worth tracking down a few more and adding them to our emergency supplies since they were very small and lightweight.
Now for a brief rundown of what I feel the advantages and disadvantages of a kit like this are.
- It’s compact and self-contained. It doesn’t have everything you’d need, but in terms of food, water, and basic first aid stuff, it’s pretty well stocked and in a container that you could carry or strap on if you needed to take it somewhere in a hurry.
- It’s got your food and water supply for 3 days. It’ll do for one person, or for a couple of people for a shorter length of time.
- It’s really easy for people to get complacent when they are handed a kit like this. I’m sure most people don’t even open it to really see what’s inside or think about what other things it might be lacking. Plus the food and water do expire and will need to be replaced in 2017. A lot of people get their kit together and then don’t touch it for years, which means that by the time you need the things in it, they are now expired and useless.
- There’s no guarantee that a major disaster won’t leave you hanging for longer than 72 hours. It might take longer than that to get some services back up and running. Or, even if you do have access to supplies after 72 hours, they may be difficult to obtain. I’m not saying that you should go overboard and stockpile way more than that, but having multiple sources of the essentials will help you survive better in an actual emergency.
- It’s great for a major disaster, but it’s overkill for more common emergencies. Let’s face it, the most common emergency to happen is a power outage. I’m not going to break out my SOS rations for dinner if that happens. It’s good to have other contingency plans for more common emergencies too.
- It didn’t include anything about making a family communication plan. If something happens, do you have an out of town contact to check in with? Do your local family members know where to locate emergency services?
- It isn’t crush/fire proof. If major rubble falls on the kit then all those pouches of water don’t stand a chance. For true survival in a major disaster, having resources available in multiple spots is better in case you are cut off from that area of your house, or your kit gets destroyed as part of the disaster. As it was something that was a giveaway product, I can understand why they didn’t go to the expense of putting it in a crush proof case, but the containers that you have for your emergency supplies should also be taken into consideration.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I think these kits are great and generally speaking, some help is better than nothing. I’m just not going to sit back complacently and feel as though I’m ready now that I’ve got this little kit.
Any advantages/disadvantages you think I missed? Let me know in the comments!