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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What supplies should you stockpile to survive after a disaster?

Hurricane Season is here!
Survival Kit
   Natural disasters happen all over the world, and it often seems that in recent years they are far more common than they used to be. Whether this is because of climate change or some other as yet unknown factor is a mystery. Maybe these disasters are not happening any more frequently than they used to and it just seems that way. Whichever is the case we should all be prepared for the possibility it could happen to us one day, and therefore we should always have a carefully chosen stockpile of supplies that could ensure we survive after a disaster.
  This blog intends to give you a list of basic but essential supplies that you should always have a stockpile of in case of an emergency situation, e.g. a flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption, tsunami, hurricane etc. This is not just a list of food supplies you should have in reserve, it is a list essential items you should have too, (after all, what good is having a can of food if you don't have an easy means to open it?) Of course this is just one simple and obvious example and there are many other items you should have in your emergency supplies store. Hopefully this blog will allow you to start your own stockpile and ensure you and your family have the best possible chance of surviving after a natural disaster, at least until help arrives.
  Even if you can't stockpile many things due to lack of space in or around your home, you can adapt the items on this list to create an emergency grab bag, the contents of which would keep you alive for a week or so if help was not immediately forthcoming. If each member of your family has their own emergency grab bag to hand you all have a far better chance of survival.

Remember that not everything on this list will be essential to you and you might need to pick and choose the relevant items depending on where you are located in the world.

Food to Stockpile

  • Porridge Oats. These will store for years if kept in cool dry place. They provide plenty of energy in the form of slow releasing complex carbohydrates. Porridge oats sustain energy levels in ways other foods do not.
  • Emergency Food Bars. These are high in calories (up to 3600 per bar), so obviously well worth having in your stockpile of supplies.
  • Chocolate Bars. Another high energy food that takes up only a small amount of room in your survival bag.
  • Dehydrated Food Packs. These work well for the army and space shuttle crews, so they are ideal in a civilian emergency where food might otherwise be in short supply or even contaminated.
  • Canned Meat. There have been cans of corned beef found from World War II that when opened were found to still be perfectly edible. Meat is a source of protein and therefore is an important food to have available.
  • Dried Grains and Pulses. Beans, lentils, rice etc all store well if kept cool and dry in a dark place. They will keep a family going for days on relatively small portions of them.
  • Dried Milk. Another essential and very useful food that will keep for years if stored in the right conditions.
  • Water. Bottled water will keep for a long time if sealed and kept in the correct storage conditions (although I would recommend changing the stored water for newer bottles every few months.) Assuming the natural water supply ceased or was polluted for some reason fresh water would be essential. You don't have to keep gallons and gallons of it, but enough to last a few weeks would be a good idea, and during this time you could hopefully collect rainwater to top up your supplies.
  • Dried Fruits. These will retain some vitamins and will store well. You might want to replace them periodically to ensure the vitamin content is retained.
  • Vitamin Tablets. There is a risk you might suffer from vitamin deficiencies if the disaster relief is not fairly rapid, especially when it comes to vitamins such as vitamin C which as humans we are unable to synthesize in our own bodies.
  • Salt. Another essential for humans, so worth having a good supply of in reserve. 

Most important is to keep you and your family safe!

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