The United States is no stranger to natural disasters, with its long history of freak hail and snow storms, hurricanes, earthquakes and forest fires. According to statistics, there have been over 640 calamities that have occurred in the country between 1980 and 2010, with a record of 12,366 people killed, and 26,889,582 citizens injured and affected. The worst devastation recorded in history transpired in New Orleans back in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina took over the state and caused significant economic devastation, displacing thousands of people and killing a few hundreds. With this in mind, it’s never too much to think of having an emergency preparedness kit available for sudden, uncontrollable adversities.

It is essential, though, that you know what exactly to pack in order to walk away with a reliable emergency bag.

It’s easy to get carried away the first time, so this structured guideline should be helpful in keeping you in line with the necessary items, and not overwhelmed by the assumptions.

A. Basic Survival – These include rations and objects that would help you live through any calamity, and satisfy your rudimentary biological needs. First up would be two litres of water, or six 250 ml bottles, so you can last long enough for the eve of evacuation procedures. This is very important, since a person can only live 3 days without getting a sip of water. Of course, food is also part of the Basic Survival gear, and most of it should be processed and easily consumed (for example, energy bars and canned goods), as cooking may not be possible during emergency situations.

You will also have to pack flash lights and a lot of batteries, a handheld transceiver (in case your cell phone dies out), a Swiss knife, a first aid kit, and some small bills and cashier’s checks for pay phones and other services.

B. Additional Essentials – You also need to secure luxury items that could increase your comfort and keep you secured and healthy, while recovering from the tragedy. This will include a change of clothing and footwear, warm blankets and sleeping bags, perhaps even a tent, candles and a lighter, utensils, some toiletries, adhesives, a whistle, and a portable butane burner for cooking. You could also bring some identification documents, just in case you need them, and a navigation system or map, so you’d have some idea of where you currently are and where you need to be.

C. Convenient – Lastly, if there’s room in your emergency preparedness backpack, you should also store some rope, signal flares, some liquor, a battery-operated radio, a Taser gun, an extra set of keys to your house and a car, if possible. It would be great if you can add in some gaming materials to keep you entertained.

Nevertheless, all of these should help you get by after a great disaster, and keep you secured during uncertainty. You should always be ready; therefore, you should already have a backpack set aside, ready for evacuation, as catastrophes can strike at any moment. If you have pets, you should pack for them, too, and take them with you as you escape.

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