Emergency Preparedness

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Living in CA where you hear talk about the ‘big one’, there’s always the nagging thought about earthquake preparedness. Every time KQED has their fundraising drive where they talk about their emergency preparedness kit as a thank you gift for subscribers, I get this guilty feeling that we haven’t really done anything for this. So this time around, we decided to do something. Huge props to my sister-in-law for her prodding on this issue.

We starting by compiling a list of things we might need. First things first: what kind of emergencies are we talking about?
i) Earthquake
ii) El NiƱo (CA has had a severe drought thanks to no rains for the past 4 years. And this year we are predicted to get a record rainfall)
Under these circumstances, we are talking about power loss, no running water, property damage etc.

So, based on that we started our research on things we might need in these cases. (I’ll list the resources at the bottom on this post as well). We decided on getting 2 sets ready: a 72 hour emergency kit that is FEMA recommended and a 24 hour one where everything fits inside a backpack.

72 hr emergency kit:
After a lot of research, we decided to just buy a pre-made 72 hour kit that we would add stuff into. This post does a very good job of listing out everything you’d need to build your own kit.

We chose the one Honey Bucket Survival Kit. One of the primary pros that tipped the scales in its favor was the fact that it functions as a port-a-potty. And also, much cheaper and hassle free way.

Honey Bucket Survival Kit | 1825steps

Here’s what it includes: Water pouches, water purification tablets, ponchos, blankets, water proof matches, duct tape, food kits, first aid kit (bandages, face mask, sterile towelettes), hand crank operated AM/FM radio & flashlight, whistle, utility knife, crowbar, gas and water shut off tool, toilet disinfectant.

Honey Bucket Survival Kit | 1825steps

Stuff that we added into it:
1) Datrex water pouches
2) Lifestraw
3) They include the Mylar thermal blankets, so we ended up buying 4 of the sturdier ones: 2 of each – Breathable and Non-breathable
4) Toddler specific stuff: PullUps, Toys, Food pouches. I made a play kit for our daughter which includes a bunch of crayons, stickers. I got this from the dollar bins at Target.
5) Extra clothes. I remember reading that you need to include pants (not jeans), and a lightweight full-sleeve jacket. So we have a pair of clothes for all of us. I also included my daughter’s fleece blanket.
6) After the Nepal earthquake, one of reports stated that the most injuries were due to glass shards etc where people hurt themselves by stuff that was on the floor. So officials recommended a pair of sturdy shoes.
7) Toilet rolls and kitchen towels
8) Wet wipes. I used the Pampers Sensitive one so that we use it for our daughter as well
9) Hand crank operated flashlight
10) Matches and candles

I didn’t get add super elaborate first aid supplies to the kit because I made a kit for our family based on recommendations from the Five Gallon Ideas article and this amazingly thorough post by Bowl full of lemons.

Backpack kit:
These backpacks will be stored in our cars. I didn’t buy a new backpack since we already had 2 lying around. They are pretty nondescript but sturdy enough.

Car emergency kit | 1825steps

1) Breathable blankets
2) Datrex water pouches
3) Food: Fruit bars (we love the Onebars), protein bars (partial to the Chewy oatmeal bars)
4) Waterproof jackets for all of us
5) Water bottle
6) Swiss utility knife (I’ve had this for 10+ years now. It’s a Victorinox. Has a few more tools than this one)
7) Play kit for our daughter, similar to one mentioned above
8) First aid kit includes bandages, hand sanitizer, pain relievers, EmergenC pouches

There’s a bunch of stuff that we could add to these kits. But for now we are going to add stuff as need arises. Like if on one of our day trips, we need some of these things. And some of the food items don’t have a long enough shelf life as the one in the 72 hr kit, so we’ll keep replenishing the stock.

1) FEMA recommendations
2) SV Toddler’s Emergency Preparedness post
3) Bowl of Lemons’s Emergency preparedness series
4) Build your own emergency kit by Five Gallon Ideas
5) B.O.B post by Branden Thompson
and many more…

A lot of the resources that I looked at are listed on my Pinterest Board: Preparedness

Disclaimer: *Affiliate links for products.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you guys have any more ideas.