Urban Survival Supplies
By Susan Hovis
Today's topic is urban survival supplies. We have seen many survival shows portray wilderness survival, plane crashes, mountain climbing gone wrong, etc. But, for most of us, we need to prepare to survive at home, school or the office in the event of some emergency or natural disaster.
Emergency preparedness urban survival supplies should include some main areas: shelter, food, water, first aid, light and communication, sanitation and hygiene, security and self-defense, reference guide, survival kits and a survival garden.
If you are able to stay in your house, school or office, then your shelter is already provided. However, if you are forced to move, you may have to improvise on your shelter. It would be wise to have a tarp and space blanket or sleeping bag as part of your urban survival supplies, just in case your next shelter isn't as nice. The goal is to keep warm, dry and protected from the elements. Also, have a way to start a fire, which may be necessary for heat, cooking and light. Keep matches and lighters as part of your urban survival supplies.
An emergency or natural disaster could last 3 days, weeks or months depending on the situation. Most organizations, such as the Red Cross or FEMA recommend at least 72 hours of food and water to be stored in your home, office, school or in a grab and go bag.
After watching the aftermath of all the recent earthquakes and the not so recent Katrina hurricane, it would be a good idea to keep at least one month and up to 12 months of storage food as part of your urban survival supplies.
Store food that requires no refrigeration, with a combination of dehydrated/freeze dried food and canned goods. Choose foods that you and your family will eat, such as: canned meats, fruits, vegetables, protein bars, dry cereal, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, powdered milk, beans and any special needs.
Each person will need one gallon of water per day (drinking and sanitation). It is hard to store enough water beyond two weeks per person, so investing in a good water filter is helpful. Also keep plain bleach on hand or chemical treatment pills for additional methods of purifying the water. Store your water in clean food grade plastic containers, and rotate every 6 months or so.
It is best to have some basic first aid knowledge/training, in order to assist others and to keep yourself safe. There are many different types of first aid kits that are available for portable use and for keeping in your home, school or place of business. You will need to decide what first aid kits are necessary for your urban survival supplies. You will want to have adhesive bandages, alcohol/cleanser pads, sterile dressings and other supplies.
Light and Communication
Your urban survival supplies should include some forms of light and communication. Keep a combination of different types such as, candles, oil lamps, 4-in-1 emergency wind-up flashlight radio alarm cell phone charger combo, matches, lighters, extra batteries and a survival whistle. Another great tool would be two-way radios, if you have more than one person.
Sanitation and Hygiene
Keep a good supply of your personal hygiene products on hand and also your household cleaning and kitchen supplies. Extra paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags and other products will come in handy too. You may not be able to use your toilet if the water supply is shut off. If this happens, it would be good to have a portable toilet with sawdust or chemical treatments. Also, use garbage bags to line the toilet for easier cleanup.
Security and Self-Defense
Prevention is the best way to secure your home, by trimming shrubs, installing good dead bolt locks with solid doors. Have good window locks and a ladder/rope for the upper level in case escape is needed.
Self-defense is up to the individual, and may include some sort of fighting/martial arts training and weapons. Guns are useful for hunting and self-defense, and it is recommended to have a handgun, a pump shotgun, a small rifle, ammunition and cleaning tools for each one. There are many varieties available, so ask your friends and a gun shop dealer what would work best for you.
Reference Guides and Skills
Now is a good time to gather some good reference guides on emergency preparedness as part of your urban survival supplies. There are some great online sources as well, but in the middle of an emergency, it is better to have a physical book on hand.
Check out these two great books, "It's a Disaster!... and what are you gonna do about it?" by Bill & Janet Liebsch and "Making the Best of Basics Family Preparedness Handbook" by James Talmage Stevens. Both are wonderful books. I had the pleasure of listening to James at a Preparedness Expo years ago, and he signed my book. Now, he has an updated edition with much more material. I've had some nice conversations with Janet Liebsch as well, and am impressed with the quality and layout of the book.
Some online resources are:
National Weather Service (NOAA) Safety Information
30 Tips for Emergency Preparedness from Homeland Security (DHS)
Red Cross - Preparing and Getting Trained
There are many different survival kits out there, designed for a variety of needs. These include personal/family, evacuation, hunting, office, car, pet, children and classroom lockdown school kits. Many churches, schools and businesses are also implementing emergency plans. Make sure you know how these plans involve or affect you and your loved ones and add the appropriate survival kits to you urban survival supplies.
Survival Seeds for a Survival Garden
I just love to plant some vegetables every year and taste those fresh veggies right from the back yard! Some folks take it a whole notch higher than me, and plant a huge plot. Whatever your property will allow, just do what you can do.
It is recommended to have non-hybrid, heirloom, non-gmo preparedness seeds (survival seeds), which can be harvested at the end of the season and used for planting for years to come. These seeds break the cycle of constantly buying from the seed company year after year. These are suitable for your everyday vegetable garden or a survival garden (emergency garden).
Susan Hovis has many interests which include economics, history, music, golf, the outdoors, gardening and emergency preparedness. She also enjoys studying the monetary system and spends time at the family cabin in Northern Minnesota.