Emergency Kits Must Haves
No one knows when the big one will be. But we can always prepare. While we are praying that it won’t happen anytime soon, the Philippine archipelago is still located at the Pacific Ring of Fire. While expecting for extreme ground movement, our seven thousand plus islands are in the path on volcanic eruptions. We are the highway for over 20 typhoons a year. In our country, emergency means too much rain or none of it. We are blessed to be living in a tropical country but still have some drawbacks. Any mountain, every volcano and each road is hospitable, until signs of immediate threat looms on their areas.
The Philippines is a country of resilience. The funny thing is, we can almost only feel solidarity when a province is hit by devastating storms. And when emotions subside, enter the politicians who live for the spotlight. It’s just right that we question their motives but if there is one thing that we cannot criticize is the importance of staying prepared for natural disasters. Remember, we are but a speck compared to the powers of Mother Nature. She will guide, she will educate you. Like other learning institutions, you are put under the test. A test that is graded through grit, experience and bayanihan. It is a never ending application of social skills, self and environment evaluation. This is the test where fly is not an option—just fight.
A fighter needs his training and equipments. You are fighting for your life and your life has more value than the biggest purse earned in prize fighting history. On your fight, you must be armed with an emergency kit that contains.
1. Food – to keep your energy. For storm signals that warranted at least signal#2, a family is required to secure a supply that will last for three days. Canned goods and non-easily perishable edibles are essential to have a stable energy source. Biscuits and bread are the best alternatives to rice. If you plan to eat rice, be sure that you have the means to cook.
2. Water – an average man can only last for three days without water. Rain water can be made suitable for human consumption when boiled. Tap water should also be disinfected by boiling or dissolving water-cleansing tablets. Unclean water is the primary reason for diarrhea infections on rainy seasons. Store clean water on clean water containers.
3. Personal Hygiene Products. Self care should never be neglected on emergency scenarios. Include in your pack some extra clothing, sanitizer, towels, toothpaste, toothbrush and other toiletries.
4. Radio – Keep up with the latest updates. A radio with battery extensions are the more suitable for any emergencies.
5. Flashlights – Three for each household is enough. LED flashlights are more power efficient. Don’t forget your extra batteries.
6. Whistles – every member must own one for easier searching.
7. Gas mask. On evacuation areas, you will be exposed to multiple sources of common rainy day ailments. You can still contact these common diseases but you can lessen the possibility by wearing gas masks.
8. Tools – a multipurpose tool is not just for recreation, it is built for survival. Knives are good can openers and protection.
9. First Aid Kit – bandages, pain killer and even eye contacts. Super glue are good in closing wounds, but be sure to clean the affected area before applying super glue.
10. Vital Documents – birth certificates, school records must be placed on a water resistant pouch. Don’t leave for evacuations sites without these papers.
11. Beddings – Sleeping bags, blankets and small pillows. Living on a concrete home is not a privilege that everyone can secure. If you are living in such strong construction, be thankful. Condominiums and modern structures are made to withstand extreme winds.
12. Cell Phone Chargers – Get a powerbank that has twice or three times more charging capacity than the built-in battery of your phone. Before emergencies, fully charge your phone. On average, Smartphone units run on 2300 mAh battery rating. On stand-by mode, the device will remain functioning for three days.
13. Cash – Expenses increase in times of emergency. It is used to buy the things that are missing on your emergency kit and some allowance. It’s never too late to establish an emergency fund.