Posts Tagged ‘emergency supplies’

AccidentWe often hear in the news about communities and neighborhoods who are told to quickly evacuate because of a toxic chemical spill or other biological hazard that has happened nearby.  Highways and railroads are the means of carrying many toxic and hazardous substances that are necessary for the operation of our society.  Most cities have chemical storage areas that are used for water treatment and manufacturing.  After September 11, 2001, we have come to realize the threat of terrorists using chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological weapons.  What if there is no time to evacuate a large population?  It is extremely difficult to quickly evacuate large population areas because there are too many people and too few exists.  Evacuation is preferable when there is time, but if it isn’t an option, families can do what is called “sheltering in place” with some simple preparation.  This means that a family sets up a shelter in their own home.  In the event of an airborne biological or chemical hazard, you can seal your family indoors until the hazard blows through, usually in a matter of hours.  When you become aware of an emergency, turn on your emergency radio to know what to do for the particular situation.  Be sure you are listening to the official emergency station for your area.

Prepare in Advance

Select a shelter in place room.

An upstairs, interior room is preferable since many chemical hazards are heavier than air and travel along the ground.  Choose a single room large enough to hold air for all members of your family.  Include pets as well.  A full-size dog uses twice as much air as an adult and cats use half the air.  To determine air needs and occupancy, have everyone in the room stand with outstretched arms.  If they can do this without touching anyone else’s outstretched arms there is enough air for one hour.  An 8 foot by 6 foot typical bathroom holds enough air for 2 adults and a child under 6 years of age for one hour.

Gather a shelter in place kit.

  • 2 mil or Thicker Clear Plastic Sheeting – 250 sq. ft. (1 roll) or enough for the room you chose.  Pre-cut and label the plastic sheeting to cover doors, windows, vents, and light fixtures to save time.
  • 2 Rolls Duct Tape – Use medium grade or better to tape plastic sheeting in place and to cover all electrical outlets, fixtures, and other areas where air can seep in.
  • Sodium Hypochlorite Bleach (Standard Household Bleach) – Use bleach without any added scents or colors to wash anything that might have become contaminated by a biological agent.  Rotate often as standard bleach has a one year shelf life.
  • Battery Operated Emergency Radio or TV – Check  for official news as to when it’s safe to come out.
  • Personal Medications – Any medical items that are essential to survive for a few hours.
  • Flashlight or Battery Operated Lantern – It is possible you could lose power and light.  DO NOT use candles or open flames as they burn valuable oxygen.
  • Porta-Potty – Don’t flush the regular toilet as it displaces valuable air.
  • Coats, Blankets, Sleeping Bags, Etc.  – Items for staying warm without using a heating device that burns oxygen.
  • Air Filtering Masks.
  • Towels – Get damp and use to jam under door cracks.
  • Books, Games, or Other Diversions.
  • Cordless Telephone or Mobile Phone.
  • Food and Water.
  • Small step stool or ladder to reach ceiling fan, vents, or fixtures.

Have your kit prepared in advance.  You may not have time to prepare it during the emergency.

When the Emergency Happens
  1. Turn on the emergency radio or TV for official information.
  2. Turn off all mechanical or electrically operated air intakes or air exchanges to your home; the furnace, air conditioner, chimney flue dampers, and any fans.  There is a switch on or next to the furnace that you can flip to actually turn off your furnace.  Some thermostats have an actual “off” position for the furnace or A/C, but just turning down the thermostat isn’t enough — you have to TURN THE FURNACE OFF!  Do not take the time to get on your roof to cover vents and/or chimney openings.
  3. Close, lock, and secure your home (windows, doors, animal entries, etc.). Close windows, blinds, and drapes.
  4. Gather your family, pets, and emergency supplies into the selected shelter in place room.  Using the pre-cut and labeled plastic sheeting and duct tape, make the room as air-tight as possible.  While gathering your family, you can provide a minimal amount of protection to your breathing by covering your mouth and nose with a damp (not soaking wet) cloth or using an air filtering mask.
  5. Wet towels and jam them in the crack under each door in that room.
  6. Use pre-cut plastic sheeting and duct tape to cover windows, heat vents, light switches, power sockets, fireplaces, baseboard gaps (if the baseboards aren’t caulked), light fixtures, entire door frames, attic doors that might be in the room, and where pipes come in through the wall.  The precut plastic sheeting needs to fit entirely over the window and door frame so you are actually taping the plastic onto the interior wall and not the casing.
  7. Limit activity and air usage.
  8. DO NOT use water from the taps or flush toilets as this could displace valuable air.
  9. DO NOT use lanterns or candles which burn oxygen. If your power is still on, it is fine to use the electric lights.
  10. Use a 5% solution of bleach to wash down anything or anyone you think might have been contaminated by a biological agent.
  11. Stay inside the sealed shelter until you are told OFFICIALLY it is safe to leave.
  12. When you are OFFICIALLY told it is safe to come out, have one person use an air filtering mask or put a wet cloth over their mouth and nose and go open up all doors and windows, and turn on air exchangers and fans to air out the home.  Realize you may still need to stay indoors, quarantined, for a longer period of time.

Prepare beforehand and practice shelter in place procedures with your family.  You may not have time in the event of a real emergency to learn by trial and error.

Cold SnapHEADLINE!  Cold Snap Freezes All City Utilities!  So…whaddya DO?

Just as in all preparedness plans, it is important to make your preparations before the emergency happens.  Make your home ready for cold weather emergencies by applying the concepts spoken of in previous posts about Emergency Sheltering.

Look for & create a warm room.  Choose one room of the house as the designated warm room where everyone will spend most of their time.  This saves on any limited heating resources you may have during the emergency situation.

  • Select a room on the highest level of the house with a low ceiling.  Since heat rises, these will be the warmest rooms.  The low ceiling will hold the heat closer to where you need it to stay warm.
  • Select a room with south-facing windows.  This will allow the direct sunlight to help provide heat during the day to your room.  Keep all house windows clear & clean during the day to allow as much solar radiation in as possible.  Think about turning your home into a make-shift solar oven.
  • Insulate your windows with clear plastic sheeting.  This allows sunlight in during the day, but creates an insulative layer of trapped air to hold in heat.  The distance between the plastic sheeting and the window should be about one inch.  Be sure no air can escape from between the plastic and the window.  Use duct tape the seal off any drafts.  At night use curtains, blankets or other insulative materials draped over windows to help hold in the heat.
  •  Isolate and insulate your warm room from the rest of the house.  Again you only want to warm as few areas as possible to conserve your heating supplies.  Cover doors, under doors and other openings with blankets or towels.  Don’t forget to leave some ventilation to allow oxygen into the room for breathing, especially if using heaters, candles, or other indoor safe supplies that consume oxygen.
  • Make a “nest” or a room within your warm room.  Use small tents, blankets, couch cushions, etc. to isolate and insulate your nest and make it even warmer than the larger warm room.  Couch cushions just like the fort you made as a kid are excellent for insulation.
  • Get cozy with the family.  Radiation from body heat can be used to keep each other warm and warm the inside of the nest.  Get Mom, Dad, the kids, Grandma, and Grandpa all together in the same nest.  Sleep together inside the same tent, even in the same bed or sleeping bag if possible.
  • Eat high calorie foods and stay hydrated to generate heat from your metabolism, the process of breaking down food into energy.  When possible, eat hot, simple to prepare meals to help in maintaining your body temperature.
  • Use indoor safe heaters, fireplaces, or wood stoves.  There are many commercially available alternative fuel heaters that are safe to use indoors.  Be sure to allow a sufficient supply of oxygen to enter into your room and check the manufacture’s guidelines to know how to safely use your device.  Keep a ready supply of fuel for your heater or fireplace.

Don’t forget the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO).  Don’t use fuel burning camp equipment indoors.  Don’t use gas appliances like the oven, stove or dryer to heat your home.  Don’t use gas-powered tools indoors (generators, etc).  Large propane bottles are never to be indoors so have a long enough hose to allow the bottle to stay outside while the indoor safe heater is inside.  Check the manufactures directions for safe operation.

To prevent disease in an emergency situation, keep yourself and your environment clean!

Sanitation KitMobile Sanitation Kit
Home Sanitation Supplies
Portable Hygiene Emergency Kit

Work Emergency Kit

Work Emergency Kit

Keep this personal emergency kit in a desk, locker or other quick access area to help you survive an emergency until you are able to evacuate and go home.  Make sure your place of business has an emergency plan and additional emergency supplies.



Shelter & Warmth



First Aid


Hygiene & Sanitation

Clothing & Personal Items

Important Papers & Money

  • Emergency & Non-Emergency Numbers
  • Emergency Family Contacts:  Phone, Address & E-mail
  • Home, Work, School, Day Care, Out of Area, Out of State
  • Local Maps with Evacuation Routes, Home, Work, School, Family Meeting Places
  • Currant Copies of Family Photos & IDs
  • Personal Medical Information
  •           Medical Providers
  •           List of Medications
  •           Special Medical Equipment
  •           Medical Conditions
  •           Vaccinations
  •           Blood Type
  •           Allergies & Sensitivities
  •           Health Insurance
  • Emergency Cash
  • Coins for Pay Phones

Kit must be small enough to fit in a desk or locker.



Shelter & Warmth


  • Unnecessary


First Aid


Hygiene & Sanitation

Clothing & Personal Items

Important Papers & Money

  • Child ID Tag with Emergency Contact Info, Family Picture & Medical Info
  • Small Bills & Change

WaterWilderness Breakdown
Shelter & Warmth
First Aid
Hygiene & Sanitation
Clothing & Personal Items
Important Papers & Money
  • Emergency & Non-Emergency Numbers
  • Emergency Family Contacts:  Phone, Address & E-mail
  • Home, Work, School, Day Care, Out of Area, Out of State
  • Local Maps with Evacuation Routes, Home, Work, School, Family Meeting Places
  • Currant Copies of Family Photos & IDs
  • Personal Medical Information
  •           Medical Providers
  •           List of Medications
  •           Special Medical Equipment
  •           Medical Conditions
  •           Vaccinations
  •           Blood Type
  •           Allergies & Sensitivities
  •           Health Insurance
  • Emergency Cash
  • Coins for Pay Phones
Auto Kit Specifics


  • One Apple Box with Lid, or 2 large matching boxes with flaps cut off
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Stapler
  • Heavy Duty Scissors
  • Metal Wire Rack that fits completely in the box horizontally
  • Metal Wire (Optional)
  • 2 Pie Tins
  • Bricks or Boards for a Base
  • Charcoal
  • Tongs
  • Hot Pads

(Figure 1)

Box Oven Instructions:

  1. Completely cover the inside and bottom of the apple box with heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Fold the foil over the edges about 2” and staple it to the box.  (Figure 2)  Turn the box on its side.
  2. Place a rack in the box so that it is level and approximately 8” from the bottom of the box.  You may secure it with wire on all 4 corners of the rack.  Or, use a rack that comes with legs.  Make sure the rack fits completely inside the box. (Figure 3)
  3. Cut the lid of the apple box or second matching box down to about 3” to 4” from the bottom.  (Figure 4)  This is now the door of the oven.  Cover the outside of the door with foil and secure the foil in place with staples.  (Figure 5)  Place the lid with the foil side toward the opening of the oven to form a door.
  4. Place bricks or boards under the bottom edges of the oven so air can circulate and keep the outside of the box cool. (Figure 6)
  5. Put two pie tins with the bottoms together and the tops facing up and down.  The top tin holds the coals while the bottom tin prevents the coals from burning the oven.   (Figure 7)  Place about 12 hot coals in the top pie tin and place both tins in the bottom, center of the oven.
  6. Place food on the rack for cooking like you would in a normal oven.  Cover with the oven door to cook the food.  (Figure 8, Figure 9)
  7. Use a pair of pliers or tongs to adjust the coals and a hot pad to remove the hot pans from the oven. (Figure 10)

Reflector Oven Instructions:

  • To use the oven as a reflector oven, you don’t need the pie tins or the door.  Place the pan of food on the rack in the oven and set the oven close to and facing a heat source like a campfire.  The radiant heat from the heat source will then cook the food.  (Figure 11)

72 Hour Kit

72 Hour Kit


72 Hour Kit Rules: 

  1. One personalized, self-contained kit per person
  2. Individually Portable
  3. Store for easy, quick access – Closet near front door is ideal
  4. Update every 6 months
  5.           Summer clothes to winter clothes, winter clothes to summer clothes
  6.           Check medications
  7.           Check food
  8.           Check water
  9.           Check batteries
  10.           Check cooking fuel
  11.           Check inventory
  12.           Update documents
  13. All 10 survival needs, but only the basics:  Food, Water, Hygiene & Sanitation, Shelter & Heat, Cooking, Light, Communication, First Aid, Personal Items & Clothing, Important Papers & Money
  14. Know how to use items in kits
  15. This list is more than can probably fit in your 72 Hour Kit.  Take the items from each of the 10 areas that are most important to your personal needs.  Bold items are recommended.
  16. Practice Evacuation with your family


*Baby Needs

**Store outside of pack, but in same location

***Don’t forget 


Backpack, Duffle Bag, 5 Gallon Bucket with lid or other Portable Container

Small enough to fit in your lap.  Approx. carry-on luggage size. 


Ready to Eat & Simple Preparation

  • Instant Soup Packets
  • Ramen Soup  
  • MRE Bread
  • Granola Bars
  • Instant Oatmeal Packets
  • Instant Apple Cider Packets
  • Instant Hot Chocolate Packets
  • Instant Broth Packets
  • Water Bottle Flavor Packets 
  • Fruit Cup
  • Raisins
  • Beef Jerky
  • Trail Mix
  • Fruit Roll-up
  • Crackers & Peanut Butter
  • Peanut Butter/Jelly Packets
  • Hard Candy
  • Emergency Ration/Energy Bars 
  • Multi Vitamins
  • *Liquid Vitamins 
  • *Powdered Baby Formula 
  • *Baby Cereal 
  • Paper Copy of Planned 3 Day Menu


DAY 1 

Breakfast – Granola, Hot Chocolate 

Lunch – Chicken Noodle Soup, Jerky, Fruit Roll up, Candy 

Dinner – 1/2 Ramen Noodle Soup, Fruit Bar 


Breakfast – Oatmeal, Apple Cider 

Lunch – Chicken Noodle Soup, Jerky, Raisins, Candy 

Dinner – Peanut Butter/Jelly, MRE Bread 

DAY 3 

Breakfast – Granola, Apple Cider 

Lunch – 1/2 Ramen Noodle Soup, Trail Mix, Candy 

Dinner – Cheese & Crackers, Fruit Cup 


Hygiene & Sanitation

Travel Size

Shelter & Heat




First Aid

Personal Items & Clothing

  • Multifunction Pocket Knife
  • Compass
  • Personal Prescription Medications
  • Diabetic Supplies 
  • Epinephrine Pen 
  • Complete Change of Clothing Incl. Socks & Underwear
  • Thermal Underwear 
  • *2 or 3 Complete Changes of Clothing 
  • **Sturdy Shoes or Boots
  • Extra Shoe Laces 
  • Bandana 
  • Paper Clips 
  • Rubber Bands 
  • Ear Plugs
  • **Coat/Hat/ Gloves-Mittens 
  • Small Games/Cards/Books
  • *Toy/Coloring Book/Crayons 
  • Extra Glasses/Contacts 
  • Polarized Sunglasses 
  • Mace/Pepper Spray 
  • *Baby Bib 
  • Religious Items (ie. scriptures, consecrated oil, cross) 
  • 100 Foot Nylon Clothesline 
  • Small Roll Duct Tape 
  • Small Wind-up Clock or Watch w/ Alarm 
  • Extra House & Car Keys 
  • ***Mobile Phone & Chargers 
  • ***Pets 
  • ***Pet 72 Hour Kit 

Important Papers & Money

  • 72 Hour Kit Inventory List
  • Emergency Contact List w/ Names, Addresses, Phone #s & E-mails of all Family Members for Home, Work, School & Day Care
  • Address, Phone# & E-mail of 1st & 2nd Family Emergency Meeting Places
  • Local Emergency Phone #s – Police, Fire, Ambulance, Poison Control, Family Doctor, Dentist,  Religious Leaders
  • Local Map with Home, Work, Schools, Em. Mtg. Places & Evacuation Routes Marked
  • Minimum $200 Cash in Small Bills
  • $10 in Change
  • Prepaid Phone Card
  • **Written Evacuation Plan
  • Current Individual Photos of Family Members for ID Purposes (“Has anyone seen this person?”)
  • Current Group Family Photos to ID as Family Group
  • Copies of– Printed Copy and/or Flash Drive
  •           Marriage Certificate
  •           Birth Certificate
  •           Social Security Card/Records
  •           Vehicle Registration/Title
  •           Will
  •           Guardianship
  •           Power of Attorney
  •           Personal Property Inventory List
  •           Insurance Agent & Policy #
  •           Life
  •           Auto
  •           Home
  •           Medical
  •           Diplomas
  •           Military
  •           School Certificates
  •           Immunization Records
  •           Prescriptions
  •           Budget
  •           Bills
  •           Outstanding Debts
  •           Checking/Savings/Credit Card Accounts
  •           Web Site Accounts
  •           Passwords
  •           Safe-Deposit Box Location & Number
  •           Assets
  •           Stocks
  •           Bonds
  •           Tax Returns
  •           Children’s Fingerprints
  •           Religious Documents (ie. Blessings, Prayers)
  • ***Wallet/Purse
  • ***Passport
  • ***Checkbook 

Take only if time & space are available

These items are NOT a part of your 72 Hour Kit     

Materials Needed:

  1. 3 standard soda pop cans
  2. Denatured or rubbing alcohol
  3. Matches or lighter
  4. 1″ x 1.5″ x 5″ swath of fiberglass insulation (optional)
  5. Heat resistant foil tape (optional)

 Tools Needed:

  1. Drill
  2. 1/8” & 1/16” drill bits
  3. Utility knife
  4. Scissors
  5. Straight edge
  6. Ruler
  7. Marking pen

 Assembly instructions:

  1. Score the bottom of one can with the utility knife until it easily pops out.   (Figure 1)
  2. Drill 1/16 inch holes spaced evenly around the bottom ring of the can for the burner.  Drill one 1/8 inch hole as a drain for leftover fuel.  (Figure 2)
  3. Using scissors, cut around the edge of the drilled end of the can until it is one inch high all the way around.  This is the top of the stove.  Cut another one inch base from a second can.  This is the bottom of the stove.  (Figure 3)
  4. On the top can, cut slits up from the bottom, stopping 1/8 inch from the top.  This piece will now fit inside the bottom can with some careful pressure.  (Figure 4)
  5. Carefully slide top and bottom pieces temporarily together.  Measure from top to bottom (Between the arrows) to get the width of the inner shield.  (Figure 5)
  6. Use a straight edge and utility knife to cut a strip from the third can to the width measured in Step 5.  (Figure 6)
  7. Place the inner shield into the base of the stove to get the correct circular measurement.  Then cut opposite slits and join ends together forming a ring.  (Figure 7)
  8. Cut about 3 notches on the bottom of the inner shield to allow fuel to flow into the outer ring.  Figure 8
  9. Place the inner shield in the base.  Place the optional fiberglass in the space between the inner shield and the outer wall of the base.  (Figure 9)
  10. Slide the top half into the bottom half of the stove.  Be careful to fit the inner shield into the inner lip of the top and bottom halves of the stove.  If there is any over hang from the bottom half, crimp the edges over with your thumb or a screw driver.  (Figure 10)
  11. You may use the heat resistant foil tape to cover the seams between the top and bottom halves of the stove to help prevent leaks.
  12. Completed stove.  (Figure 11) 

Add no more than 2 oz. alcohol to the center of the stove and light it.  The stove lights promptly so be careful, you won’t see an alcohol flame in daylight. It takes about a minute for the alcohol to heat up and achieve an even burn out the burner holes. Cover the stove with a larger can to put out the flame.  Support item to be heated 1.5 inches to 2 inches above the stove.  One ounce of fuel lasts a little longer than 5 minutes, just long enough to boil 12 ounces of water.

  • Before
  1. Learn & Plan
  2. Prepare
  3. Practice
  • During
  1. Remain Calm
  2. Gather Information
  3. Think
  4. Act
  5. Help
  • After
  1. Help
  2. Talk About It
  3. Resume Normal Life

The emergency has just happened. You are remaining calm and you are gathering information about the incident. Now you need to think about how to best apply the information you have for the situation you are facing.


One of the scarcest commodities in during an emergency is time. You probably don’t have much when you are gathering information and determining how you are going to use it. Use it wisely. Even though the time for emergency planning is over, you do need to QUICKLY think about how you are going to apply your plans to this situation. How much time do you have before you have to evacuate? This may determine what you can take with you and what additional security precautions you can take. How much time do you have before the hurricane or tornado arrives? This may determine where you can shelter or evacuate to.

Instructions from Authorities

What instructions have you received from the authorities? Did they tell you to shelter in place? Depending on the emergency, are you just staying where you are or do you need to find a safe room to shelter in? How are you best going to do that?
Did the authorities tell you to evacuate? Did they tell you what routes to take or to avoid? Can you take the car or the RV, or are you on foot or bike? What can you take with you? What has to be left behind? How are you best going to do that?

Location of Supplies

Think about the location of your previously stored emergency supplies. Can you get to your 72 hour kits or your first aid kit? Is your food and water storage easily accessible? What about your camping supplies or your sanitation supplies? Is the fire escape ladder where you need it? Can you use your flashlight or is there a gas leak and you need to use your glow stick? Where are they?

Available Resources

What resources are available that you can use to ensure your safety, your family’s safety and the safety of your neighborhood? Are there resources for sandbags? Are there chain saws and pry bars for clearing debris? Can you use a sheet, table cloth or curtain to make a bandage? What do you have to make a splint? Is there a door you can use for a backboard? What is there around you that you can fashion into a makeshift shelter for you and your family? Remember that people are resources as well. Does anyone have medical training? Is anyone a HAM radio operator? Are there any people trained in CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)? People can accomplish more working together rather separately.

Decide How to Act

You need to decide how you and your family are going to react and respond to the situation you are facing. If you have preplanned and practiced your emergency plan, this should be very quick and easy. Are you going to evacuate out the door or a window? Are you going to do CPR or the “chin tilt”? Are you going to evacuate west to the public shelter or north to your sister’s city? Are you going to shut off the gas and the water?

Whatever emergency you are facing and whatever your emergency plan, your plan needs to be flexible as you get more information and as your situation changes. You don’t have much time, but you need to take a quick moment to decide how to best implement your emergency plans. Remember to consider how much time you have, what instructions you have received, what supplies you have and what resources are available. After you have made your plan, ACT on it.