Create an Emergency Survival Kit
It’s unlikely we’ll have to weather a hurricane emergency in Colorado, but we can’t rule out crippling snowstorms in our state. Hefty snow accumulation has been known to knock out power and utilities and make roads impassable, creating unexpected emergency situations at home and in your car. Having an emergency survival plan can alleviate panic and chaos when you’ve put away the kind of supplies that will help you survive and thrive until help arrives.
Build an Emergency Kit
Experts from homeland security, the CDC and the Red Cross all agree that your supplies should get you through a 72-hour loss of water and power – at minimum. Unfortunately, as some families in Florida found out, it could take a bit longer to restore electricity and communications, so some of your supplies will be based on where you live and what you need
Popular Mechanics lists 107 pieces of survival gear for your car, your home and for a “bug out” bag – to grab on your way out the door when there’s no time to think, only react. We’ll start with a grab-and-go backpack when you want to be prepared for a few hours or days away from help or home:
- Important documents like copies of insurance policies, identification (passports), bank records, social security cards, medical records, the deed to your house, list of personal contacts;
- Prescriptions medication and extra eyeglasses;
- Multi-purpose tool (like a Leatherman®);
- Small first aid kit with bandages, antibiotic ointment, OTC pain reliever;
- Cash, several hundred dollars in small denominations;
- A prepaid phone card;
- Matches in a waterproof container;
- Flashlight and extra batteries;
- Chargers and cables for phone and personal electronics;
- Whistle to signal for help;
- Portable NOAA weather radio (battery or hand-crank powered);
- Food (e.g., protein bars, granola, nuts, dried fruit) and bottled water;
- Extra set of keys for your home and car;
- Elderly/Infant/pet necessities;
- Emergency blanket(s);
- Extra set of house and car keys.
As we have seen/heard from the aftermath of Harvey and Irma, clean drinking water may not be available following a disaster.
You’ll need at least one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation while awaiting evacuation and/or rescue. You can stockpile a bit of water and food and get a Lifestraw personal water filter or practically weightless iodine water purification tablets.
You’ll also need food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food while awaiting rescue or a two-week supply for more epic emergency situations. Check the food safety page on Ready.Gov for guidelines about possible contamination of food in your fridge/freezer, and when in doubt – throw it out.
In addition to the items mentioned for a grab-and-go bag, consider adding these to a plastic bin or backpack you can load in your car:
- A solar charger like the Anker PowerPort Solar Lite to charge devices as large as a tablet with a day’s worth of sun;
- Moist towelettes, toothbrush and toothpaste;
- Manual can opener for food
- Pliers to turn off utilities (may already have in multi-use tool)
- A fire starter
- Unless you’re a fan of camping and hiking overnight, sanitation isn’t something we think about ahead of time. Check out Preparedness Mama for tips on creating emergency sanitation in your own bathroom and some additional supplies to keep things clean (i.e., latex gloves, chlorine bleach and heavy duty garbage bags plus duct tape!)
Here’s another handy list from FEMA that you can check off as you collect items and squirrel them away in your kit. FEMA’s list also includes paper cups, plates, plastic utensils and paper towels. For buckets of emergency food supplies, check out the options at My Patriot Supply.
And if it’s easier for you to one-stop-shop, Ready America has a to-go backpack for two people with nearly all the essentials (including a Department of the Army Survival field manual!) available on Amazon for just over $200. Just don’t forget your cash, important docs and prescriptions!
Whichever way works best for you, we just want you to be prepared and stay safe!
Community in Crystal Valley
Neighbors helping neighbors doesn’t just happen during emergencies, it’s the kind of reality fostered in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley in Castle Rock. It’s more than just the small town feel with big city access; it’s a community with beautiful new home designs by Richmond American Homes and D.R. Horton available in ranch or two-story models, priced from the high $300s. And – coming soon – new homes by Kauffman Homes!