About 4 weeks ago the storm hit hard here in Ohio. Knowing that I was ready and prepared to leave my home if I had to was a great relief.
So as I do every year, I went through my 72 hour survival bag to update the food, water & medicine it contains for an emergency. I organized and cleaned all out and then I replenished all the outdated items.. I washed the sleeping bag, the blanket and the sheet I have in there and I make sure there's fresh batteries inside both flashlights and in my battery bag.
My bag is pretty big and its on wheels for easy moving. I am going to show you what my backpack has and these are important things to have when preparing your survival kit.
***Make 1 bag for every person in your household.
1. Flashlights & batteries, bungee cords (about 4 of them in assorted sizes), toilet paper (1 roll), rain poncho (1 or 2) & a whistle to alert others if lost).
An all purpose tool like mine that serves many purposes...attached to it there's an ax and attached to it's blade is a bottle open, a wrench, a hatchet, a nail puller, a saw, a hammer on one corner and it is also a shovel.
I also have and iron hammer that has on one end a pick and on the other end a drill handle to drill the ground for a tent or to stick in a pole if needed. Plus it has a hook on that end also to hang or pull things.
In my tools there's pliers, an ice pick, a small ball of twine, a folding knife, and baggies with a few nails & safety pins in assorted sizes. I also have a few twisty ties that can become very handy.
I have this burning stove which I found in a garage sale about 16 years ago. It's a candle holder but the flat top surface is great to hold a can of soup or beans or a small pot to heat up food.
In my bag I have 15 tea lite candles that fit perfect in this small stove.
Small cans of emergency cooking fuel to heat up food is also a great thing to have. I have 6 of them in my bag. Also pack about 2 small empty cans of tuna in your bag. These cans can not only be used to heat up food or water, but they can serve as a dish to boil needles for medical purposes and to dig the ground.
Another thing needed in your bag is a large Ziploc bag full of dryer lint. This lint is a great fire starter...don't forget to put in about 4 small boxes of matches into your bag also.
Some cooking utensils.
Water proof matches and fire logs found at any survival stores is a must in preparing you bag.
Quick glow lights that last about 12 hours or more & candles and of course a lighter stick.
Fishing equipment like fishing line, fishing hooks and nibbling fake worms is also needed. I don't eat fish but if worse comes to worse I would definitely eat fish to survive.
Extra batteries (all sizes needed).
Some essential foods (for 3 days) small food cans like vegetables & fruit (try to get pop up lids for easy opening), applesauce, instant oatmeal, nuts, peanut butter and instant juices are great to have. I am a gluten free vegan so I do not pack meat or dairy; but if you eat meat and dairy...tuna, powdered eggs, powdered milk and meats packed and sealed in small pouches are great. A word of caution...I discovered that crackers, cookies and foods like that can bring ants into the bag. I had to eliminate those even though they were unopened and double packed in Ziploc bags.
Water is so important. Have 3 or 5 small water bottles always available and a canteen you can keep filled with water at all times if possible. Also don't forget to have a small bottle of water purifying tablets in your survival bag.
Personal items like...shampoo, bath soap, body and face cream, toothbrush & toothpaste, feminine napkins, deodorant, powder, blistex lip balm and a manual fan for those extreme heat conditions.
Some grooming tools.
Medical supplies like a first aid kit, band aids, cotton balls, eye & nose drops, pain & allergy medications, gauze, alcohol wipes, muscle cream, an ace bandage, Alka Seltzer, about 6 face masks, poison ivy cream & a hydro cortisone cooling cream for burns. I also recommend putting in a tube of diaper rash, it can stop a burn from burning your skin and it can help in healing the burn.
Don't forget gloves, knee, foot & elbow braces. Add also an ace bandage & some strong medical tape.
In your bag include a writing pad, pen & pencil & a marker, tweezers, a small sewing kit, an extra set of reading glasses (an old pair will do) a diary, and yes a small instrument like my harmonica.
I do not play the harmonica but it will sure entertain me for a while.
Warming blanket and instant hand warmers.
Now to pack the bag. Place all like items inside large Ziploc bags and identifying them for easy access like my bags.
And don't forget to put in some candy, cough drops and gum.
I also learned from a movie that a button is a great water maker if water is not available. By sucking on a button you will create saliva which can keep you stay alive longer...so pack some extra buttons just in case water is not available.
Pack your bag neatly and don't forget to add a transistor radio or a crank radio with a cell phone recharger.
Now my extra set of clothes, a medium size towel and sheet is nicely packed with my yoga mat which can serve as my ground layers to prevent my sleeping bag from getting dirty. I also have a long piece of heavy duty plastic to go under the mat and preventing it from getting wet.
Also try to get a tent that houses 4 people. A tent is very important to have in your survival plans.
Here are some extra items to put inside your bag...
anti itch cream
salt & pepper
some beans in pouches or small cans.
Have a copy of your medical papers, medicine list, insurance papers, car title & registration and some cash.
Many of the items used in your bag can be found in garage sales, thrift stores and dollar stores. Most of my items were found in those places. Look for used backpacks, cooking pots & pans, lanterns, tents and many tools that may be needed to survive. You do not need to spend a fortune in preparing this. Also clean out your survival bag once a year and replenish the food, water and medicine...good luck and always be self reliant and prepared just in case.