Survival gear for an Emergency Evacuation
What exactly is "Survival Gear"?
Survival gear sounds ominous, but it’s generally just a collection of important items you need to have ready access to - in the event of an evacuation or a chaotic situation you need to have these items with you, because you don’t know if you’ll have access to them otherwise. So what actually is survival gear and how much do you need?
- First aid supplies
- Emergency supplies
- Personal items
- A bag that won't fail you
- A plan
- Most emergencies, upwards of 95%, are resolved in three days - seventy two hours. Resolved may not mean you can return home, but by the time three days have passed you’ve got a place to call home, communications have been restored, and life is beginning to return to normal, or at least to a new normal.
Hydration is generally number one on the list of survival gear items. Some say you can survive three days without water, but that’s really pushing it; we need water, and if you’re evacuating with your pet, they need water too. Food on the other hand is not as important. It’s definitely uncomfortable to be hungry, but if you’ve been eating well you can certainly go many days and even a couple of weeks without food. So having water in packets or bottles as well as a way to filter or purify additional water is imperative.
Communication is another critical aspect of survival gear. Everyone should have a hand crank radio / cell phone charger. Cell service may very well be working in an emergency since most towers have a backup generator, so you definitely need a charger since there’s a strong chance electricity is out, or if it's working you may not have access to it. (think of a crowded shelter) And if cell service is out you’ll need old fashioned radio to keep you aware of what is happening.
First aid supplies are clearly important, especially in an emergency when first responders are stretched thin and triage is the rule - there may be people with far worse injuries than those you need to deal with, and they’re going to get the attention first. You may need the ability to dress a wound, create a splint, protect a burn from infection, or even keep someone warm who may be suffering hypothermia. This can all be done with basic first aid items and can save a life.
Emergency supplies would consist of items like a mylar emergency blanket and sleeping bag, duct tape, a flashlight, rope, an N95 mask to keep particulates out of your lungs, strike anywhere matches, and even a bright vest so you’re easily seen at night and avoid being struck by a car or an emergency vehicle.
There are personal items that you may need, such as medication - prescription or otherwise - perhaps an epi pen, warm clothing, or even sun tan lotion of you’re in the sun and don’t have shelter.
In our opinion proper survival gear also includes a proper bag to carry these items in. Because if you can’t carry this collection of survival gear with you...well, you get the picture. A properly stocked go bag will weigh in excess of twenty five pounds. If there’s even a remote chance of having to walk wheels are a necessity, and if you need to put this kind of weight on your back it should be a proper backpack - not a flimsy knapsack. (And forget about a bucket)
Learning how to prepare an emergency evacuation plan and then making the plan is an important step in keeping you and your family safe. Download the free Readiness Playbook to help you prepare your emergency evacuation plan.
So for the most part, survival gear is a proper and thoughtful collection of readily available items, a no nonsense bag to carry them in, and having a plan.