Most households have the basic emergency supplies on hand – flashlights, first aid kits, batteries, and non-perishable foods. But for those who want to be extra prepared for any situation, from weather disasters to civil unrest, some additional gear can make a big difference.
Seeing in the Dark
When the lights go out during an emergency, visibility becomes very limited at night. While regular flashlights work, they also advertise one’s location. AGM Night vision goggles and thermal imaging cameras allow one to monitor the surroundings without giving away one’s position with a light source. High-tech night optics run off battery packs so they remain usable when the grid is down. Thermal models can even spot living things in total darkness. These tools provide crucial situational awareness.
Safeguarding Against Contaminants
Gas masks may not be top of mind for most emergency supply checklists. However, in incidents involving chemical spills, fires, pandemics, or nuclear events, having protection against airborne threats could save lives. Full face respirators with removable filter cartridges designed for particulate, chemical, and biological hazards ensure breathable air in the worst conditions. When sealed correctly, gas masks allow evacuation through non-breathable environments. Storing extra cartridge filters provides longer duration protection.
Most emergency plans assume riding out disruptions from the safety of home. But a tent and basic camping supplies can provide backup living arrangements if the residence becomes uninhabitable. Weather damage, bursts pipes, or wildfires may render a house unlivable. Setting up temporary quarters on the property lets one remain near home. Having a large family-sized tent, sleeping pads, bags, camp stove, and other gear facilitates camping outdoors or in a garage until repairs can be made.
Keeping Devices Powered
When grid electricity fails during outages, communications get cut off without charged phones and radios. Solar chargers can juice up batteries when the sun is out. These portable panels output enough wattage to power or recharge phones, small electronics, and backup batteries. Hand crank chargers also supply emergency power off-grid. Backup batteries themselves allow radios and flashlights to operate for days or longer unsupported. Though generators work short-term, solar and mechanical charging gives indefinite sustainability.
Heating and Cooling Essentials
Extreme cold or hot weather represents another challenge during prolonged emergencies without climate control. Portable heaters run on propane or battery power to take the edge off frigid conditions indoors when the furnace is off. Fans, mister attachments, and battery or solar-powered varieties assist in hot weather or when A/C fails. Sustaining reasonable temperatures keeps occupants focused on pressing needs rather than discomfort.
Gardening for Self-Reliance
Food may become scarce with supply chain disruptions or isolation during disasters. Planting vegetable and herb gardens provides nutritional resilience and self-reliance at home. Seeds stay viable for years when stored correctly, awaiting cultivation. Hand gardening tools enable working soil beds without power sources. Learning techniques to store and preserve harvests makes garden yields last. Combining home growing with canned goods, hunting, and wild foraging reduces dependence on unstable external food sources in an extended event.
Water Purification and Storage
Drinking water stops flowing from taps if pumping stations lose power. Storing potable water handles short gaps, but replenishing dwindles options fast. Portable water filters turn non-potable sources into sparkling clean hydration using hand pumps, straws, or gravity drip methods. As rainwater accumulates in streams and containers, these units filter out bacteria and parasites on demand. Stashed near other bug-out gear, water filters slake thirst wherever one travels in emergencies. Rotate stored water to keep it fresh.
Disasters often shut down digital banking and credit networks temporarily. Having small denominations of cash onsite enables obtaining supplies during outages. A fireproof safe stores paper currency along with copies of essential documentation like passports, birth certificates, deeds, and instructions for retrieving digital assets in case identity reconstruction becomes necessary. External backups like photocopies or scans ensure rebuilding personal records if originals are lost. Cash ensures buying what one needs until systems are restored.
Carefully organizing all emergency equipment streamlines responding effectively in dire situations with no time to spare. Durable plastic bins neatly sort gear by category like lighting, cooking, medical, hygiene, etc. Backpacks hold essentials for rapid evacuation. Attach wheels to larger totes for portability. Store duplicates of critical tools both indoors and in secured outdoor sheds. Signage on shelves indicates exactly what each container holds. Replace expired goods before useless when required. Practice accessing goods rapidly.