Prepare for Disaster by Packing an Emergency Backpack

You never know when disaster is going to hit close to home.  It’s a simple thing to overlook as we go about our daily lives, but the evidence that things can go terribly wrong on a horribly grand scale is rampant among our world.  Earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and wartime struggles are just a few catalysts to force us out of our homes in a moment’s notice and on to the street facing primal survival.  The illustration may sound like hyperbole, but unfortunately, emergency evacuation is something millions of people have to face each year.

Fortunately, you can always prepare for the worst.  If disaster preparedness is themed around immediate evacuation, there are a few things to consider.  First, pack light.  A lot of folks think emergency preparation means going out and buying a pallet of freeze dried food.  That’s great if you’re faced with a disaster that grants you the fortune of staying in your home, but one ton of beef jerky won’t do you much good if you’re forced 100 miles from your neighborhood.  Only pack the things that you need.

Sticking with the packing light theme, pack smart.  Emergency backpacks can surely be loaded with practical tools you may get use out of for years, but what we’re primarily focused on, particularly in reference to perishables (like food and water), are items that will get us through 72 hours – a week at the latest.  Sure, you may very well find yourself in a seriously awful predicament for a much longer period of time, but 72 hours generally allows you get yourself somewhat established and where you need to be to continue.

You’ll also need to pack ahead of time.  This sounds like a no-brainer…it is.  Unfortunately, we as humans tend to put things off until it’s too late.  Going out and purchasing all of the supplies necessary for a good evacuation kit is only half the battle.  If disaster strikes, you don’t want to be running around like a maniac piecing everything together while your house falls apart; you might forget something, or worse, die.  Do yourself a favor, and put your gear together in an easily accessible, memorable location.

As far as the gear itself, we’re keeping it basic.  You need a versatile backpack to stow your supplies, long-lasting, high calorie food, water, first aid, simple tools, a radio, and lightweight shelter.  This guy put together a wonderfully detailed list of all the supplies you need for preparing an emergency backpack.

Remember, pack simple, be smart, and don’t put it off until it’s too late.  Good luck out there!

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