Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Emergency Kit For The Unexpected

Photo: Council member Ben Kallos's office
Last week I attended a Ready New York meeting in my neighborhood and received a NYC Emergency Management backpack with supplies as a gift for my attendance. Similar kits are sold on Amazon here

Although I'm far from an alarmist, as I've gotten older and experienced power outages, as well as, 9-11-01 and the threat of Hurricane Sandy, I see the value of owning an emergency kit. It should be light enough to carry on foot. Having a few basics until help arrives is worth the money. For this I wouldn't make my own kit. It needs to weigh as close to nothing as possible, plus contain the right emergency supplies. You can't buy the stuff separately for less.

Any go bag will do, but I prefer a backpack because you have all your supplies ready that you can grab, throw on your back and leave at a moment's notice. Without an emergency, you can just forget about it. However, don't borrow your go bag for other purposes, tempting as it might be.๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘—

My backpack came with a:

1) small first aide kit: bandages, anti-septic wipes, moist towelettes
2) lightweight flashlight with batteries
3) whistle
4) small battery operated radio with batteries
5) personal care items: soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb (because a woman has her priorities.๐Ÿ‘ธ Who wants to run around for days with wild-looking hair?)
6) notebook and pen in a waterproof, zip-lock plastic bag
7) emergency poncho
8) emergency blanket - a wind and waterproof one
9) dust mask

I will need to add: bottles of water; food like protein bars and packages of nuts; copies of my personal documents, such as my birth certificate, any important papers; phone charger; important contact numbers written on paper, map of New York City and any medicine I want to take. 
Look what else is coming with me: skin care products in sample sizes. I think there's mouthwash in there too. My skin will not dry up like a prune while I'm displaced.
I'm packing aspirin and migraine medicine, because having a headache with no pain treatment just might be the straw to break the camel's back in a natural, or man-made disaster. I don't need it! Moreover, should I see someone who looks like s/he is having a heart attack (stress!), my aspirin might save a life!! I've got your back, stranger! That's what preparing for the unexpected is all about, right? Let's not lose our humanity in stressful circumstances.

I'd also suggest taking a book to read, or something to help pass time. Make sure you have money in small bills, as well as, your credit card, house and car keys. If you leave by car, I'd get a device to break a car window should you get stuck in your car and can't open the door. For about $5, every car should have one. After you free yourself, grab your emergency go bag and get out of there!

My meeting offered smart advice: Get ready for emergencies. Have a plan. Be prepared, then enjoy peace of mind. Thank you, New York City. Lesson learned.

Aside from pets and family, is there anything you would absolutely need to bring with you in an emergency?

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  1. It is interesting to read the contents of the bag. In an emergency here, we are more likely to be cut off from the outside by floods, but are high on a hill and safe from them. We keep emergency supplies in the house to manage for several days without electricity or clean water. When travelling we once were on the 11th floor of a hotel in Philadelphia and were told to walk out of the building. With only seconds to consider, we immediately knew we had to grab: medicines, spectacles, passport, money and travel documents, safe shoes, all-weather coat. Then we started walking down.

    1. Trish, the contents of the go bag is interesting to me too. I suppose it differs from city to city; and city or suburb. In NYC, the worry seems to be a loss of electricity, followed by flooding. I think the dust mask is in case of a building collapsing. That's when you get debris.

      We were told to have 3 days of food and water for emergencies that do not involve leaving, but staying put inside our homes. I think I have plenty of rations as I'm a New York city resident who cooks, as opposed to, eating all of my meals in restaurants. Lots of New Yorkers eat all their meals out, so would keep very little food at home.

      I never worried about emergency preparedness before the blackout and all the hurricanes in the news. I still don't dwell on it, but am more aware.

      You sound ready for the just-in-case scenarios also.

  2. Dearest Debra,
    That sounds like having been a very fruitful meeting with a great emergency kit to have on hand!
    With our jobs as International Consultants we used to have things on hand to grab, without having to think and pack... It always proved to be oh so handy.
    But for a real emergency it is even more valuable.
    Sending you hugs,

    1. Mariette,

      I'm delighted to get your thoughts on topics I write about. When we are young, we don't think of preparing for emergencies. As we experience a few things, we learn differently, don't we?

      I love how small and lightweight the radio and other supplies are. I've kept a small radio and flashlight at home for emergencies, but those that came in the kit is even smaller, which I like. One never knows how much walking might be involved if one must evacuate home for some reason. Hopefully, we will never find out ... but are prepared!