When planning how you and your family will survive in severe weather conditions, one thing to note is that there typically isn’t a one-size-fits-all-disasters type of kit. Preppers in some parts of the country are more prone to experience frequent bouts of heavy snow and ice storms, while others experience floods, mudslides, and tornadoes.
Of course, you’ll want to include personal protection items such as that AR15 with the recent lower receiver modification you made in your list of things to have. Still, most preppers understand the need to tailor their kits to meet the demands of varying types of inclement weather.
While most of the items in your survival preparedness kits remain constant, there are a few things you’ll want to have and do and many other things you’ll not want to do when any of these types of natural disasters strike.
The most important thing during a flooding situation is advanced and accurate notification. Listen to the radio reports if possible to ensure you’ve got enough time to evacuate. Whatever rumors the local gossip mill creates is something you need to ignore.
As part of your flood survival kit, you need to ensure you have plenty of waterproof storage bags for not only your food but extra clothing, flashlights and batteries, and cell phones and chargers.
Additionally, part of your survival preparedness is choosing the higher ground that floodwater can’t reach. Plan your route to take to get to the safety spot. Traveling close to streams, drainage channels, or canals in the event of flash flooding is never a good idea.
Remember, whether on foot or in a vehicle, two feet of moving water can wash away a heavy car, so the route you plan needs to allow for quick and safe egress to that safety spot.
One of the essential things your flood survival kit should include is potable water and food that doesn’t require preparation. Standing floodwater is full of bacteria and viruses, so your gear should consist of at least a week’s worth of potable water and ready-to-eat food items regardless of whether you’re constantly on the move or hunkering down waiting for the floodwater to subside.
As part of your flood preparedness kit, remember to stock up on disinfectant wipes and cleaners. It’s a given that many things will get wet, and before using any item exposed to a flood situation, you need to clean and disinfect it before use.
For those who live in tornado alleys, your go-bags will most likely contain many of the survival preparedness items a prepper will typically need. Not only will your tornado survival kit require, at a minimum, three days of potable water and food for each member of the family, but you’ll want to ensure you’ve stocked a complete change of clothing and footwear for each.
Another aspect of tornado survival preparedness is choosing the safest place in your home to retreat to if you’re unable to evacuate in time. If you’re fortunate to have a basement, you’ll want to select a location that can shield you from falling debris. If not, then choose a center hallway bathroom or an area beneath a stairway.
Remember to store most of your tornado survival gear and food and water in the same safety spot. After everything is over, you will still need accessibility to a supply of safe drinking water and uncontaminated food.
Storing your food and water supplies in a place that could be swept away or, at the very least, damaged and compromised isn’t going to help much. Remember, the end game is to survive the effects of a whirling dervish that just destroyed your home and wiped out the homes of an entire city block.
Another item that many preppers fail to include in their tornado and flood survival kits is written instructions on how to shut off gas, electricity, and water should authorities instruct you to do so. At the same time, you may understand how to do it, but it might happen that you’re not the one that’s performing the activities. A written guide on the steps is simple to create and an essential part of your tornado survival kit.
Winter Storms or Blizzards
It’s a well-known statistic that almost seventy percent of cold weather deaths related to ice and snow storms happen in vehicles on the roads. For this reason alone, many preppers will create survival preparedness kits specific to cold weather survival.
Of course, a winter storm survival kit should consist of several days of potable drinking water and ready-to-eat food with the hope that you’ll be able to make it to safety before your supplies run out.
There are, however, a few things you’ll want to include in your winter storm survival kit that is unique to this brand of disaster. If forced to travel, regardless of whether your car’s battery is new or not, your winter survival kit needs a pair of functional jumper cables. Keep in mind that you may be helping another stranded motorist get their car started, not only getting help for your vehicle.
If you’ve yet to experience what bitterly cold temperatures can do to a car’s battery, you’ll be glad you included a pair of functional jumper cables in your survival kit.
As with most survival kits, communication is a crucial factor, so be sure to include cell phone batteries and chargers or a two-way radio if the time comes to call out for aid. As you’ll be starting your vehicle once every ten minutes to drive out the cold, it’s always the best time to plug your charger in and keep your phone’s battery at one hundred percent.
Suppose the possibility of getting stranded on the road during a snowstorm or blizzard could be likely. In that case, your survival preparedness kit should include several blankets or a few sleeping bags and plenty of newspaper for added insulation.
You’ll also want to include an ample supply of empty waterproof plastic bags for sanitation purposes. The last thing you’ll want to do is leave the vehicle for an extended length of time and risk sudden and severe hypothermia.
A snowstorm or blizzard survival kit should include extra sets of dry clothing. When stranded in a car, there will be times when it’s necessary to step outside to ensure the tailpipe of your exhaust system is clear of snow. After enough time of doing this, you’ll be glad you stocked your survival kit with dry clothes.
When stranded in a blizzard or snowstorm, you can never have too many layers of clothing and jackets. Be sure to include various combinations of spare jackets and mittens, and gloves. Also, include a variety of hats and caps made from wool and earmuffs to protect your head and ears.
An ample supply of dry socks is another essential item you’ll be glad you included in your survival kit, whether the disaster is flooding or snowstorm. Slogging around in snow brings with it a lot of moisture, and you could end up with a severe case of athlete’s foot that is both painful and damaging.
When dealing with cold weather, there are a couple of things you’ll be glad you included in your survival kit: chemical hand and foot warmers. Most of the hand and foot warmers on the market today provide the wearer with approximately five to eight hours of use. Additionally, chemical hand and feet warmers are quick to react and will start to provide soothing warmth in twenty seconds or less.
There are a few caveats to utilizing chemical hand and foot warmers, though. By their very nature, these warmers react far quicker in open-air environments. When exposed to a free flow of air, the oxidation process can cause them to reach a staggering temperature of almost one hundred- and sixty-five-degrees Fahrenheit.
When using chemical warmers, be sure they’re snug inside your mittens or gloves and boots, and make sure your shoes or snow boots have no ventilation.
Regardless of the Disaster Plan for It
Disaster survival planning requires asking yourself many what-if questions. If stranded in a snowstorm or blizzard, what will I need to stay warm and safe until help arrives? What do I need to do if this or that happens?
Yes, necessities such as having sufficient stores of food and water, first aid kits, and all-in-one tools should be the nucleus of any survival preparedness kit. Still, whether it’s severe flooding, tornadoes, mudslides, or forest fires, each event will bring with it a set of unique situations that a prepper needs to consider.
Most survival preparedness kits will indeed have several commonalities, yet each type of disaster will also require a few items that make the kit unique. When putting together your survival kit, think about the kind of disaster you’re planning for, then build on that.
When it comes to survival preparedness, you seldom get a chance to learn things by making mistakes, so it’s best to do your learning, practicing, and planning for the worst and be pleasantly surprised when the worst doesn’t happen.
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