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Do you and your family have an emergency preparedness plan? A kit should always be included. Here's how to build yours!

An Emergency Kit for Your Whole Family

Another easy alternative is to have calorie-dense candy, which is great for an emergency. Although the palate may prefer chocolate, this does not keep well under extremes in temperature. A better choice is a hard candy that is in a watertight container. It keeps in hot or cold weather, for a long time, and is high in calories if ever needed to be consumed in a bind. Beef jerky is always a good choice for survival situations, as well. 

Clean containers to collect snow or water is something that some people want to have along. Many nowadays also opt to bring a straw that automatically filters water (like life straw). They are economical and work very well, even in dirty water. A candle to melt snow in an enclosed place like a car is also recommended. 

Medical Kit

A good medical/first-aid kit is always recommended for any emergency kit. Start with a wound cleanser. Sterile saline is perfect, but other wound cleansing sprays are ok, too. Betadine solution (Tincture of Iodine) is a great wound cleanser, and also doubles as a water purifier if you add 4 drops per quart of water will help keep parasites and other waterborne illness at bay. A selection of sterile gauze, band-aids, and medical tape is essential. Tape stitches work well when applied properly to deeper wounds. Ointment that is impregnated with antibiotics is wonderful for minor burns and breaks in the skin. “Moleskin” or similar bandages meant for blisters is good to have around if long hikes are part of the journey. 

Always have at least 30 SPF sunscreen available, as well as an insect repellent. Oral pain medication, fever reducer, and allergy medication (diphenhydramine is ideal) are all good things to have in a first aid kit.

Helpful Tools

A hand-cranked radio or a small radio with plenty of batteries/ extra batteries is one thing a lot of people bring in an emergency kit. A multitool (‘Swiss Army knife’) that can do many basic functions is great to have along in any emergency kit, for self-defense, hunting, cutting wood, cooking, and more. A sharp, quality camping knife for many purposes is an essential camp item. A smaller knife to bring along is a good idea, too. A flashlight with spare batteries that have been checked for expiration date is essential. At least three ways to start a fire (waterproof matches, a lighter, a magnifying glass, and a ferro rod or flint) should be brought along, ensuring that a fire can be made for heat, cooking, light, and many other uses. A flare gun is something that might seem drastic to bring, but it also might save a life.

A reflective blanket, a plastic tarp (for water collection and protection from rain, and a good length of sturdy rope is great in an emergency kit. A waterproof map, a compass, or even better – a reliable GPS device, is needed for all adventurers. Some fishing line and hooks, weights, and bobbers make a nice addition to an emergency kit. 

Some brightly colored tape to mark paths and a roll of dental floss (for a spare source of string) are a couple of things you might not have considered. mosquito netting is wonderful to have in tropical areas. 

An emergency phone charger (many double as a nifty hand warmer, by the way), a loud whistle, a warm blanket or spare set of warm clothes, hiking or snow boots (depending on the situation), snowshoes (depending on the situation), and last, but not least… bear mace! (yes, they make pepper spray, especially for bears).

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