Choosing Items for a Preparedness Kit
choosing items to put into a preparedness kit, the first stage – as with so
many projects – is brainstorming. You don’t want to just start buying and storing
random items off the shelf. Even if these items are all useful, choosing them
at random without any kind of plan is likely to lead to large gaps and
imbalances in your kit.
When an emergency does arrive, you don’t want to find out that you have four
flashlights on hand (because you forgot about buying the first three), two days
supply of protein, three weeks supply of other food, a water filter, and a huge
stockpile of space blankets but no heat source for your house in the absence of
regular fuel deliveries. It may sound stupid, but it’s all too easy for someone
without a plan to buy an absolutely useless group of items while distracted by
You first need to determine what your preparedness kit is
for. A home disaster preparedness kit is intended to help your long term
survival in the absence of the usual amenities of modern society. This means
that it needs to be both large and various, the items in it chosen to provide
for many different contingencies, ranging from providing clean food and water
to defending yourself against both human and animal aggression.
Conversely, a car preparedness kit needs to kept much
lighter and “leaner”, since it has to be carried in your car, and is more
focused on light repairs or temporary survival in case of stranding. It should
comprise many items that would have little or no use around the home, so if you
are planning several preparedness kits, you will need a separate list for each.
Once you have a good idea of what your preparedness kit is
for, you can start writing down lists of items that are needed for the kit.
Give each function of the kit a separate notebook page, and don’t hesitate to
add more functions if some occur to you while you are expanding your list.
Write down everything that occurs to you at this point – right now, you
are just brainstorming and trying to get a complete a list of possibilities as
Having another person to discuss the list with is always
helpful. Although the individual mind is capable of acts of great creativity,
it never hurts to have someone else to bounce your ideas off, especially when
you’re just trying to list as many possibilities as you can.
Next, you need to go over your list, keep an eye out for
omissions, and eliminate anything that really isn’t needed but that crept in
anyway. Streamline, but don’t remove anything useful.
Finally, prioritize your list. You probably do not have the
money to buy everything on your list at once, especially if it is a general
disaster preparedness kit for the home. Therefore, figure out which things it
is most important to have (usually water and food), and work through your list
in order of necessity, buying the items as you get the money to do so.