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08 April, 2013

Guest Post: 5 Emergency Kit Items that Could Save Your Life

One minute, you’re enjoying yourself at home or on an outdoor adventure. The next, a natural disaster rips through the area. Are you prepared? Did you know that five of the simplest items might make the difference between life and death? You can easily fit these items in a box, backpack or container and hide the kit out of the way in your home or vehicle.

1. Satellite Phone

Sat phones (short for satellite phones) work everywhere, even when you are out in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone signal to be found. Because they’re so high-powered, satellite phones aren’t ideal for everyday use; but because they’re so high-powered, they’ll get you a phone signal when a regular cell phone won’t.

You need a satellite phone in your emergency kit whenever you’re on an outdoor trek where a cell phone signal is difficult to come by. But a satellite phone is also useful in your car and even in your home. Natural disasters can knock out cell phone towers, and you’ll need to be able to contact help if you’re trapped or injured.

2. Water

People can live longer without food than they can without water. During an outdoor adventure, you may get lost and have no source of fresh water. In many cases, such as during hurricanes and floods, water is more than abundant, but it is not safe to drink. You need to have a source of clean, safe water to sip until you’re rescued.

If you’re preparing an emergency kit at home, go ahead and pack several gallons of fresh water near your kit. If you’re able, you can access that water and make it last for days. Put at least one to two small bottles of fresh water inside your kit so if you have to leave unexpectedly, you’ll be equipped with enough water to keep you going.

3. Food (With Long Shelf Life)
You may be able to last a few days without food in a pinch, but being able to eat a little will give you more energy and keep you healthier through a hard time. Pack foods with a long shelf life in your kit. At home, a few cans of food will last you a while, but don’t forget to pack the hand-operated can opener. If you’re taking your kit on the go, cans may be too much for you to carry, so pack items such as:

• Granola or energy bars
• Peanut butter packets
• Crackers
• Trail mix
• Instant coffee or tea
• Powdered milk
• Cereal

4. Basic First-Aid Supplies

Unfortunately, injuries and disasters often go hand in hand. Do what you can to treat wounds and injuries until help arrives by including a few must-have basic first aid supplies in your emergency kit, including:

• Bandages (stick-on and cloth)
• First-aid tape
• Scissors
• Antibiotic ointment
• Pain reliever
 • Tweezers
• Gauze pads
• Latex gloves
• Anti-diarrheal medication
• Syrup of ipecac (to induce vomiting in case of dangerous ingestion)
• Moist towelettes

5. Flashlight and Battery

One of the first modern conveniences to go during any natural disaster is the power. And if you’re out driving or hiking, you’ll have the dark of night to deal with if you’re ever stuck or lost. A flashlight is a must-have item to help you see where you’re going and to avoid injury. A flashlight can also act as a signal if rescue workers are looking for you in the dark. Pack spare batteries for the flashlight so it lasts longer, and use the flashlight sparingly if you think you might be in harm’s way for a while.

A satellite phone, water, long shelf-life food, basic first-aid supplies and a flashlight and batteries are all items you can fit into a small emergency kit that could stand between you and disaster. Keep these items in a bag or box in your home and car, and if you’re going on an outdoor adventure, pack a backpack. Be sure to swap out the food and water at least once a year (or, according to shelf-life).


About the Author: Hobert Pruitt works for a leading telecommunications company. You can follow him on Google Plus here.

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