We would not be considered ‘camping purist’, as we usually try to take as many comforts along
the we can handle. This means we have a selection of gear that includes all kinds of cooking,
heating and lighting. The tents and sleeping bags are well-used, but they remain some of the
best investments that we ever made. What we didn’t expect, was that we would have to rely on
them during a natural disaster.
Every time we return from a camping trip we go through everything to make sure that we
replace anything that we have used. It is a habit that I’m glad we established. When a hurricane
hit and the power was off for an entire week, we were some of the only people that we knew
that were set up to ‘survive’.
Without power, the first thing that you grab are the candles, and we had a lot of large one. We
took stock of the lanterns, flashlights, batteries and most of all water. Having a well, no power
also meant no water, but the bottled water wasn’t enough. Food in the refrigerator had to be
depleted first, so we headed to the store to get water and ice. The store was like a moment of
hysteria as everyone was in line and the shelves were almost empty.
We used our small camping stove for cooking and the sleeping bags on the floor to try keep
cool. The hurricane had knocked tree limbs down everywhere and removing them meant
getting bruised and cut. Thank heavens for the emergency medical kit.
I was also thankful that we had packed those ugly rubber boots. There was minor flooding on
the streets and that brought out a lot of snakes. Most are harmless, but we weren’t taking
We went around the neighborhood, checking on some of our older neighbors and sharing some
of our food and candles, making sure that they were safe and uninjured. We trudged up and
down the streets in large rubber boots, carrying plastic bags and our camping knives, which is
a strange site to see in a neighborhood.
Luckily, we were only power for one week, but during that time, we used almost all of camping
gear. I would never have thought that this would happen, but then again, who anticipates it?
Every Home Should Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit
There is nothing that brings the shock of reality than when a natural disaster hits. Sometimes it
can be as simple as a power outage that brings you to the forefront, while others are much
more serious. Almost every day we see news broadcasts about one part of the country or the
world experiencing a disaster, and yet most people aren’t prepared for even the smallest
Today’s existence relies on being ‘connected’ via internet and cell phone. When the power goes
out, so does the connectivity with the rest of the world, along with the needed heat, cooling and
refrigeration of our food. We are usually lucky enough to have power returned rather quickly,
but this is not always the case if a natural disaster happens. Every home and family should have
some kind of emergency preparedness ‘kit’.
The size of your kit will depend on the amount of room that you to store it in. Those that
live in apartments have less space, but an upper closet shelf can do for the basics. If you have
an attic, basement or garage, then you have a bit more room. If you are a camper, then you
may have your camping gear spread out, and the first is to get all of the gear in a single
location that would be easy to access.
All of the smaller items can be easily stored in a brand new ‘trash container’ or any other
container that seals tightly. Choose your kit contents carefully, placing things that have to be replaced every year (such as batteries) on top, as the last items. It’s best to have a ‘check list’
on the lid of the container.
A basic kit typically includes: flashlight (no batteries), hunting or fishing knives, duct tape,
plastic bags (multiple sizes), a complete emergency health kit, candles, matches, lighters a
camping lantern, small cooking stove, AM or weather radio, rubber boots, paper towels, toilet
paper, and blankets. It’s suggested that you look into a hand crank or solar powered radio
and/or cell phone generator, water purification systems. If the power is out everywhere, the
cell towers won’t work either, and the radio may be your best method of being aware of what
is going on.
For those that are more serious, you may want to have additional containers that hold extra
clothes, shoes and freeze dried food. The biggest need will be water, so if have the space,
bottled water is a must. A gas generator is another added plus, but you will need to have the
gasoline and that need to be changed out every year.
May you never have to use it.