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DIY Disaster Kit

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I grew up with a mom who was always very well perpared for natural distasters. We lived in Los Angeles so Earthquakes and brush fires are our local disasters. We actually lived in Northridge during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake – a story I wrote about in A Hot Glue Gun Mess.

After the Northridge Earthquake my mom always had kits packed at our house and our cars. I think the car kits are very important which is what I focused on in today’s post.

Think about it: If there is a natural disaster and you are at home, there’s a much greater liklihood that you’ll have access to many more items (non-the-less you should still keep emergency water, a first aid and canned food on hand at home). But if you’re away from home, driving in your car and disaster strikes, you need to keep those emergency items on hand that can help you walk to safety.

If you don’t drive a car and use public transportation. You could create a smaller version of this kit to keep in your purse/bag to always have on hand. See the list below.

Being prepared is the way to go! The odds are you won’t get caught in a disaster but the peace of mind of being prepared for that just in case, is worth it!

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Emergency Disaster Relief Car Kit

This kit is intended for people who live in cities or suburban areas, not if you’re out in the wilderness. I made two of these kits, one for each car, because Joey and I share cars. I doubled up so that no matter if there is one or both of us in either car, there will be enough emergency provisions. Make your kit for yourself or for each family member. Keep the contents of the kit in a backpack stored safely in your trunk so you can just grab and go.

  1. Comfortable/warm clothes – if you get stuck somewhere and are wearing business attire but have to walk a long distance and sleep on the street, you’ll want something comfy to put on. Joey’s sweatshirt, Kate’s sweatshirt, Joey’s sweatpants, & Kate’s Sweatpants a change of underwear is good too!
  2. Walking shoes – again, if you have to abandon your car and walk home or to saftey and you’re wearing heels, etc. you’ll want a pair of comfortable shoes to change into. Joey’s tennis shoes & Kate’s tennis shoes. Pack socks as well!
  3. A utility tool like a Leatherman squirt – use this for protection or for other emergency situations you may need a knife, scissors, etc.
  4. Pepper spray – let’s be honest, if there is a big enough disaster people may go rogue and you might need to defend yourself.
  5. Emergency food rations  – these look pretty unappetizing but they keep for a long time and are balanced meal bars which will be essential if you can’t get to food.
  6. Emergency water packets – easy to pack water packets that keep for a long time and are easy to drink and dispose of on the go.
  7. Tampon & pad – in case you’re on your period!
  8. Flashlight with batteries – keep the batteries packaged seperately so they don’t drain while inside the flashlight.
  9. First aid kit – in case there are any minor cuts, aches, sprains, etc. you need to attend to. If you’re making a home kit, keep a bigger first aid kit.
  10. The backpack to fit all the supplies! (it folds down that tiny!) but I keep ours packed with everything inside the spare tire wheel well of each car.
  11. Matches or lighter in case you need to build a fire.
  12. Fake lighter with money inside – hide some cash in one of these “stash” lighters in case you get robbed you’ll still have something!
  13. Emergency thermal blankets – for warmth in case you have to spend a night out somewhere on your way home to safety.
  14. Solar hand crank radio/ flashlight/ phone charger – comes with the cords to charge your phone and you’ll be able to tune into emergency broadcasts in case your cell service isn’t working.
  15. Emergency sleeping bags – for added warmth if you have to spend the night out while you’re on your way to safety.

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At Home Emergency Kit:

For our at-home disaster kit, I assume one or both of our cars will be there so we can access our car kits. But in addition I keep on hand…

  1. A larger first aid kit that has more gauze, tourniquets, etc.
  2. Extra emergency food rations
  3. Extra emergency water packets

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Smaller Personal Emergency Kit:

If you live in a city and take public transportation, you won’t want to carry around a bulky car kit every day, here are the essential items I think you should keep in a smaller pouch in your purse or backpack…

  1. Flat and lightweight pair of comfortable shoes like a pair of slip on canvas shoes or foldable flats that keep in a pouch.
  2. A small utility tool like a Leatherman squirt
  3. emergency water packet – they are small
  4. emergency thermal blanket – they fold very small
  5. Pepper spray – just keep it on your keychain!
  6. 1 meal replacement bar
  7. Keychain flashlight
  8. Bandaids and alcohol wipes

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For more posts on surviving natural disasters, check out this Tsunami Survival Pod!

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