How to decide what to put in a first aid kit and your overall disaster survival kit

On one hand I prefer step by step instructions on what to put in your Emergency and Disaster Survival Kit (EDSK aka BOB or Bug Out Bag). On the other hand noone can know my specific scenario and so books that give you a general overview of what you might need are useful in that they make you think. I find that a combination of the two types is necessary to have as much of a complete kit as possible. Case in point: I just started assembling a First Aid Kit (FAK) for my family. I used Red Cross FAK list as a starting point since I am not an expert in this area. Then I referred to something I saw in “When all Hell breaks loose” book – “add medicine specific to your family members needs”. This is vague on one hand, but on the other it made me think. What do my family members need outside of the standard set of badages and tylenol? Well, my little kids will need kids motrine and I can often use muscle pain reliever cream such as bengay. We also leave relatively close to nuclear power stations. As a result iodine pills are part of my FAK. Iodine, bengay, kids motrine are not ususally listed in the typical FAK. This is just one example of how you should start with a recommended list of items and then think outside of the guidelines.

Similar concept applies to compiling EDSK (Emergency and Disaster Survial Kit). Refer to commonly available lists and pack a flashlight, batteries, radio, etc. Then look at your specific cituation and add items as needed. Do you have kids? Will they have books or games to entertain them and keep their mind of the hazard while staying in a shelter? What hazard are you preparing for? A wild fire? An earthqauke? A flood? A nuclear emergency? Do you expect to have to evacuate your home or do you expect to stay inside? Does it depend on the type of a hazard? The type of a hazard will depend on your geographica location. For example, area where I live is relatively close to a few nuclear power facilities. We have have occasional floods, snow storms, and sometimes hurricanes. As a result my EDSK is customized toward surviving those potential hazards.

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