by Pat McHugh
Before you gather items for your home survival kit, buy one of those 5-gallon buckets with a lid from Home Depot or Lowe’s. A small plastic trash can with a good lid and handles also works. Mark on the bucket when you last filled it with the items below. They will need to be replaced every three to six months.
Contents for Home Survival Kit:
Flashlights – At least two of them without batteries inserted.
Batteries for flashlights – At least 3 sets for each light (watch dates on package)
Small roll of duct tape
Pair of work gloves
At least four chemical light sticks (8-12 hour variety)
Portable radio (batteries out)
Two sets of radio batteries (again, watch the dates)
Small, basic First Aid kit
Roll of toilet paper
Small bar of soap
Wet Wipes (moist towelette)
Bottled water (rotate every six months). Stack bottles around perimeter of bucket. Water is heavy, but necessary and could be a scarce commodity in a shelter.
A 32 oz. wide mouth polycarbonate water bottle (available at hiking shops) in case you have to secure water in a shelter. Put as many personal toiletries inside the bottle as you can.
Save a small eyedropper type bottle and fill it with household bleach (replace every six months). You can use the bleach to disinfect your drinking water. 1 quart water = 2 bleach drops if water is clear, 4 drops if water is cloudy.
A few high-energy food bars/candy/mints (watch expiration dates)
Pre-sweetened iced tea packets or drink mix, maybe even some dry soup mix.
Consider including a small pocket stove and solid fuel tablets, to heat water for a cup of tea or soup mix, a little comfort item. Put in a metal campers cup to use over the flame.
Small hard plastic cups, in case they are dispensing water.
Next time you are in a fast food place, take a few sugar and salt/pepper packages to spice up shelter food service.
Your out of state family-friends phone contact numbers taped inside the bucket lid, including your home/car insurance policy# and agent contact #…
SPACE® Brand ALL WEATHER BLANKETS for warmth and protection, they will not get damp or mildew laden. A few SPACE® Brand EMERGENCY BLANKETS for on-the-go use protection or signaling or to help out a neighbor who is wet and cold. They help deter the effects of post trauma shock by maintaining a person's body heat so they do not easily go into shock. Being wrapped up and protected is a great psychological advantage in all the panic.
Draw top kitchen trash bags – use bucket as emergency toilet, bags as disposable liners.
Smokers; put in a pack of cigarettes and lighter, you don’t need stress in a time like this.
Pen and a notebook, you will need it.
If you have children, small puzzle books, deck of playing cards, reading material, a ball and small game items to occupy their time if you are stuck in a shelter.
Some cash as credit cards and your ATM will be useless.