FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is the nationally recognized government organization that steps in after a natural disasters or emergency situations to help victims. Since it can take over a week to gather supplies and mobilize trucks to the site of the situation, FEMA strongly recommends and urges U.S. citizens to be prepared in advance. Once FEMA arrives, they dole out supplies in the form of disaster survival relief. To duplicate what often arrives in these government kits, you can buy your own ahead of time and customize it to your personal needs.
The FEMA Basic Disaster Survival Kit
Included in FEMA's kits, which they disperse upon arrival at an emergency location, are several gallons of water per person. FEMA calculates the number of people affected by the disaster and then multiplies the required number of gallons of water, per person, per day. Three gallons of water for personal hydration and bathing is their recommended amount, although FEMA may only give one gallon out to each person at a time until backup supplies arrive.
Other basic survival supplies that you should put in your own survival kit are:
- non-perishable food items.
- can opener, unless your food items all have pull tabs/ pop tops.
- some means to call for help or communicate with others.
- charging devices for phones, tablets, laptop computers (if these items survived the disaster).
- flashlights and other battery-operated sources of light
- some means to signal for help, such as a whistle, flares, glow sticks, and/or a battery-operated megaphone.
- proper disposal items, such as trash bags, to manage human waste and human consumption waste when toilets and garbage collection services are unavailable.
- first aid kits, equipped with lots of bandages, slings, pain relievers, etc.
Remember, this is the most basic kit you can buy or put together yourself. In addition to these items, you will need to add supplies for your pets and infants, whose needs are quite different from an adult human's.
Buying and Making Disaster Survival Kits
There are many different types of disaster survival kits for sale, which come equipped with most of the basics previously mentioned. You can buy these kits and just add to them your personal effects, like medications and oral hygiene products. You can also buy all of the components separately, store them in a waterproof and airtight container, and place it in your garage or an area where you can quickly and easily access the contents in an emergency. Keep in mind that FEMA will show up after a disaster hits, but you will need to provide for yourself and your family until they arrive. Having your own kit ready is the best way to do that.