Monday, August 18, 2014

Creating a Multi-purpose Emergency Kit

How an emergency will impact you often depends on how prepared you are. One very important component to personal preparedness is having an emergency kit. While most people are aware of the importance of having a kit, they either haven’t actually put one together completely or they haven’t checked their kit in years. Kits have to be checked frequently because items can expire, get damaged or go missing.  Truthfully, kits can be expensive initially and then challenging to maintain, which is why I recommend creating a multi-purpose emergency kit.  

Since I work in emergency preparedness, everyone assumes that I am really prepared. However, I really struggled finding the time and money to put together my own kit. It wasn't that I didn’t know the importance of a kit, other things somehow always took priority (like getting more camping gear). 

In Colorado, summer means camping. We voluntarily leave the comforts and conveniences of our homes to spend the night sleeping outside, on the ground, without access to water or power. While camping is something we do for fun, in an emergency may possibly put us in a similar situation. In emergencies we can lose access to power or water, or have to evacuate our homes. We can suddenly be forced to live without the comforts and conveniences that we normally relay on. While going camping and being impacted by an emergency are completely different things, how we prepare for them isn't all that different.

After a camping trip last year I realized that I did actually have a personal preparedness kit! It was the three large, plastic containers that contain my camping gear. They already contain pretty much all the items I would need for a kit and they are ready to go at a moment’s notice. Each summer I get to use almost everything in the kit, plus I regularly check and replace items as needed (like bottled water, dog food, and matches). All I had to do was add a few items (like copies of important documents) to my camping gear, and it instantly became the perfect emergency kit! Using your camping and outdoor gear also as an emergency kit is a great option for anyone that (like me) is struggling with the expense and maintenance of pulling it together!! 

by - Kelly F. Keenan