Saturday 26 February 2011

Call to action - Emergency Kit

I am fearful that my timing in posting this may be construed as disrespectful or somehow insensitive, and yet it is prompted by my own feeling of helplessness in supporting Christchurch and Canterbury in this horrific time.  This is in many ways my own tribute to your plight.  I am not near enough to bake, or open my home, but I can stop and ensure I don't take my access to supermarkets, power, water and shelter for granted, and be prepared myself, for something that none of us ever want to go through. Kia kaha and aroha nui.

We had a long power cut at home after a massive storm some years back, prompting us to actually do something about an emergency kit.  We got as far as buying a bin to put everything in, getting 5 litres of water, a first aid kit and putting in a bundle of supplies I need (on account of having Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES)).  Since then, we've frequently talked about getting some actual food and such like in there, along with a radio, torch, batteries etc.  Well, until today, the kit had got to the point of being full of bottles of Simon's home brew.  The first aid kit was somewhere in the store room, along with my supplies, and the container full of water had expired (seriously?  apparently anyway).

Oddly enough, current events have meant that we're thinking a lot about emergency situations and being isolated, without water, or access to supermarkets.  So we've finally made significant improvements to our emergency kit, and I'd like to challenge others to do the same.  If you, like us have been putting it off, at least begin to asssemble an emergency kit and plan. As we support Canterbury in this unimaginably difficult time (I have agonised over words for the last hour, unimaginable is all I am left with), let us also take a moment and be prepared ourselves.

What we have in our emergency kit to date (click the logo above for the official recommendations):

6 x 1.5 litre bottles of water
1 x 10 litre plastic container of water
4 cans of tuna (each has enough for 2 people for a single meal)
3 cans of salmon (again, 3 meals for 2 people)
3 cans of mixed bean salad
2 cans tiny taters
2 cans green beans
3 cans fruit salad
3 cans baked beans with sausages
2 cans minestrone soup
my CES related supplies
first aid kit (including personal medical requirements)
hand sanitiser

We've made a point of predominantly getting things that don't require additional water, and that don't require heating if we don't have the ability to do so. Oh, and in sizes that we will eat in a single sitting so that there a no scraps left sitting around, in anticipation of not having refrigeration. We've also tried to accommodate the possible need to take the emergency kit and ourselves away from home.

Still to go:
Torch (preferably wind up)
Radio (preferably wind up)
batteries (in case of not getting wind ups above!)
pet food for the cats
rubbish bags
can opener
toilet paper
something like cabin bread maybe
burner from the fondue set, with fuel

and possibly some other things, which I'll update here once I've had more of a think about it - there are probably some glaringly obvious things missing, but as Simon emphasised, lets just get it started and have at least the bare essentials.

We still need to work out a plan - ie what if we're at work, or one at home & one elsewhere, what if we have to leave home, with or without a vehicle, how will we make sure our families are ok, what about the cats etc.

At least right now, if we were isolated for 3 days, we're significantly better prepared than we were yesterday (although some might argue a kit full of home brew might not be such a bad thing!).


  1. So true! I have always been worried about what we would do in a fire and have ran drills with the boys (still want to buy the fire escape ladder I saw in bunnings which given current events I might do so Tim's not lowering me and the boys of some tied together ties!) And we should run plans about what do do when at work... again we've gone as far as if it happens Tim can walk to the boys day care. We should all be so much better prepared as in Christchurch you never know when a fault could rupture 1600 years is a frickin long time with no warnings!!

  2. Good on you for doing it, hopefully you won't need it, but better safe than sorry and you can always recycle the kit if you don't use it.