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How to Pack an Emergency Kit for Every Kind of Disaster

From volcanic eruptions to floods...
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Volcanoes are erupting. There's a tsunami warning out. Metro Manila floods after just a few hours of rain. We're not doomsday preppers, but we also want to be prepared. Life is unpredictable, but survival doesn't have to be. Make sure that your go-bag, loaded with all the essentials you need in an emergency kit, is ready—for any type of situation.

A Bug-Out Bag

Firstly, you need a sturdy and durable bag to house your emergency kit. Get something with serious utlity features, like pockets and water-proofing. Ideally it's a knapsack so you can stay hands-free and in case you're running from flowing lava or rogue zombies, it'll make mobility much easier.

Make sure there's one for every member of the family. You should fill your bag with at least 72 days' worth of supplies. 

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A First-Aid Kit

This one's a no brainer. Any kind of disaster or natural calamity might result to cuts, bruises, or worse. Small wounds might become serious infections. Fortunately, you don't need to build it yourself. Fully packed first-aid kits are usually available in department stories, pharmacies, or hardware shops. Check it for iodine, Band-Aids, needle and thread, scissors, gauze, tweezers, wipes, ans basic medicine.

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Flashlight or Other Lighting Tools

Glow sticks, flares, flashlights. We don't need to explain why you need such items in your emergency kit. A large flashlight is helpful but not imperative. There are tiny lighting systems nowadays that pack a bright 1000 (or even more) lumens. As an added precaution, get one of those flashlights that don't require batteries. You might also want to bring waterproof matches or a lighter in case you need to light a fire (which is always handy when you want to make a signal). While you're at it, toss in a few flaires in there, too.

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Easy-to-Open Canned and Packaged Food

Unless your can opener comes with a multi-functioning utility knife, there's really no need for it anymore. Most canned goods have pull-tabs for convenience. Pick the canned good of your choice: tuna, corned beef, Spam, fruit cocktail. Such items are also available in sachets, which might be helpful if you're lightening your load. Dried food also hold up well to the elements. Stock up on granola bars, energy bars, and other energy-filled treats.

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Water

Make sure to load up at least a liter of water for each person and pack a filtration device in case you need more.

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Foil Blanket

Wet after getting through a flood? Find yourself in a Day After Tomorrow situation? Displaced and rained on as you're out in the open? A foil blanket is a much handier and lighter tool at keeping your body temperature in check than a regular blanket. Plus, it's waterproof! It can be folded to a size smaller than your palm and easily insertable in one of your backpack pockets, since your pack is already full of food and water.

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Masks

A sturdy mask will protect you from air-borne issues like ash, the plague, or smoke. Certain brands like Airnium and Xiaomi have already taken the regular masks up a notch by adding air filtration systems. 

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Whistle 

A whistle is pretty handy to have in your emergency kit (some flashlights even come with them). They're great for giving out signals (remember Titanic?). If you're trapped somewhere and not visible, a few bleeps might help win some attention. Best of all, it won't take up too much space in your pack.

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Hand Crank Radio

Signal will most likely be down in case of full-blown designers. You need a radio that's power-dependent for news and communication. Most radios also come with built-in flashlight and you should always go for all the space savers you could.

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Swim Bracelet

If you've seen San Andreas or 2012, you never know when the disaster might transition from earthquake to flooding. It's best to be prepared. This swim bracelet/emergency flotation device is tiny enough to not take up too much mass or weight in your load yet efficient enough to bear at most 330 pounds. 

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Camping Stove

This isn't too essential in an emergency kit. But if you're fancy and you want your Spam warm, here's a portable butane-powered stove that you can use when you're stranded somewhere and hankering for hot food. 

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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Managing Editor, EsquireMag.ph
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled SPOT.ph's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
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