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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Planning for disaster: part tools

Part 2: Tools for survival

Now that you have the basic necessities to survive the first few days in a disaster we have a secondary list of the "tools" which not only make your survival more likely but may actually extend your ability to survive over a long period of time.

Our list is loosely categorized, unlike the previous list, because each need will require some different interpretation based on individual skills, personal choice and circumstance. For instance, if you expect that your survival could be subject to cold weather you'll want to alter your list and upgrade to cold weather gear.

We suggest, however, that all the equipment and tools on your 'grab-n-go' list be light weight, less than 200 pounds for a family of 4, and energy efficient; you may have to carry this stuff on your backs if your transportation breaks down.

Hygiene items

  • hand sanitizer
  • sanitizing wipes
  • toilet paper
  • water purification tablets or bleach - 1/2 teaspoon per gallon allow to set 1/2 hour
  • tooth paste or "Dental Dots"
  • hand soap
  • dry shampoo
  • disposable diapers
  • foot powder or corn starch

Identification and personal papers

  • Identification papers for each member of your group including children and pets with a photo attached
  • contact information for extended family members or friends
  • emergency phone numbers: local, state and federal
  • name and phone number of your doctors, dentists, veterinarians
  • name and phone number of your pharmacy ( drug chains will have a computer record of your med script history in their main bank. If your local drug store is destroyed they maintain a record in the central files.
  • insurance information
  • insurance photos of you property and possessions, on disc is best
  • mortgage papers, lease agreements store separately - originals should be kept with other singularly important papers like birth certificates, marriage licenses, passports etc.
  • credit cards
  • $100-200 in fives or tens


  • multi-tool for minor repairs, chores (we purchased ours - a Sheffield, pictured - from Lowes for less than $9.00)
  • butane lighter
  • flashlight and or lantern, extra batteries (check LED versions)
  • pencils/paper
  • chalk for marking and leaving messages*
  • can of fluorescent spray paint *(same reason)
  • camp stove with butane cylinder
  • cooking/eating utensils, pots and pans
  • nylon rope-200 feet
  • compass
  • pet leashes and or carriers
  • back packs, 1 for everybody in your group - including pets
  • binoculars or a scope
  • cell phone


  • plastic sheeting (typical painters drop cloth from a hardware supplier)
  • duct tape
  • flares
  • 1 blanket for each person
  • chemical light sticks

Finally, we concede that this is by no means a comprehensive list but it is, at least, a framework for creating your own survival kit. Pack everything in water resistant plastic bags and store altogether in a plastic storage container which can be easily accessed for a quick departure.

If you have additions to our list or comments that would add to our reader's knowledge or safety during emergencies please send them to us and we will add them to this archive. It's that important.

You might also visit floods for further information on disaster preparedness.

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