As the Cold War fears of the 1950s saw Americans preparing for nuclear threats with underground shelters and specific essentials, today’s tensions between the U.S. and China prompt a new era of emergency preparedness. The landscape of potential threats has evolved, but how have our preparations changed in response?
Stocking the essentials for emergency preparedness is vital. Recalling President Eisenhower’s 1955 advice, maintaining a seven-day food and water supply is crucial. Modern preparations should encompass flashlights, blankets, and portable batteries for essential devices like radios and smartphones.
Amidst the looming threat of nuclear warfare, Americans once prepared for the worst, even if the attack never came. Now, as tensions rise between the United States and China, the importance of emergency preparedness resurfaces. This article explores some of the essentials that can sustain their lives in case a war indeed breaks out.
The Importance of Stocking Essentials for Emergencies
Emergencies can strike without warning, and often, the aftermath is more deadly than the event itself due to a lack of preparedness. Whether it’s the threat of a cyberwar between nations or natural disasters, being prepared can mean the difference between life and death.
Here’s why stocking essentials is crucial:
- Prevention of Post-Emergency Casualties: Many lives lost post-emergency are not directly due to the event but from a lack of essential supplies. For instance, if cut off from food and water, people can perish from starvation. Similarly, surviving a space attack only to succumb to cold weather is another grim possibility.
- Changing Nature of Warfare: The anticipated conflict between the US and China may not resemble the conventional wars of the past. While a shift towards cyber warfare might reduce direct casualties, it can cripple infrastructure, bringing nations to a standstill. Being prepared for such scenarios can be the difference between survival and catastrophe.
- Mitigation of Disasters: Proactive emergency preparedness can sometimes limit or even prevent certain disasters. Measures like fireproofing household items, adhering to building codes in earthquake zones, and implementing flood control can significantly reduce the impact of potential calamities.
- Sustenance During Evacuations: It’s advisable to have at least a week’s worth of food and water stored. Evacuation efforts can vary in duration, ranging from a day to a week. Having a stockpile ensures sustenance for families until aid arrives.
Suggestions for Keeping a Survival Kit
In an era where the threat of a third world war looms, one that could encompass not just military battles but also economic sanctions, cyberattacks, and more, being prepared is paramount.
While the nature of this potential conflict differs from the conventional wars of the past, the need for emergency preparedness remains consistent. From unexpected storms to prolonged blackouts and disease outbreaks, these emergencies often disrupt our access to daily essentials like food, water, and electricity.
To ensure you’re prepared, consider assembling a survival kit with the following items:
- Water: Store at least one gallon of drinking water per household member. Regularly rotate the water to ensure it remains fresh and safe for consumption.
- Food: Stock a minimum seven-day supply of non-perishable foods, considering the storage space available.
- Lighting: Include a flashlight and sufficient batteries, enough to last a week or two.
- Communication: A battery-operated radio.
- Tools: Manual can openers, a shovel, and a crowbar.
- Childcare: Diapers for families with young children and infant food.
- Documentation: Copies of vital documents.
- Medical Supplies: A first aid kit, painkillers, antibiotics, and items for infant and invalid care.
- Food Supplies: Canned vegetables, milk powder, sugar, salt, seasonings, canned fruits, and meats.
- Miscellaneous: Laundry items, essential oils, animal repellents (like mosquito and snake repellents), items for starting a fire, blankets, warm clothing, cooking utensils, candies, chewing gum, cigarette packs (for those who use them), and juices.
How Do You Store Items Selected for Emergency Preparedness?
Emergencies, by their very nature, strike without warning. This unpredictability underscores the importance of storing essential items in a manner that allows for quick access during urgent situations. So, how can you ensure that your emergency supplies are both accessible and safe for use when the moment arises?
Here are some guidelines to help you effectively store your emergency items:
- Location: Place items in a cool, ideally dark, environment to maintain their integrity.
- Separation: Avoid storing food items near laundry supplies or solvents. Potential leaks or fumes from these products can contaminate and compromise the safety of your food.
- Food Storage: Use containers with secure lids for food items to protect against moisture, humidity, and pests that might be attracted to the supplies.
- Packaging: Store essentials in closed boxes or containers. This not only safeguards the contents but also ensures they’re ready for a quick grab-and-go during an evacuation.
- Consistency: Once your emergency supplies are set aside, resist the urge to use them for day-to-day needs. They are designated for emergencies, and it’s crucial to maintain that distinction.
The Importance of Regularly Checking Your Emergency Preparedness Stock
While items in an emergency preparedness stockpile are typically non-perishable and don’t require refrigeration, it’s still crucial to inspect them periodically, perhaps once or twice a year, as suggested by the Kane County Health Department.
Given human nature, it’s easy to overlook the stockpile, especially if it’s tucked away in a seldom-visited location. To ensure consistent checks, consider adopting the APHA’s Get Ready mantra: “Set your Clock, Check your Stocks.”
This reminder aligns with the practice of adjusting clocks for daylight saving time. Each time you reset your clock, it serves as a prompt to review your stockpile. Items nearing their expiration should be consumed and subsequently replaced.
When adding new supplies, position them at the back, ensuring older items are used first. It’s not only economical but also environmentally responsible to prevent unnecessary waste by ensuring items don’t expire unused.
Emergency preparedness should be a daily consideration for every American. We inhabit an unpredictable world where threats range from potential wars to storms or pandemics. Maintaining a stockpile of emergency supplies can mean the difference between survival and tragedy during a crisis.
- APHA’s Get Ready: Clocks and Stocks
- Civil Defense Archives: Grandma’s Pantry Goes on Wheels
- Kane Health: Your Emergency Preparedness Stockpile: What You Need to Know
- Walden University: Why Emergency Preparedness Matters