Dear Preppers and Survivalist,
Private First Class Pfc. Ali Hargis
Asking the Right Questions
Instead of asking what to pack, ask what do we (you and your family) need to survive the situation?
First, shelter and fire.
This could be a simple as a a neighbor's home across the street or a blue nylon tarp and some cordage (rope) to make an improvised shelter with a Bic lighter to start a camp fire for warmth.
But, ... What do you really need?
If you're heading home from work and the Underground (subway) stops, you don't need any shelter because the train car is your shelter, for now.
The same goes for the interstate turning into a parking lot, in the middle of winter. You sit tight and monitor your fuel gauge, as your run the car's heater to keep warm.
O.K., one last scenario, the New Madrid fault finally goes and wipes out every building for 100 miles around Dryer county, Tennessee then you will need a backyard shed, travel trailer parked in the driveway, or some other improvised shelter with a propane heater as the nation tries to save the millions of people affected by the earthquake.
Second, you and your family are going to need water.
For some families, making an emergency evacuation, they are going to need an empty water bottle, so they can fill the bottles, after they have passed through airport security. For other families, it's going to be one or two full bottles of water, as they ride the bus to a refugee camp. For other families, they are going to need a map, with water sources marked on the map, as they push a shopping cart down the interstate. Add a few canteens with one or two water filters and water purification tablets, this family is set for water.
Third, ... Food.
What can I say, but most citizens of these United States could stand to lose a few pounds (including me) so having food isn't that big of a priority, unless you have young children, pregnant women, and elderly people in your group.
But, ... What to have?
Protein bars, trail mix, snack bars, snap-top fruit cans, and any of the other convenience foods that your family would find at the grocery store. You might even consider having a few bills ($5, $10, and $20s) in your bag, to buy food from a food vendor.
Once again, what's the situation. Are you staying in a Red Cross shelter, after the hurricane has destroyed your family's home? How about rushing home, after your son or daughter's little league game went into overtime? Your family is fleeing across national borders, illegally? The power has been out for a few hours, and it's lunch time?
Ooops, that last one isn't an emergency evacuation, but you get my point.
By now, you are seeing that packing your family's emergency evacuation kit takes some thought and knowledge about the types of situations your family will face.
So, ... Read the Archives for more ideas to help your family get ready for the tough times ahead, and feel free to ask any questions in the comments or send me a note at my contact e-mail.
Wikipedia - Portable Water Purification
The above link provides general information about several techniques. Needless to say, it is a starting point for your research.