Since most survival
situations do not last longer than 3 to 7 days it is prudent
to start your preparations here. Your primary items, although
intended to be used for 3-7 days, need to have long shelf-lives
in adverse conditions. They are not selected to provide variety,
but essential sustenance in the smallest and lightest package.
- Water: Most important of all! You
will die without water in less than 5 days! Prepackaged water pouches & boxes are designed
to be drinkable up to 5 years. They are small and relatively
light weight. Water bags and bottles that have oxygen based water
purifier added will keep for up to 5 years and are safe to drink
in large quantities. Your short-term survival kit should include
a minimum of 50 ounces of water per person. In addition it should
include some form of germicidal
or iodine based) and/or a portable water purifier to purify additional water
needs. NOTE: Be cautious, many 'survival kits' on the market
do not include enough water or ways to purify water.
Food: Food is very important, especially
in cold weather situations or when you are in a constantly wet
condition. Your body needs calories to 'burn' to keep warm. Your
body also needs the strength that food fuels to remain safe,
procure additional food, provide rescue efforts and leave disaster
areas under your own 'steam.' Short-term rations should be high
in carbohydrates and low in protein. This will keep you from
being thirsty in low water accessibility conditions and will
give you increased fuel to burn. Proteins are healthier, but
provoke thirst and give relatively short fuel durations.
Short term survival rations are the optimum way to supply your
survival food needs. They come in two forms: Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) used by the military as a
field ration and Survival
Food Bar Rations.
If you can afford them MRE's are a great way to go, they have
a long shelf life and can add variety to your diet. But MRE's
have several draw backs: They are expensive (Typically $6-8.00
per meal), they are in a wet state which means that they do not
need water or even to be cooked, but that means you need to carry
more of these 'non-condensed' meals.
Survival Food Bars are a special high calorie short bread type
food bar. They are designed to have a shelf life of 5 years.
They are also designed to not provoke thirst when eaten, something
very important in a survival situation. A typical food bar has
2400 - 3600 calories! They are compact and easy to store. They
are designed to withstand being left outside in temperatures
up to 149F! Although a typical person requires over 2000 calories
a day I recommend 1200 calories per day per person if using these
concentrated bars. NOTE: Most 'survival kits' only contain enough
bars for 800 calories per day per person! Please make sure to
store more than this. ADDITIONAL NOTE: Please turn to 'survival
candy' as a last resort. They offer little nutritionally and
can send a person who hasn't eaten for an extended period of
time into insulin shock. They are kind of like a rocket; A quick
hot burn and then you come down fast!
Shelter: You may assume you will have
your house, other buildings or your car to shelter in case of
a disaster, but many disaster victims are often unable to find
shelter from these sources because the very nature of the disaster
may have destroyed accessible shelter. Shielding your body from
the elements is nearly as important as water and food. You must
attempt to stay dry and out of the wind.
Your short-term kit should contain, at a minimum, a basic plastic sheet or tarp. A rain poncho
blanket can also
serve as quick wind/rain protection.
You may want to consider bundling a small camping tent with your kit. They are heavier
and more costly, but offer better protection from the elements
and will last long-term should the need arise. Remember to plan
enough shelter for every person you anticipate will be with you.
Warmth: In other than tropical climates
you will need to find warmth, particularly at night and when
wet. There is some movement by market forces to include hand
warmers in survival kits. These 'warmers' are great and when
you're cold any warmth will do. But, after saying that, I must
advise against them. They take up room, only last a short time
and only serve to add cost to your kit.
Fire, as most of you understand, is the best way to not only
stay warm, but to dry out wet clothes, signal potential rescuers
and cook food. There are a number of ways to approach starting
a fire. Whatever your choice, include a backup and remember that
it needs to serve you when it is soaked, you are soaked and your
fuel is soaked! A good and inexpensive start is waterproof
matches. But don't
overstock them. They tend to get old and the match heads seem
to disintegrate with age and/or a lot of movement (the expensive
varieties may differ, but there are better ways to start fires
for the money). There is a growing selection of magnesium
alloy fire starters
on the market these days and most will do the job even when subjected
to moisture. When buying one, price is of a secondary consideration
to ease of use. I consider them essential to every survival kit!
They will keep lighting fires long after your matches are gone.
Lighters, butane or other, are not recommended. They are susceptible
to moisture and may leak in your kit. To overcome these hurdles
requires more money than I would advise spending.
Your method of starter is only half complete until you add tinder
to your kit. Tinder is the finest material used at the beginning
of your fire. It must be dry and very fine. It must ignite quickly
from a spark and burn just long and hot enough to start the progressively
larger materials you will build your fire with. Some people are
enterprising and resourceful and have devised a way of preparing
their own tinder for their kits. One method for homemade tinder
is to take cotton balls and load them lightly with petroleum
jelly. This will provide an easily combustible tinder that initially
resists moisture. Some have made numerous tiny tinder swabs and
packed them into drinking straws and then plugging the ends with
untreated cotton for storage in their kits.
If you prefer to buy some tinder
on the market there are some very good products to choose from.
Some of these products actually burn while floating in water!
First Aid: A first aid kit being a must in a disaster
goes without saying, but what should be in it? Unless we are
speaking of a bare-bones pocket or fannypack survival kit then
please make sure to have more than the basic 'bandaid' box. On
the other end of the spectrum you don't need a paramedics first
aid kit unless you have a large party depending on it. Most manufacturers
put together passable first aid kits. Choose one that will fit
the size party you anticipate. Don't buy based on price, but
- Essential medication: Anyone in your party who
is dependent on medicine for their life should have extra medication
stored in the kit and rotated regularly with fresh medicine.
Being away from medicine sources for an extended period of time
could be severe. Remember, we must do what we can, but should
you become separated from your medicine or other necessities
in a disaster, God will still be your sufficiency when you seek
refuge in him.
provide information for:
[Short-term Survival, Primary Priorites],
[Short-term Survival, Secondary Priorities],
[Long-term Survival, Primary Priorities].
These 'priority lists' are not exhaustive teaching on the subject
of survival. There are many fine books that have done that. This
is simply a starting point for Christians in their preparations
for what we know is coming.