Tuesday, 8 March 2011
At Chez Szondy, we have three levels of kits. The first is a sardine tin packed with gear that I slip into my pocket when I go hiking. The second are commercial 72-hour packs (one for each in the family) that include water packs, lifeboat rations, space blankets, etc. that we've customised for each person (multitool kit, shortwave radio and brandy in mine, puzzle books and toys in my daughters, etc) along with throw blankets and augmented roadside emergency kits that we divide between our two cars (the wife's in hers and mine and the daughters in the 4x4). These are small enough to fit into a couple of school packs and tuck away neatly in the boots where there's no temptation to remove them to make space. The third is a large Tupperware container and another pack containing a camp stove, cooking gear, etc. a supply of bottled water, and the dogs' emergency pack of food and toys. We keep these in the larder on the grounds that if we have to evacuate, one of us grabs these along with the tinned and dried food while the other grabs clothes, boots, computer drives, etc.
A scenario involving kit number three is actually pretty remote because, as I keep reminding wife and daughter, we live where people flee to rather than from. The only thing that we'd realistically have to worry about is either invasion or the collapse of society, and that's a different scenario from keeping going until the emergency services arrive and I'd be stocking up on some heavy weaponry while forming a Home Guard regiment.
Still, a 72-hour emergency kit is something everyone should have. It not only can change a survival situation into an annoyance, but it frees up the relief lads to deal with those in real need. Frankly, my ideal situation is to be so well prepared that when the relief arrives and asks what we need, I can honestly tell them that we need mixers and olives.