Weather Emergency: Four Non-Intuitive Disaster Kit Necessities

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by Briana Davis The Survivalist Blog

     

Just a few weeks ago Superstorm Sandy engulfed the east coast, destroying homes and wiping out entire communities. In the wake of 90 mph winds, torrential rains and 13-foot storm surges, extreme weather preparedness is on everyone’s mind.

Even if you don’t live in a region typically affected by extreme weather, it’s a good time to survey and upgrade your emergency weather kit. It’s unlikely that you’ll see any of the following items on traditional disaster or emergency preparedness list – but they’ll definitely keep you safer during severe weather.

A Headlamp

To combat power outages, most emergency kits recommend a basic flashlight. But if you find yourself faced with weeklong power outages like half of Manhattan was just last week, you’re probably going to want another source of lighting in your home.

Though you may be tempted – avoid lighting candles. In the wake of a weather emergency, candles can cause more fires than anything else.

A much safer solution is to wrap a battery operated headlamp across a gallon of water (with the headlamp pointing inwards). This simple trick can provide your home with portable, ambient lighting for days.

Glow Sticks

If the power is out, locating things around your home in dark or dim dark lighting can be a challenge. Necessities like batteries, keys or your cell phone can be near impossible to find.

Glow sticks can serve as a handy solution during a weather emergency. Use them to mark the location of important items, or to flag door knobs and line stairways.

Keep in mind that a regular glow stick has a product life of around eight hours. You can prolong this by storing them in your freezer. Additionally, there are reusable, solar-powered glow sticks on the market that can produce neon lighting for several days at a time.

Fishing Line

Over the course of a severe storm, you never know when you’ll need to perform an emergency repair such as tying down a wildly slamming door, or securing a tarp over a broken window pane.

Nylon fishing line is lightweight, flexible and extremely strong when compared to traditional rope or twine. In fact, studies have proven some nylon fishing lines to be 12 times stronger than steel.

One important thing to note is that nylon fishing lines have a relatively short shelf life – around two years. After that, the line will start to lose some of its strength and durability. Check the date on your spool to ensure your emergency kit is up-to-date.

Coffee Filters

During a serious weather disaster such as an earthquake or a flood, damage to sewage systems or water lines may result in contaminated water.

If you don’t have enough water to make it through the storm (at least one gallon per person, per day), it’s possible to filter and purify contaminated water. Pouring water through a coffee filter will remove leaves, dirt and other debris.

Once you’ve filtered the water, the best way to eliminate potential contaminants is to boil it. If you don’t have access to heat or fire, it’s also possible to purify water with either bleach or iodine. Too much can be toxic though, so it’s important to carefully read the label.

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Briana Davis writes tips, tutorials, and more on the Dessert Companies Blog, on behalf of Dessert Companies, leading Kansas City roofers.

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