Nowadays, no continent on Earth is safe from catastrophe, and the same can be said for most U.S. states.
In 2004, over 300,000 people lost their lives in South Asia from the most devastating tsunami on record. A year later, here in America, New Orleans was all but destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Just a few months ago (at the time of this writing), Southern California was devastated by the worst wild fires in our nation's history. On top of that, over a million people had to be evacuated, which was the largest evacuation of U.S. citizens since the Civil War.
Then a severe ice storm shut down power across the Midwest, leaving over a million people without heat and electricity for a number of days. A few lost their lives.
Our planet is clearly going through perilous changes. The fact that the polar ice caps are melting, and the fact that the weather is getting more severe all around the globe — well, it looks like disasters are going to become more commonplace — and kill a lot more people.
Many believe this is in fact the beginning of the "birth pains" that Jesus warned in Matthew 24 would take place, to signify that God's end time judgments would soon be taking place. These birth pains appear to be ignored by most of the world (read Matthew 24:36-42) when they begin taking place.
Whatever your beliefs are, it looks like it's going to get a lot worse for the people of planet Earth -- if we are in the days leading up to the Time of Wrath / Tribulation from the Bible.
If your area is hit by a major disaster, there's a good chance that you won't have any access to emergency supplies, and what stores do stock essential supplies are likely to be quickly sold or even taken by looters, as tens of thousands of people in nearby communities literally break down the doors of stores to get their hands on food and supplies.
Here is a list of the top 20 items SurviveAnyDisaster.com believes would be smart to have on hand. Not only should you have these on hand, but explain to your family members where they can find these items in your house (should something happen to you).
1) Large Supply of Bottled Water, and the knowledge to procure water from contaminated sources. Two of the most common methods for procuring drinking water from contaminated sources are called "distilling" (which involves boiling water and collecting the steam in a "run-off" that then drips clean water into a separate container); the other method is called "filtering", which involves pouring water through a manufactured or home-made "filter" system, in an effort to remove contaminates:
Before disaster hits, do some research online, and learn "how to distill water" and "how to filter contaminated water". Then practice these methods at home with your family. See: DIY Water Filter Kits.
When shopping for bottled water, look specifically for "Food grade" water storage containers. These range in size from 1 gallon to 5 gallon jugs, to 55 gallon barrels and 250 gallon and 500 gallon mega-size containers -- see link: 260 Gallon Water Storage Tank
2) Non-perishable Food - This refers to any food that does not need refrigeration and is packaged, canned, or bottled in a way to provide a long shelf life. Be sure to check expiration dates (see link labeled "Food Supplies" at the top of the page).
3) Candles / Wooden Matches / Lighters - (Candles, such as Sterno's 60 Hour Emergency Candle) are specifically made to burn for longer amounts of time than traditional decorative candles. Like bottled water, it's good to have a large supply of emergency candles, wooden matches, and lighters. A few weeks down the road, candles are likely to become your only light source, especially if firewood runs low and those wind-up emergency flashlights stop working.
Emergency candle that burns for up to 55 hours.
Ideal for emergency lighting in the home, office or auto...
4) Light weight Axe - Firewood is the most obvious source to provide heat during cold temperatures, and as long as you have a good axe, you can turn just about anything into firewood. Even if you don't have a fireplace, you can still build a makeshift fireplace or wood stove in your backyard out of rocks and mud (usable once the mud dries). You can also use a patio fire pit, as commonly sold at home improvement stores, such as Lowes and Home Depot. (If you build an outdoor fireplace, remove the grill from the oven in the kitchen of your house, and use it for outside cooking, in conjunction with your firepit.)
Choose an axe that is both heavy duty, and light weight, because you may end up carrying it in a backpack over long distances, and the less it weighs, the better.
Propane is the most obvious fuel source to keep on your property, and most people who own a barbecue usually have one multi gallon propane tank tucked underneath or to the side. In preparing your home for disaster, if you have the money to spend, consider buying and filling five to ten of these. Or better yet, just as RV owners do, you can buy propane tanks that are extra large in capacity, and hold a lot more propane than typical 13 gallon barbecue tanks.
To conserve propane, turn to a smaller propane camp stove during a time of disaster, rather than use your barbecue. That outdoor barbecue will likely use quite a bit more propane than a smaller propane camp stove. Propane camp stoves are designed to work with much smaller bottles of propane than your standard barbecue.
To connect a camp stove to a much larger propane tank, you need a special fitting:
With this fitting you can now connect your camp stove (which uses a lot less fuel) to your barbecue size or larger propane tank.
6) Propane Camp Stove - As propane is the most common fuel used in outdoor barbecues, a smaller stove is best, for emergency purposes, when it comes to cooking at home during a time of an extended power outage. When selecting a camp stove purchase from a well known manufacturer that has several high ratings and is proven in the field (you want a camp stove that works every time you need it).
Warning about Lawlessness - In the event of a catastrophe, looters may be out scavenging for propane tanks, so keep yours well hidden, as much as possible. If you're doing any outside cooking, keep in mind that the smell of your food can drift for a far distance, catching the attention of scavengers, who (in the wake up lawlessness) may be willing to kill or seriously injure you, to take any and all water, food, and other supplies you have on your property.
What about heat? - In an extended emergency, you (and anyone staying with you, such as friends or family) should restrain the urge to burn fuel for heat, and instead put on several layers of clothing, gloves, wool socks, jacket, stocking hat, and or balaclava (ski mask) to stay warm. By dressing warmly instead of burning fuel, you will conserve any fuel that you do have for cooking purposes only, and overall your fuel will now last a lot longer.
What if you run out of propane? - A great back up stove for an extended emergency at home is a small wood burning stove like Solo Stove.
With just a few small sticks, paper, brush, etc. you can get a small fire burning within seconds, and quickly cook food in a small pot or pan within a few minutes. It's small enough to carry in a backpack and popular with a large number of backpackers, hunters, and people who fish.
7) First Aid Kit - Make sure you have a well stocked first aid kit, which are commonly sold at drugstores and back country stores. With your kit, be sure to include a generous supply of Ibuprofen (pain reliever and fever reducer), and antiseptic spray for burns, stings, and cuts. Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are also recommended by some, for washing out wounds, in preparation for bandaging. Anti-diarrhea medication is also recommended, as there is a chance you may eat contaminated food or drink contaminated water at some point, and suffer from it.
(Don't hesitate to add a few personal extras as well to your first aid kit. For example, an extra set of toe nail clippers and finger nail clippers, as well as chap stick, can go a long ways in an extended emergency.)
8) Radio and batteries - A small emergency radio is good to have around; if news is still broadcasting you can pick up reports to find out how the rest of the nation is faring during this time of devastation. A radio is only as good as the amount of batteries you have to power it, so keep a generous supply. Nowadays, there are emergency radios for under $50 that do not need batteries, but have a wind up dial that you crank, to generate power for up to 30 minutes or more. It might be smart to have both, this way if the wind up dial ever breaks, you still have a back up radio with batteries.
In a time of disaster, a CB or ham radio can offer communications with others when telephone and cell phone service is disrupted across the region. Midland's Two-Way Emergency Crank Radio not only gives you AM/FM and all 10 NOAA weather channels, but on top of that you have CB capabilities -- you can talk over CB channels with others while most people in the area will be without communications.
If family and friends in the region also have one of these two-way radios (or simply a hand-held two way radio), agree beforehand on a couple of channels to communicate on -- so that you can easily find each other on two-way radio when disaster strikes. CB / ham radios have multiple channels, thus the importance of choosing channels to communicate on -- and then practicing communications over CB -- before a disaster strikes. The good news -- CB radios are relatively easy to learn and talk on, and also relatively inexpensive. At the link above, Midland's two way emergency radio is both an emergency weather radio as well as a CB radio and also includes a few other uses in a time of emergency.
9) Headlamp / Flashlight / Lantern - it's good to have 2 - 3 flashlights on hand, that are heavy duty and can withstand moisture and being dropped. Headlamps are even better, as you can wear them around your head, which frees up your hands so you can explore, work, cook, etc. (A headlamp can double as a lantern to illuminate your shelter or work area by hanging it overhead with string.)
Today there are lanterns and flashlights that don't need batteries; like the emergency radios mentioned above, these usually generate power by a wind up dial, and some smaller flashlights you activate by "shaking" for a short period of time. As it's not known how reliable these devices are with repeat use, I suggest that you have both battery operated flashlights / headlamps, in addition to the wind up flashlights and wind up lanterns.
10) Heavy Duty Tarp - Tarp is sold in most home improvement stores; choose a dark color that doesn't stand out (in case you ever have to hide out in the forest), and have 3 - 5 tarps of various sizes. Tarp can be used for a number of things – from building shelters in the forest, to building shelters underground.
Rain Catch -Tarp can also be used as a "rain catch" for catching rain water, for drinking. Lay the tarp out flat, and then hoist it into the air from all four corners, so it sags in the middle; this is where water from any rain will collect.
Warm Room - Tarp can also be used to help insulate a "warm room", which is a room that is set aside in your house where all family members can meet together at night, to conserve body heat. Just as children like to build "forts", choose one room in your house that you can seal off at night, and build a "fort" inside.
Stuff a bath towel or blanket under the door crack to keep the cold from coming in and to keep body heat from escaping. Also, hang up towels and blankets over the window, and even seal off with tarp and duct tape to help keep warmth from escaping at night through the window pane.
Now that you have a "warm room" sealed off in your house, build a "children's fort" inside (out of tarp and blankets) that is big enough for your family to then crawl inside and sleep in. This is almost like the "igloo" such as Eskimos build in the freezing snow of Alaska. You'll find that your body heat from you / your group will help keep this space at a warmer temperature than the rest of the house.
11) Bowie Knife - A good knife is an essential, and is going to cost some money. When choosing a knife, look for one where the blade runs to the bottom of the handle; and make sure that the store that you're buying it from understands that you intend to do a lot of wood carving with it, so you absolutely need a knife with a handle that won't fall apart with repeat use. (If by chance you have to flee your home and community at some point, a good Bowie knife – also called a "Survival knife" – can be used to carve a long bow, for bow and arrow hunting like the Indians of early America. For this reason, as well as for cutting up and carving game that you've killed (such as deer or elk), it is very important that the handle of your knife be exceptionally durable.)
The Gerber 22-01400 LMF II Survival Knife was designed for survival during even the worst conditions.
13) Compass - If you have to flee your community, or if you've simply taken to nearby forests to hunt and fish for food, a good compass and knowing how to use it is an important tool to have. Some compasses even come with a built in thermometer and signaling mirror, which can help you out in a survival situation.
14) Pepper Spray - Whether it's wild dogs that have gotten loose, or cougars or bears that have strayed down into your community – pepper spray that's strong enough to ward off Grizzly bears – called "Bear Pepper Spray" for it's strength – can prove to be a life saver. Consider buying 3 - 5 large bottles, or one for each member of your family. You can also use it to fend off looters (as long as they're not pointing a gun at you).
16) Cold Weather Parka and Snow Pants - Since you might find yourself out in cold weather during the day time, as you collect firewood, help out neighbors, and hunt and fish for food, it's important to have the right coat and pants that can withstand the elements, especially snow and slush. As an added bonus, if you have to flee your community, you can even sleep in your coat and pants, if they're layered right and / or rated to keep you warm.
17) Personal Hygiene Items - In preparation for a widespread disaster, and the possible collapse of government and our entire economy, you should be aware that the next time you go shopping at a supermarket, it could be your last. If the economy falls, stores are going to fast run out of food and supplies, and without new shipments coming, there will be no more stores to buy from. Not only is your money likely to be useless, but the items that you do need are going to be in high demand, which probably means very hard to come by.
Stock up now on toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss (the last thing you want to have happen is a dental emergency, when there are no more dentists available), bar soap for bathing, shampoo, bleach, bleach wipes (very handy), and laundry detergent. If you minimize your use of these items, you can make them last many months.
18) Outdoor Clothing - If disaster strikes, there's a good chance you won't be reporting to work in an office downtown, but you may find yourself helping out neighbors and others in your community by building shelters and repairing houses that may have been damaged. With this in mind, be sure to have clothing that can handle being outside in the elements.
Consider stocking up on clothing that's geared for heavy use, such as that sold by outdoor clothing stores, such as Carhart. Have an assortment of pants, sweat pants, sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, thermal underwear, and a few pairs of wool socks. If you can afford to buy more than the average person, don't hesitate to do so.
When preparing for a natural disaster or large scale terrorist attack (such as a nuclear detonation in a nearby city), there's no such thing as being over-prepared.
Helping out other people in need – especially in an emergency, such as a widespread natural disaster – is the right thing to do. Be generous with what you have, and generous with what you know. Be prepared to teach your neighbors some of the methods you should start teaching yourself, such as how to distil water from contaminated sources, as well as how to make home-made water filters (which I link to at the top of this article) for procuring water that's safe to drink.
While you're taking steps toward preparing for disaster, most people aren't, and when disaster strikes, they are simply not going to be prepared. Many are going to be without food and water and other items essential to survival.
Please keep that in mind, and as much as possible, consider buying more than your family needs, so you can help out your neighbors (in addition to friends and family that may live nearby) when disaster finally strikes. They're going to need food and water also.
Consider sharing this article with them, and talking about some of the basic steps every person should take in preparing their home for an extended emergency, where the electricity is down indefinitely, and there is no tap water, grocery store, or gasoline available for transportation.
19) Hiking Backpack - Things might get bad. Really bad. You and your family might have to flee the area; in fact you might have to flee the entire state.
If you still have a vehicle, and you have a full tank of gas, and there's still a road to drive on – great, you're in luck. Start driving and get out of dodge.
But at some point you're going to run out of gas, and any gas station you come to is likely to be closed and out of operation.
When that happens, strap on your hiking backpack, and start walking. Have a detailed map of the state, and a detailed map of the U.S. and Canada.
If for some reason it's not safe to travel by road, you can always travel by walking alongside railroad tracks. Make sure you have a specific map that includes railroad track routes, and then consider following one or more (make sure you have a good compass, and know how to use it before hand).
Railroad tracks criss-cross the continent (many in North-South and East-West directions), and may provide a safe passage should roads ever be un-safe to travel by.
No matter where you are in the United States, the smartest destination for fleeing the nation is probably NORTH (not south into Mexico or southern U.S. states) and into Canada, and perhaps a good idea to head for the foot hills of the Canadian Rockies; you may even make it to Alaska. But truly who needs to go that far?
In a worst case scenario, that's why it's important to have a full size backpack, as commonly used by hikers and the military for multi-day hikes. If in a disaster situation you ever have to flee your community – and have to leave your car behind – having a hiking backpack means you and your family can strap essential survival gear onto your backs, and make your way to safety.
Have you ever wondered why insurance companies call natural disasters an "act of God"?
Because, quite a few people still go to church, and recognize that "acts of God" have been occurring more and more frequently in the world. Around the world, the weather has gotten worse, and natural disasters have gotten bigger and killed more people. (Hurricane Katrina wiped out New Orleans, a modern day Sin City, and the 2004 Tsunami killed over 300,000 people in South Asia).
Most recently, the California wild fires forced the evacuation of over a million people from their Southern California communities, as thousands watched their homes and the surrounding hills go up in flames.
This winter, over a million people were left without power across the Midwest states, as much of the nation suffered a deep freeze and a large amount of snowfall where temperatures plunged well below zero. Without electricity to power there homes, many of these people had no heat, no light, no way to cook, no hot water, and a few lost their lives.
Luckily, the power came back on a few days later.
But what if the next diaster is so widespread that the power doesn't come back on?
This question brings us to the most important item on this top 20 list of items essential for survival –
20) Holy Bible - Believe it or not, this world is not going to last forever, and neither are you. History is littered with the remains of fallen empires, and the Bible records many of these. In the past, God has judged the world for widespread wickedness, and he did it with a flood.
The Bible reports that God is going to do this once again, in the 'last days', but instead of a massive flood as occurred back in the days of Noah and the Ark, the Bible shows that God is going to use other nations to bring war against the most wicked nations, and a number of natural disasters across the earth, as a series of "judgments" for not accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and following God's commandments.
According to many Christians who are pure in their faith (in other words, they don't just call themselves "Christians" but they actually live by the Word of the Bible, love one another, and follow God's commandments), that wicked nation that God is likely to bring his wrath against first, is America.
In the Bible, God has a history of judging his own people first, and that is why judgment is likely to start with the United States (the largest "Christian" nation on Earth); the Bible appears to describe these judgments starting with a nuclear attack on our nation's largest city – New York City.
If you haven't read the Book of Revelation, the link to the article below will open your eyes (it will also explain to you what you need to do in order to escape these devastating judgments that are coming over the world).
The Bible teaches that either right before or as the first of many devastating judgments strike the world, that all Christians pure in the faith are going to be taken from this world, to the Kingdom of God, which is the "new world" that the Bible reports that Jesus Christ went away to prepare.
If you want to escape these massive judgments that are coming on to the world – and go to the new world that Jesus Christ has promised his people, which millions of Christians have waited a long time for – then read the following article (you might want to take notes):
Go to: The Bible Scenario - Is the United States in the Bible?
Revelation 3:10 - Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Revelation 3:11 - I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.