We learned a lot in Alaska about the need for emergency, survival equipment. The remote villages we lived in required travel by plane, sometimes in a small 207 that would seat six people. During the winter you were not allowed on the plane without adequate gear for warmth - just in case the plane went down. These experiences brought survival gear into the realm of everyday provisions that we wouldn't think of being without.
My emergency pack is a basic backpack. If I ever need to walk, I want to be able to carry my supplies with me as comfortably as possible. That means on my back, not over my shoulder or in my hand.
The current inventory contains:
Ziplock bag of old peanuts that need to be replaced
Good pair of tennis shoes (this will give me 2 pairs of shoes with the ones I will be wearing)
2 emergency ponchos
Small package of rope
2 emergency blankets with green on one side and silver on the other
Basic first aid kit that includes: Bandaids, gauze, triple antibiotic ointment, hydrocortizone
Roll of toilet paper in ziplock bag
Partial roll of paper towels
Inside the car are items that would be added to the backpack if I ever needed to leave it and walk somewhere. These items include:
Flashing hazard warning light (the kind you would put out on the road to warn on coming traffic)
Jacket with hood (this is my car jacket, it's in there year round)
Light rain coat with light insulation and hood
I always carry a variety of items in my purse that would be useful in an emergency situation.
Gerber multi purpose tool
Very small first aid kit
Extra charged cell phone battery
I work about 30 miles from home. In the remote possibility that something happens and I could not drive home, or at least part of the way home, we have several contingency plans that we hope would result in my safe arrival. We have studied maps, driven the possible routes and made ourselves as familiar with the terrain as much as possible.
With winter coming on, I have felt the need this year to upgrade the supplies in my pack. I am adding the following supplies:
New bag of mixed nuts
2 freeze dried meals to add water, let soak and eat
Empty peanut butter jar to soak food or filter dirty water before sterilizing
Bandanna and old towels for stage one water filtering and whatever need arises
Steripen for sterilizing water 2 bottles of water (chlorinated from the tap)
Emergency whistle with compass
Pair of pants
Long-sleeved and short-sleeved t-shirts
2 pairs of socks
All purpose hat
As I went over the contents of my backpack, I realized that since Frank had installed the Alinco VHF/UHF mobile radio in my
vehicle, I no longer had a radio that I could disconnect from the car and take with me if I had to walk. I felt that this was a big oversight on my part. Initially we were using the Wouxun handheld VHF/UHF radios in the vehicles with a battery eliminator. That would allow us to remove the radio, insert a battery pack and antenna that were kept in the vehicle, and we would be good to go. I really like the Alinco for a mobile radio. We are able to communicate clearly for a much farther distance when I go to work. Now I will be adding a handheld radio to my pack for emergency communications if I am on foot.
Communications equipment in my pack will include:
A handheld radio
A short stubby antenna
A 9 inch antenna
If I am walking with a radio clipped to my belt, the stubby is better; I would be less apt to bend and/or break the antenna. If I am stationary or trying to receive a signal and the stubby is inadequate, I can change to the longer antenna.
Mental preparation is key to survival. We have been preparing for a long time, but that doesn't mean we think of everything. Like the new radio in the vehicle. It has been there for several months, but it did not occur to me that it would leave me without radio contact if I were on foot. I am grateful that I have been getting this nudge to upgrade my pack, otherwise I don't know how long it would have been before I realized I needed a handheld radio. It may have been too late. This is one instance I am glad to discover the inadequacy now. There are sometimes that failure is not an option.
Frank has known for a long time that communications will be a key component in a survival situation. There are some basic, simple steps that can be taken to increase your ability to communicate with your loved ones, as well as listen to what is happening in your area should a disaster or collapse occur. Anyone can broadcast on any
frequency, including ham radio frequencies, in an emergency if there are no other means of communication available. The ability to prepare for and survive some of the situations coming our way may hinge on our ability to hear what is coming. If you have a group of people in your area that can communicate via radio in a grid down, collapse situation, it may save your life. You may be able to know if there is danger heading your way. You may be able to warn someone else if danger is heading their way. It is another layer of preparation that may make all the difference in the world. Radio communications will also bring at least some information, whether it is local, national, or worldwide, in a time when all information is cut off. Not knowing anything about what is happening when we are used to massive amounts of information at the click of a button will be a huge change for all of us, and a difficult one, at best.
I challenge you to give some serious thought to your situation and prepare for a way to get home on foot. The day may never arrive when you need it, and I pray that is the case. But, Frank has a good saying that he has picked up along the way. "I would rather be a prepared fool than an unprepared fool." It may mean all the difference in the world to those you love.
Until next time - Fern