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Emergency Disaster Planning: Building a Bug-Out Kit

Report after report comes in about how many people couldn't or didn't escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. More reports come in about the disorganized relief effort, the communications problems they're having and the difficulty in getting survivors to safety even when they are reachable by rescue personnel.

Hopefully, few of us will ever be caught in such a widespread and devastating disaster as Hurricane Katrina. But should a natural or man-made disaster threaten your family or force an evacuation, having a fully-stocked and easily-reached emergency "bug-out" bag could help save your life during the first stages, and help make rescue, recovery and a return to normalcy easier and more successful.

A bug-out bag is basically a duffle bag or other easy to carry luggage piece stocked with the following items:

  • Photocopies of important documents such as birth certificates, drivers' licenses and so on for the entire family. Note: keep the originals in a safe deposit box or other safe place ? non-notarized photocopies cannot generally be used for official actions like getting a drivers license, but are more than fine for temporary ID in emergency situations. And don't forget insurance papers and other items you might need to begin rebuilding.
  • A small sum of cash ($20-50) for immediate emergency use.
  • A temporary supply of prescription drugs in their originally-labeled containers, regularly rotated for freshness. This is easily done by buying one refill ahead. As you finish your current package or bottle, take the next one out of the bag and replace with a newly purchased refill.
  • A supply of meal replacement and energy bars. Look for items that are designed more for calorie and nutrient density, such as protein bars and hikers' meal bars, rather than those sold as snack products or candy bar substitutes. You can also include dried foods or hiking meals and other lightweight, easy to prepare and eat items such as nuts, small candies and oatmeal packs.
  • A water purification kit or hiker's filter system. Bottled water is bulky, heavy and goes stale quickly. Dirty water, while distasteful, can often be easily found, roughly filtered through cloth to remove large particulate matter and then sterilized for safe drinking. In a worst-case scenario, boiling dirty water for 15 minutes will serve until alternatives can be found.
  • A pre-paid phone card and a list of relatives, friends and emergency numbers. Check for expiration date and rotate out or renew as needed.
  • A non-battery-dependent, rechargeable flashlight, radio and cell phone charger, if you have a phone (alternatives include solar, squeeze-charge or kinetically charged options). Even when phone service was available, many Katrina survivors could not call out to get help or update relatives because their phones were dead and there was no power. Keep in mind also that even when phone service is spotty, small text messages can sometime get through.
  • A multi-tool (the kind with blades, pliers, screwdrivers and so on) for taking care of small but sometimes life-or-death repairs and jury-rigs.
  • A small first aid kit containing at least bandages of various sizes, antiseptic ointment, sunscreen, a bottle of contact lens saline solution (good for cleaning injuries and flushing eyes) and OTC pain relievers.
  • A safety lighter and a few small candles. Never light these unless you are sure that there is no chance of an explosion from natural gas, propane or other leaking fuels. For safety, use your flashlight for your primary light source. Save the lighter and candles for starting cooking or heating fires.
  • An indelible, waterproof black permanent marker (buy new and keep in package until needed, to maintain freshness). Useful for many things including leaving notes for rescuers or others on whatever is at hand, marking your gear at a shelter, and writing ID and medical info on the arms of kids, the elderly, the ill or anyone who may become separated or are unable to speak for themselves. (There are also white markers that can be used for darker-skinned individuals, or simply write on a lighter area of their body). Sturdy hospital or nightclub-style ID bracelets are also handy for this purpose. Note: there is always danger in having children's ID plainly visible to strangers. Use your best judgment in each situation to weigh the various benefits and concerns.
  • Don't forget the pets! Keep their carriers handy, clean and ready to go. Your kit should have any food, medications, leashes and important papers necessary for them, as well. Not all evacuation shelters will take animals. If you have pets, it is important that you know ahead of time where they can go and how you will take care of them in an emergency.

The bag should be checked and the edibles or expirables rotated at least every 6 months or as needed (schedule a regular check during daylight savings changeovers, when you also check your smoke alarm batteries and do other seasonal activities). Although this will cover most survival situations, you should customize it to fit your needs (toiletries, special gear, food additives, small paperback books, etc). Just keep in mind the weight and size of the final kit and that in an emergency situation you may have to carry it for a long time over rough terrain while tired, hungry or even injured.

Your bug-out kit should be placed near the main entrance and exit, or in an easy-to-reach central location. Every member of the family should know where it is and to make sure it is part of any emergency evacuation. (It is important to stress, however, that no one ever go after any item, even the emergency bag, in the case of a house fire. In that case, focus only on getting out as soon as you can.) Smaller versions of this bag can also be kept in offices and vehicles.

Although having a bug-out kit cannot guarantee your safety, it goes a long way toward ensuring that you and your family have the best chance possible of making it through any unforeseen emergency as healthy and safe as possible.

About the author

Soni Pitts is a professional freelance writer who provides copywriting, editing and related services in addition to her regular freelance work. She also covers the Networking beat as an associate writer for Wordbrains. Need copy? Email Soni at writer@sonipitts.com for more information.

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In The News:

Tracking the progress of the third party testing we at PES are coordinating along with U-Plug Products LLC, of their 2 kW U-Plug magnet motor that is a 24"x6" portable cylinder weighing 20 pounds, expected to cost 2,000 USD. We want to run it three times longer (21 hours) than what the best batteries available could provide. (PESWiki; February-April 2016)
Pre-launch video announces a new LENR website coming March 1, 2016 at http://LookingForHeat.com The video is very well done as an entertaining piece that hopefully will go viral. (Free Energy Blog; February 21, 2016)
It's not easy to find a qualified testing agency that is also willing to sign off on something that appears to defy our existing understanding of the laws of physics. U-Plug has agreed to allow for a group of us scientists, including at least 3 PhDs to go test their unit and publish our report. (PESN; February 20, 2016)
So that this is quite clear, this is a test on a Regular Torch. NOT the ELFE flashlight. This is to compare them. 2 x NiMH AA 1.2v Battery's in a Regular Torch with a Halogen Bulb. Load is 2.8v and 0.85amps. (PESN; February 17, 2016)
Video explains the scientific principles behind how the ELFE flashlight harnesses endless free energy from the environment (Earth's magnetic field), which works better in some regions than others. It also shows the insides the torch. Uses the word "antennae," as one of the components. (PESN; February 14, 2016)
"The OPhone contains a capacitor that directly powers our phone. During extensive use this capacitor may become discharged, however this capacitor is being constantly trickle charged by Orbo. So after a period of time the capacitor will be recharged and the phone will be functional again. In essence the phone is charging itself." (Free Energy Blog; February 13, 2016)
The company that has figured out how to harness the earth's magnetic field to produce usable power and has been selling the ELFE flashlight (two more customer reports), is now developing a 3 kW generator. In two weeks, they are holding a business meeting for international distributors. (PESN; February 12, 2016)
Illinois company is gearing up to manufacture a 2 kW (115 volts, 17.3 amps) magnet motor that is load-following, portable, 24"x6" tube, weighing 20 pounds, very quiet, with 3-year warranty but expected to last at least 20 years with zero maintenance. Third-party tested. MSRP 2000 USD, beginning March, 2016, through distributors. (PESWiki; February 11, 2016)
The government agent who worked on this technology five decades ago, that is similar to Professor Steven E. Jones' Joule Ringer, thinks it is conceivable that we could eventually scale this solid state technology up to have a device the size and price of an air conditioner providing 20 kw. (PESWiki; February 9, 2016)
Nagendra Singh in Mumbai, India, informs us that they have built five of these and have two running for customers presently, in the 40 kVA range. "Presently it is too [expensive], costing 3200 USD per kva below 30 kva." (PESWiki; February 8, 2016)
The SunCell is described as a solid state "Sun in a Box." A 200 kW module would weigh around 250 pounds, with energy production cost being around 1 cent/kwh, so return on investment could be ten days. They are expected to be available commercially by Q1, 2017. (PESN; January 6, 2015)
"Today I received my Elfe Flashlight and it works. Time will tell if it meets the claims of automatically recharging, when depleted. If it holds, the claims a real breakthrough in FE technologie would have been accomplished." -- German customer (PESWiki; February 6, 2016)
The phone battery indicator stays near full even with heavy usage throughout the day. (The battery is charged by the internal OCube that pulls energy from the wheelwork of nature, solid state). (PESWiki; February 5, 2016)
The capacity of the Proton-3ND (Proton -3 Nano Diffusion) battery is projected to be 44 times the capacity of lithium batteries. Electric vehicles with these batteries would have more power and much more mileage at no extra charge. (PESN; January 4, 2016)
HH2 water fuel cell creates pure hydrogen off a 9-volt battery. This was a big diesel HH2 cell that was tested on a 16-liter Cat engine for CARB testing; yet it ran on very low amps and a low 9 volts. (PESWiki; February 3, 2016)
A former U.S. Government worker describes his effort to bring to public awareness (by highlighting things presently in the public domain) energy and anti-gravity technologies that the government had operational 50 years ago but has kept from the public. (PESN; February 2, 2016)
Imagine an incandescent bulb that is actually more efficient than LEDs! Well, it actually exists (MIT) and it does so by recycling light. (Free Energy Blog; February 2, 2016)
SMBC-Comics.com has posted a fun spoof on our skeptics. (Free Energy Blog; February 1, 2016)
"OK, so a lot of people are asking what's the difference between an Orbo power cell and traditional batteries." Batteries store energy, Orbo generates energy, then trickle charges a lithium ion battery.] (Free Energy Blog; February 1, 2016)
Mr. Keshe is as misleading in the field of free energy as he is regarding me. That has been my experience the years I've been exposedto his work. He takes something and blows it so far out of proportion that it barely resembles the fact from which it was extrapolated into infinity. He demands: "Close PESWiki now." (PESWiki; January 31, 2016)
They have achieved solid state operation using an electromagnetic pump to spray the molten silver between the electrodes for the 1000/second continuous pulsing for continuous power production. (Free Energy Blog; January 29, 2016)

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