Emergency kits cover the basics

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, August 31, 2016

As Vicksburg has learned over the past day-plus, the unexpected can happen.

Water can go out.

Power can go out.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

What do you do when that happens?

Those in attendance at the Vicksburg Kiwanis Club meeting Tuesday left a little more prepared for life’s unexpected challenges.

“We think stuff like this will never happen to us,” Robin People, lieutenant governor of District 15 of Kiwanis’s Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District, said during her presentation on emergency preparedness. “Bad things can happen though, and it’s best to be prepared.”

People, who said she has gained her knowledge from a combination of experience research, said when preparing


her emergency pack—a lot of which she uses while hiking — she tried to prepare “for the things that would make me the most miserable.”

Possible options included not having glasses, being sick, being cold or wet, being hungry or thirsty or being covered in bugs. She divided the items to include in a preparedness kit, or “bug-out bag” as she called it, into major categories, including shelter, protection, first aid, food and clothing.

Under shelter, a tent was her must have.

“If you don’t want to get a tent, at the very minimum get yourself a tarp” she said. “Tarps are very handy. They can be used for a variety of things from making a shelter to any type of water proofing and they’re smaller and lighter than a tent.”

She also included a cutting knife, a whistle, a weapon, duct tape, and knowing how to make a fire in the list things needed to make and secure a shelter.

“You want to keep your stuff and your family protected,” she said.

While packing your pack, she advised considering the cost, size and weight of what you’re including.

“You’ll rapidly add weight to this thing before you know it (if you don’t),” she said, adding she builds her kit on the assumption she will need supplies for three days and keeps her pack’s weight around 35 pounds.

Frist aid was also a requirement in a emergency kit.

“You need to know how to do some basic fist aid on yourself and someone else,” she said.

She advised including allergy medicine, ibuprofen, an antidiarrheal, Neosporin, paper towels/toilet paper and super glue.

“Super glue is great for minor wounds. You can just pop some in there and close it up,” she explained.

For food supplies, she suggested only packing food that doesn’t require any prep, like protein bars, or food that only requires boiling water, such as macaroni and cheese microwavables.

“They actually don’t need microwaves; they only need boiling water,” she said. “And you can actually cook food with boiling water in a Ziploc bag.”

Including other items, like bug spray, a finger saw, work gloves and fire starters, are also a good idea, she said, as is keeping cash and bank account and insurance information on a secure piece of paper.

“It’s better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it,” she said.