by Becky Johnson
Nobody likes to think a calamity could hit them. Though every so often we get a reminder that a disaster could be just around the corner – such as the recent brush we had with several hurricanes. And after witnessing the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico, it pays to be prepared.
Sometimes we put off preparation for a disaster because we do not like to think about the possibility of something bad happening. However, if we do not take preventative steps, we may wind up regretting it later.
There is the possibility that in Hawaii it may take longer for help to arrive in case of emergency, so extra food and water storage should be a priority – preferably a 7 to 10 day supply. And be sure to store food that is nourishing, tastes good and is easy to digest.
Here are some suggestions for healthy foods to pack in your emergency kit:
- First and foremost: at least one gallon of water per day per person. Even though no one wants to fast during an emergency, if need be you can survive for weeks without food but only a few days without water.
- Shop for healthy canned goods such as Amy’s organic soups and Healthy Valley vegetarian chili.
- Ak mak crackers, Lundberg rice cakes and Ryvita crackers are wholesome and tasty.
- Peanut butter and almond butter are high energy foods that can round out a meal or snack.
- If you have a camping stove and a pot or two, you can also make things like rice and pasta. Instant soups are also warm and soothing, as long as you have hot water.
- Cereals are good for breakfast and snacks and you can buy boxed soymilk or rice milk to go along with it.
- Sports drinks and fruit juice are good for helping you to stay fully hydrated.
- Don’t forget some bowls, napkins and eating utensils.
- A good multivitamin and extra vitamin C will help your body get through a hard time.
Other important things to pack are:
- Warm blankets or sleeping bags
- At least one change of clothes, underwear, etc.
- A first aid kit. (See article on “Natural First Aid” for tips on which natural remedies to include in your first aid kit.)
- A nonelectric can opener
- A battery-powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries
- Diapers, baby food and formula if necessary
- Personal hygiene things like a toothbrush, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, etc.
- Prescription medications or other special medical needs
- An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
- Extra cash
- Photocopies of important documents such as credit cards, birth certificates, etc.
- Fire extinguisher
- Iodine tablets, chlorine tablets or household bleach for disinfecting water
- Plastic garbage bags
- Shovel and other useful tools
- Map of the area
- Pen, paper
Try to pack everything in an easy-to-transport waterproof container. If you don’t have a waterproof container, seal everything in zip lock bags. If gathering these supplies seems overwhelming, first focus on the water, then food and first aid, and then gradually try to add one or two items at a time until your emergency kit is complete. Remember, one well-stocked kit can be kept for several years, as long as you periodically re-stock expired food, water and medications, etc.
It is also a good idea to designate an out-of-state family member or friend as your emergency contact, so that if you get separated from family members, everyone knows who to contact.
Making the right preparations will help you remain in a calm, collected frame of mind in the event of an emergency. This way you can be of more help to yourself and others and ready to work on getting everything back to normal as soon as possible.