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Vitamins and Supplements – A Must For All Disaster Kits

By on February 6, 2014

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Disasters, natural or those caused by human actions, are a fact of life. At any given time and without any sort of prior, tectonic plates may shift or crash and cause utter destruction on the surface. Similarly, a meteor can crash near your house while you’re reading this! Within seconds, you’d be without power and communication; cut off from the rest of the country.

This isn’t an attempt to scare people, rather it is just a brutally honest way of portraying what many call the ‘uncertainty of life’. Almost all of us, at least at the back of our heads, know that life really can present such scenarios at any time and for all our superior intelligence, we can do nothing more than trying to survive and overcome nature’s challenge.

So, while planning for long-term disaster survival, one must think practically and try to take all extended possibilities into consideration. In this article, we will be dealing with a specific component of disaster kits, i.e. the vitamins and herbal supplements that should always be included.

The Essentials

There can never be a definite timeframe for disaster relief and management efforts, thus, you may never know how long you and your family might be stuck. Thus, your essentials should include the following:

  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • A back-up stove or cooking lamp
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cash or traveler’s checks, change
  • Nonelectric can opener, utility knife
  • Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type
  • Tube tent
  • Pliers
  • Tape
  • Compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper, pencil
  • Needles, thread
  • Medicine dropper
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Map of the area (for locating shelters)

Sanitation

  • Toilet paper, towelettes
  • Soap, liquid detergent
  • Feminine supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding

You should keep at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Hat and gloves
  • Rain gear
  • Thermal underwear
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Sunglasses

Special Items

Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.

For Baby:

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications

For Adults:

  • Heart and high blood pressure medication
  • Insulin
  • Prescription drugs
  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses
  • Entertainment: games and books.

Important Documents

All of these should preferably be kept in a waterproof, portable container:

  • Wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
  • Passports, social security cards, immunization records
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card account numbers and companies
  • Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)

Water

Store water in plastic containers, avoiding all containers that may decompose or break. A helpful breakdown is storing one gallon of water per person for every day, with at least three days being prepared for all family members. The water should also be changed every 6 months.

Food

  • Apples, Citrus fruits (oranges and grapefruits), Avocados, Tomatoes, Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams, cucumbers and summer squash, winter squash, hard-packaged sausages (sopressata and pepperoni)
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
  • Staples: sugar, salt, pepper
  • High energy foods: peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
  • Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets
  • Comfort/stress foods: cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:

  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Triangular bandages (3)
  • 2-inch sterile roller bandages (at least 3 rolls)
  • 3-inch sterile roller bandages (at least 3 rolls)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Antiseptic
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue blades (2)
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Latex gloves (at least 2 pairs)
  • Sunscreen

 

By including all these essential items in your disaster kit or storage, you have covered almost all the required bases. With non-perishable food items and ample supply of water, the most basic needs of the human body can be easily met. However, if mere sustenance is not what we are aiming for, then the fact remains that high stress situations really do take a toll on the human body.

That is why the possible inclusion of vitamins and supplements is something that is highly recommended for all disaster kits. Similarly, herbal teas can also play a vital role – from alleviating stress to helping ward off more serious ailments.

The Teas

  1. Green Tea – A magic brew that helps the body and mind in every possible way. From soothing indigestion to vitalizing the mind, green tea can prove to be the perfect companion during periods of stress and uncertainty.
  2. Chamomile Tea – Known for its soothing and calming effects, this one really makes its way into the disaster kit with ease. Loss of sleep and increase anxiety are common in volatile scenarios, thus, chamomile tea can prove to be a great comfort brew.

Supplements

Diet and nutritional value of the food you’re consuming is the last thing that one can be worried about at a time when survival is the only option. That is why we must plan ahead and try to incorporate all essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals through dietary supplements.

With the most likely scenario at a time of such crisis being trapped underground or in an area with no sunshine or room to exercise, our bodies will feel the toll.

Panax Ginseng supplements are one of the first ones that should spring to mind, as various studies have proved the great contribution this herb makes towards our general health and vitality. In times of stress and despair, there is nothing more one could really want!

Vitamin Supplements are one of the most commonly used in the world, as no one minds extra vitamins in their body! Vitamin A, C, D are the ones that you should really focus on and try to include at least 2 bottles of each in your disaster kit. After all, those six bottles can really help you and your family hold out for that one extra mile!

Calcium supplements are also highly recommended, as our main source of dairy products really cannot figure in a disaster kit, given their perishable nature. The body needs calcium for various essential functions and overall strength, thus, they really are worth keeping.

It is also advisable to split the supplements into children and elders categories. Calcium chew-its and effervescent tablets can be kept for the little ones, while tablets and capsules can be for the adults.

Multivitamins for adults are available at a dime a dozen and the common consumer is often mislead. For that a complete multivitamin for adults, available at Buddha’s Herbs, is one of the best, inexpensive options.

At the end of the day, all we must remember is that we are preparing for survival. And survival is the most basic of human instincts! Plan ahead and plan well! 

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