Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ready For The Worst

 With all of the hurricanes and earthquakes occurring in our part of the world it's hard not to feel for those affected by these natural disasters. Seeing the damage, devastation and the recovery brought feelings of sorrow on one day and pure joy on others. All together, however, it has reminded us of the importance of being ready for the worst before the worst hits us.

72 Hour Kits
  Over the last couple of weeks we reevaluated our 72 hour kits and found many of our supplies out of date and ready to be replaced. The kits we've had for the kids needed to be updated and we decided to add some other supplies to help keep us as comfortable as possible for the first few days of a natural disaster. Let's face it, we still have a year here in California and I don't think I need to tell you how likely an earthquake is to strike here.

  Being ready at home is one thing. But what about when you are on the road? Is there anything you can do? If you're flying to your destination it will be difficult. The airlines limit what you can take with you and nobody really wants to carry a lot of extra baggage with them as they travel. The only advice I can give you is to hit up a grocery store for some snacks that you don't mind eating when you are in and out of your hotel room. The airline traveling is an area that we have neglected and haven't figured out yet. We do spend a lot of time on the road, however, and that is what I'm going to focus on today. So I have put together a list of a few items that we carry with us for the just in case.

Tool Kit- We don't leave home without at least a small tool kit in the car. The kit includes wrenches and sockets of both standard and metric sizes. It only has the most common sizes because it is a basic kit but it will do in a pinch. A pair of pliers, a little tie wire and of course, the almighty duct tape are also important additions to the kit. Of course when we head out on the trail in the Jeep I have a larger tool kit, spare parts, jumper cables and a Hi-Lift jack due to the Jeep having a lift kit.

72-hour kit- For longer drives we carry a 72 hour kit in the car in anticipation for the worst. While we don't travel too many remote roads during the winter months where we could get stranded we feel better having the kit anyway. I've seen too many TV shows telling the stories of stranded families not to be prepared. Besides there may be a chance in the future when we could cross into tornado country or earthquake territory and get more than we bargained for. The food bars also make for a handy snack when you have a snack attack while at church or something. Just don't forget to replace them as you eat through them.  You can buy them ready made here, or build your own from an online list like this.  

Rechargeable Jump Starter- This one we learned the hard way. A trip to Disneyland a few years ago had one less than magical moment. Three days into the trip I happened to head out to the car to get something out of the trunk. As I approached the car I could see a dim light glowing in the darkness. The dome light. I remember turning it on but I couldn't remember turning it off. Mainly because I didn't turn it off. I stuck the key in the ignition, said my many pleases to the car gods and sunk into the seat when all I heard was the clicking of the starter. The good news was that a call to the front desk brought us the parking gurus that had a portable jump starter and we were up and running again. Today we have a jump starter of our own that is a third the size as they use to be and also will charge laptops, phones and almost anything else you may need to charge. This one is made by Stark Power. I used it on a coworkers truck a few weeks ago and I have to say, I'm pleased.  Here is one we found on Amazon that is similar to the one we carry.  

Blankets and sweatshirts- Depending on the time of year and where we are traveling we will bring the proper clothing for the weather we plan to be in. It is also a good idea to always have a blanket and sweatshirts for when the sun goes down. The desert can have a wide range of temperature swings and it helps to be able to stay warm when the sun goes down.

First Aid and Miscellaneous Items- A small first aid kit with just the basics and some pain reliever are a given. A flashlight of some kind and our phone chargers are also part of our travel kit. Many times we'll carry a hand held HAM radio to have with us as well. One addition we've had to add is Benadryl. A food allergy has come up in our family and our first line of defense is to use Benadryl to help relieve an allergic reaction. This works for us at this time and we hope we don't have to get any more extreme than that. Know your families needs when it comes to medications and make sure you have it with you. This may be the most important thing you do.

 Well, there it the overview of our car kit. It isn't as big as it sounds and it isn't hard to have these things with you. In the end it is up to you to decide what you need to have with you but we strongly urge you to build your own kit and be ready for the worst even when you're having the time of your lives.

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