I've written a series of post-apocalyptic books called the World of Chërnyi. In that series, the protagonists are faced with issues and solve them, not because they are super-human, but because they have some training and use their smarts. I mention a variety of items used by these characters, from a Svea or Trangia stove to tarp shelters.
I've written this Manual as a companion to the series for people who would like to be better prepared for a disaster - hopefully after reading the stories in my books.
Despite what many see on the television or in catalogs, your needs to live in a post disaster environment are few and fairly simple. These needs can be covered for a lot less than the "Professional" pre-pack disaster kits sold on-line for hundreds of dollars. I'm not going to pretend this Manual is the be-all, end-all for disaster kitting. The sheer diversity of climate types across the world's landscape makes a one-size-fits-all document impossible. This series simply looks to provide enough information, in one place, that will allow you to plan and assemble a short-term disaster kit, on the cheap, specific to where you live.
The focus of this series is on a kit that can safely sit in a closet ready for use if needed. This is why I have focused on a low cost kit. You will need to pull the kit and swap out the food at least yearly, twice yearly would be better. I list a couple of options on that part as well.
I've tried to write this series in simple, easy to understand English, using a Question and Answer format as part of the information. This layout should permit you to quickly find a topic. Once you find a topic, you then can read a question and answer section that should give you more detail. Photos and images are placed separately at the end, away from each chapter's text to make your reading a bit easier.
The capstone project for this series is for you to assemble a solid kit with the things needed for you to live for three to four days, not just survive. Using items you likely have around the house already will save a lot, both money and time. There are a couple of items I will suggest for purchase, but in many cases, I'll also identify one or more nearly free alternatives.
You can safely store this kit in your closet to grab & go when needed, just as you might a fire extinguisher. But like that fire extinguisher, practice makes it and you, more effective. Fire extinguishers should receive annual maintenance, so this kit should be pulled out and checked at least yearly. The food will most certainly need to be exchanged yearly.
Once you have assembled your kit, you should then use your kit. Use it on a simple overnight campout or two so that you understand how to use the items in the kit before it becomes necessary. Even camping out in your back yard will give you much of that experience.
Good luck! You've just taken the first step on the journey to be better prepared to deal with situations that may force you out of your primary residence.
A DIY Disaster Kit 2017-06-24
build your own disaster kit using this Guide