Household survival tips – How to Prepare for Disasters and Emergencies

by Chris Lang on December 19, 2008

Survival first aid kitA year ago I wouldn’t even think to write about something as depressing and disturbing as disasters and emergencies, but with all the recent events it looks like the right thing to do. Recession (or depression, as many call it already) can bring a lot of things with it – including power outages, interrupted supply of water and gas, shortage in the supply of food and God knows what else.

If you ask ten people what it means to be prepared for an emergency, you will get ten different answers and for a good reason – the level of preparedness that people feel comfortable with changes from family to family, from person to person. By no means is this list a must for any of you, my readers, take it as a general guide and do what feels right for you and your family.

Apart from the utility failures I have already mentioned, in Australia we have to think about natural disasters, such as bushfires, cyclones, floods and storms that were not all that uncommon lately. They too can cause the failure of utilities – for example a bushfire can leave a whole city without electricity by melting a major electrical cable.

That said, here what your proposed survival kit should include:

1. Cash. ATMs might stop working if there is power outage. Make sure the amount you have is in small bills and coins: $1,$2,$5,$10,$20 because stores will run out of change soon enough.

2. Generator – in case there is a power shortage and you still want your fridge to work.

3. Candles – in case there is power shortage and the generator just died.

4. LED flashlight (9 LED’s) and lots of spare AA batteries.

5. Food supply: freeze-dried food, canned food (don’t forget the can opener), noodles, rice and grains (you can find an exhaustive list of groceries to consider here). Store them in plastic see-through boxes for convenience.

6. Bottled water – 3 liters per person per day.

7. Battery-operated radio – to listen to the weather forecast, emergency announcements and the like.

8. Gas bottle for cooking.

9. Lighter and water-proof matches.

10. First Aid kit.

11. Pack of seeds to keep growing your own veggies

12. Pet food – they’ve got to eat too.

13. Hands sanitizer – alcohol based gel or wipes for cleaning hands and disinfecting objects when water is not available.

14. A stock of “barter” goods like toilet paper, soap, deodorant, shampoo, shaving razors, tooth paste, child diapers, etc. In times when the supply of goods in stores is irregular, these things are as good as gold and can be exchanged for other goods that you need.

15. A knife or better yet a multitool such as Letherman or Swiss army knife.

If you feel like being ready for anything and everything, here’s a couple of great resources: Frugal Dad explains really well how to prepare to emergencies of all kinds and SurvivalBlog is the ultimate place to be looking for answers to all survival questions.

Do you have anything to add? What’s missing on my list?

Update: this post has made it into Modern Families carnival

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh Maxwell December 19, 2008 at 4:31 pm

I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.


Chris December 19, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Hi Josh,

Thanks, nice to see my work is appreciated 🙂



Do You Do You Have A First Aid Kit December 20, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for do you do you have a first aid kit and your post regarding ld survival tips – How to Prepare for Disasters and Emergencies | Home I Own, Aussie Real Estate Blog looks very interesting for me


Victoria January 6, 2009 at 7:27 am

Thank you for submitting your post to the modern families blog carnival.


David October 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I think I need to do grocery and shopping soonest for these spare supplies. Thanks for the Post. it really helps much. These situations are often overlooked.


Brian September 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I’d suggest one of those wind up torches rather than a battery torch. I’ve got a couple and I’m impressed.

Also whatever you store make sure its case is waterproof and stored somewhere where its protected from a bushfire.


Roberta December 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

I have been renting a property in Victoria for 2 years. I have 6 months left on my current lease. They property is through a real estate agent, but the landlord is an ex family member (through marriage, which is no longer). Over the last 3/4 months I have been getting harassed from family members (from the landlords side). They show up when they want and are harassing myself and my children. Even when no one is home they show up and please themselves and me themselves into my back yard. When they are asked to live as they are unwelcomed their response is they have every right being there as its their brothers house.
I have put a small kids pool in the back yard (with a fence around it) have been told by family members of the landlord it has to be removed as I don’t have landlords permission.
I am looking at getting out of the house and finding somewhere else. Where do I legally stand. As this is harassment. Repairs are not being Carried out on house. Dishwasher broke back in may I ended up having enough of waiting so went in purchased a new one and had it installed after waiting over 2 months. My cooler stopped working and have also reported that nearly 2 weeks ago, nothing has happen as yet (we have been having days where temperature is in the 40’s or very high 30’s).
What rights do I have to break my lease? Do I have any?


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