2012 Survival Kit - Plan Ahead - Just In Case
Whether you believe the Mayans have truly predicted the end of the world or instead that maybe the guy chiseling out that calendar just got tired and quit, make 2012 the year to get prepared for emergencies big and small. Your 2012 survival kit should contain items that will satisfy all of your essential needs in a crisis.
These needs are:
1) Water: dehydration can sneak up on you, especially when you're not exerting yourself for hours on end. The body needs sufficient water to operate and without hydration, it starts to shut down quickly. However, water is difficult to store in mass quantity due to weight and size. You can't make it lighter and you can't compress it down. Thus, while you should store as much clean water as possible, your 2012 survival kit should contain means of purifying additional water as it becomes available. These means would include water purification tablets, non-scented chlorine bleach, and water filtration devices.
2) Food: calories are the fuel that runs the body. While the body can certainly survive a couple weeks without sustenance, doing so won't be fun nor pretty. Fortunately there are many different options available when it comes to storing food for emergency use. For a short-term crisis, you can rely on the items you'd eat every day and have on hand. Canned pastas, stews, and soups, as well as thawed meat from the freezer. Your charcoal or propane grill on the patio will work fine for heating up canned goods, though you may want to rub a bit of hand soap on the bottom of your pots and pans to avoid any charring residue. You can also cook over the coals in a fireplace. Planning for longer term disasters brings into play dehydrated and freeze dried foods such as those often sold in the camping section of sporting good departments. In either case, be sure to have plenty of food on hand that requires little to no cooking, such as granola or protein bars, dried nuts and fruit, and crackers.
3) First aid: no 2012 survival kit is complete without an adequate supply of first aid items. The basics include adhesive bandages, gauze pads, elastic wrapping for sprains and strains, pain relievers, tweezers for removing splinters, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and antibiotic ointment. Consuming tainted water or spoiled food usually leads to stomach upset so be sure to have medicines to treat diarrhea and nausea.
If you're not fully trained in first aid, it is a great idea to also have a good instruction manual as well.
4) Hygiene: being able to keep reasonably clean will do wonders to prevent illness and infection. Plan ahead for the possibility that the faucets and toilets won't work during a crisis. A simple five gallon plastic bucket lined with a garbage bag will suffice for toilet use short term
In fact, some camping supply companies sell specially made toilet seats just for this purpose. You can toss in some powdered laundry detergent or baking soda to help cut down on the inevitable smell. Hand sanitizer should be used frequently by everyone in the home. Your 2012 survival kit should contain a good supply of this item. In a pinch, due to the high alcohol content, you can even use it to help get a campfire going. Don't forget ample supplies of toilet paper as well as feminine hygiene products.
5) Shelter: ideally, you'll be able to shelter in place in your home during any major disaster. After all, this is where you'll probably have all your supplies stored. But plan ahead in case your gas or electric furnace doesn't work due to utilities being cut off. Be sure you have plenty of blankets and warm clothing. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, stock up on firewood and make sure you have the tools necessary to procure more, such as axes, saws, and mauls. In your 2012 survival kit, make sure you have tents and sleeping bags, just in case you have to vacate your home for some period of time.
The idea behind a 2012 survival kit isn't really to be able to last forever on just what you have on hand right now. Rather, it is to be able to survive until such time that order is restored.