Preparing for a Crisis


Mother Nature went rogue in 2015. Kentucky and West Virginia faced severe storms and mudslides in May. October gave Washington state its biggest wildfire season in history. Deadly tornadoes hit Texas the day after Christmas. St. Louis was ravaged by floodwaters as it welcomed the new year. These massive weather events remind us of two important facts: Emergency first responders are needed more than ever, and you should always be equipped for a disaster. Here’s some top-grade gear to have at the ready.

+ North American Rescue 50-Foot Throw Bag

north-american-rescue-50-foot-throw-bagFloodwaters are no joke — they may look slow-moving at times, but river currents can sweep you away before you even realize what’s happening. If you live or work in a flood-prone area, keep one of these 50-foot throw bags in your vehicle. The Pegasus Triton rope is strong enough for multiple uses: as a throw line, a tension diagonal or a tow line for pinned kayak recovery. Its quick-dry mesh makes it great for multiple uses, too. MSRP $102.44.
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+ NITRO-PAK Urban Survival-Pak Level II

nitro-pak-urban-survival-pak-level-iiThis gem from NITRO-PAK’s Signature Elite Series is chock-full of the tactical survival, evasion and escape supplies you’ll need if displaced from your home for two to five days in a major disaster. Developed by experts with hands-on military and security experience, it contains 147 essential items, including food, a Gerber Suspension Multi-Tool, an Aquamira Water Filter Bottle (treats up to 100 gallons) and a Coby AM/FM radio with earbuds. Considering it does the job of dozens of items you’d need to purchase separately, it’s a worthy investment. MSRP $439.
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+ Quake Kare Deluxe Pet First Aid Kit

quake-kare-deluxe-pet-first-aid-kitHelp your furry friends when disaster strikes! This emergency-ready kit contains pet first aid items from nose to tail. You’ll find instruments, dressings, medicines and antiseptics, plus an instruction guide to help you treat common injuries quickly and correctly. MSRP $39.95.
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+ Etón American Red Cross FRX3 Emergency Radio


You won’t feel alone during a disaster with this device. The FRX3 AM/FM/NOAA radio not only charges your smartphone, but also automatically receives emergency weather alerts for your area, keeping you notified about hurricanes, tornadoes and severe storms. Power up with AAA batteries, use the mini-USB cable to charge the built-in rechargeable battery, set the solar panel in the sun, or spin the hand turbine for one minute to get 10 to 15 minutes of radio and LED flashlight use. A backlit digital display means you’ll always locate your radio in the dark, and there’s a red flashing beacon for emergencies. MSRP $69.99.
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  • Bottled water (one gallon per person per day) for at least three days
  • Food (canned goods, nonperishable items, high-protein snacks, comfort foods) for at least three days
  • Manual can opener and Sterno for cooking
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Candles and matches
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio
  • Essential medications and medical items (e.g., glasses, contact lenses, syringes) for at least seven days
  • Baby supplies like diapers, wipes, formula and bottles
  • Pet supplies such as food, bowl, carrier, collar, leash and ID
  • Blankets and clothing
  • Personal hygiene items, including feminine hygiene products
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid and lots of plastic bags that fit inside (makeshift toilet)
  • First aid kit
  • Copies of important personal documents (e.g., birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, home deed/lease) in a weather/fireproof safe or lockbox
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Cellphone chargers
  • Books or games to pass the time

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