72-Hour Survival Kit

My eldest daughter, Che, who is in first year college, announced she needed to prepare a 72-hour survival kit. This is for her subject Natural Science, or NatSci.

She needed to gather up all the items for the kit, make up a list of the items, take a photo of the kit and submit it to the professor. That's about much I know about the project.

The first thing she did was to search the web for survival items that constitute a 72-Hour Survival Kit. Why 72 hours? Well, supposedly, that means 3 days of waiting before a rescue happens.

The items that turned up on her search were the usual: bottled water, food, first aid kit, flash light, pocket knife, matches, candles, etc. I asked her what situation was the survival setting in? Floods? Hurricanes? Earthquake? Fire?

What Emergency Situation?

The reason I asked is because the emergency situation would of course dictate what else you would need. But the answer I got is for the 72-hour survival kit to address any emergency.

So in some websites, you'd find an item like fire extinguisher (for a fire emergency) but which you may find useless in an emergency like a flood. That's unless the fire extinguisher tank floats and then you can use it as an inflatable. Okay, unlikely.

I do, however, appreciate the idea behind the 72-hour survival kit or any survival kit for that matter. Having been a boy scout, I've learned the importance of preparedness in times of disasters and emergencies.

That preparedness includes all aspects of applying first aid, water safety and lifesaving skills. In fact, my interest in learning survival strokes in swimming made me contemplate on joining the Red Cross to learn more.

In recent disasters like the earthquake in Haiti and the floods and typhoons in the Philippines makes you wonder, do we really have disaster preparedness in mind?

Anyway, back to my daughter's project. It appears that some of my daughter's classmates mainly had food as their survival item. Their photos showed grocery bags of chips, bread and canned goods. Yup, something like a photo of a recent trek to the supermarket.

Then there's the cannot-leave-home-without-them electronic gadgets. This is the plethora of must have's among teenagers. That would include the cellphone (don't forget the cellphone battery chargers), ipod, mp3 music players, psp gaming gadgets and other electronic items.

By comparison, Che, in my humble opinion, came up with a more comprehensive list of austere yet functional items.

In her submitted photo above, she has the "usuals". She also has a 10-meter nylon rope, duct tape, swiss army knife, a battery-operated radio and that small thing dangling around her neck - a whistle.

The whistle was my idea.

Whistle for Help in an Emergency Situation

Surprisingly, many of the so-called emergency or survival kits on the internet don't even have it. To me, it's one of THE most important survival item if you're expecting to be rescued in any disaster situation.

Think about it.

In the Haiti earthquake disaster, imagine how you can increase the odds of getting rescued if you have a whistle. Long after many have grown tired yelling for help and losing their voices, you'd still have that chance of expelling air to make the whistle work.

Under all that rubble and earthquake debris, nobody will see you - but SOMEBODY WILL HEAR YOU.

In the typhoons and flooding disasters in the Philippines, many rescues were attempted at night. In the recent Ondoy typhoon, the power lines were off and it was pitch-dark all around. Unless you had a working flashlight and on top of a high enough roof, nobody will see you.

But with a whistle, for as long as you have the breath, SOMEBODY WILL HEAR YOU.

Other Emergencies

A whistle is small, handy and can be a keychain or worn around the neck. I've espoused the use of a whistle in emergencies. When we go on trips, I ask my youngest child to wear one around his neck in case he loses us.

I wrote how you can thwart a burglar with it. I even gave it for free to my tenant-friends.

In my honest opinion, a whistle as a keychain is one of the best inexpensive gifts you can giveaway. It can be relied upon on in any emergency situation and may even save your life.

Go ahead, post your comment below!