Camping Gear Does Double-Duty as Emergency Preparedness Equipment

Campers already have the basic equipment to handle most kinds of emergencies. They just need to organize. Whether you're faced with power outages, floods, tornadoes, high winds or earthquakes, there are three primary survival needs that must be met in emergency situations such as these -- safe water, food and light. Depending on time of year and weather conditions, warmth and other comfort needs may need to be addressed, too.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the unexpected:

Check the batteries in flashlights, fluorescent lanterns, radios and other battery-powered equipment. Have two extra sets of batteries on hand for each light.
Keep liquid or gas fuel lanterns on hand, too. Although flashlights are a useful and necessary source of light, they often do not provide enough light for cooking and other activities.
Always keep lantern and stove fuel on hand, stored outside in a proper locations.
Camp stoves provide a perfect cooking alternative when home electric or gas stoves are inoperable. A multi-burner stove is a compact, portable and convenient means of preparing hot meals and hot drinks for days on end if necessary.
Safe water for drinking and cooking is essential. Maintain adequate quantities of bottled water and store it in 5- and 10-gallon beverage coolers when severe weather is predicted.
Maintain a supply of canned foods and other non-perishables to see you through emergencies. Fresh and frozen food can spoil quickly when the electricity goes out, so transfer meats and other perishables into insulted coolers.
Keep tents and sleeping bags accessible. During cold weather emergencies, sleeping bags can be used as auxiliary bedding or can be taken to a room with a fireplace or stove. And if structural damage makes your house uninhabitable, you'll be thankful you have a tent.
Other items to consider are emergency first aid equipment, tarps, coolers and similar safety, storage and shelter items.
Being prepared is the best insurance you can have to get your family through an emergency situation in relative comfort. If you keep all your camping gear in a single location in your home, garage or outside storage area, it will be ready and easy to find when it's needed.


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