Survival tips for Unexpected Events: Be Prepared


Water for drinking Vs. Other Water Needs

Don’t waste good clean drinking water for cleaning, washing and flushing toilets. Be ready with other alternatives.

A common cause of illness, and even death, is lack of sanitation.   You won’t want to use your drinking water to keep things clean or to flush the toilet.

  • To save washing things so often, stock up on paper plates, paper towels, and disposable cups.  These can also be burnt/used as fuel.
  • Keep some disinfecting cleaning wipes and sprays.

Use hand sanitizer after using the bathroom and before handling food or beverages – especially in a disaster, there may be a lot more germs afoot

Options to consider for flushing the toilet:

  • Does your toilet still flush when the electricity is out?  
  • You may consider storing some water for flushing in the bathroom.  At the first sign of a storm, you can fill the bathtub for this purpose. 
  • Another solution is to stock up on extremely heavy duty garbage bags and kitty litter.  Place a bag either in your drained toilet or in a bucket.  Sprinkle some kitty litter in the bottom of the bag.  Each time someone uses the bathroom, add another handful of litter. Be very careful that the bag doesn’t get too heavy for you to handle it.  Tie it up very securely and store it outside until services are restored.


Nothing is more frightening than being completely in the dark during a stressful situation.

Some lighting solutions are:

  • Garden stake solar lights
  • Long-burning candles
  • Kerosene lamp and fuel
  • Flashlights (don’t forget batteries)
  • Don’t forget matches, including waterproof matches and lighters.

Tools and supplies

Some basic items include:

  • Lighter/waterproof matches
  • Batteries in various sizes
  • Manual can opener
  • Basic tools: Pliers, screwdriver, wrench, hammer
  • Duct tape
  • Super glue
  • Sewing kit
  • Bungee cords

First Aid kit

  • Your kit should include basic wound care items like bandages, antibiotic ointments, and sprays.
  • Keep on hand a supply of basic over-the-counter medications, like pain relief capsules, cold medicine, cough syrup, anti-nausea pills, and allergy medication. and anti-diarrhoeal medications.

Getting started:

  1. Make a list of your family’s requirements.
  2. Do a quick inventory – to see what you already have .
  3. Make a shopping list and acquire the rest of the items you need.  If you can’t afford everything right now, prioritize the most important things first.
  4. Organize your supplies so that they are easily accessible when you need them.

Peace of mind:

The peace of mind that comes from being prepared for a disaster before it happens cannot be measured.  

  • You won’t have to fight the crowds or be faced with empty store shelves.
  • You won’t have to sit there, cold and miserable, in the dark.  
  • You won’t be hungry or thirsty.  
  • It less traumatic for your children when they see that you aren’t afraid.

Extra considerations:

  • Water for cooking, cleaning, and your pets, as well as water purification and filtration supplies.
  • Stored Food  – especially non-perishable and canned food
  • Fuel to cook outdoors
  • Waterproof containers for storing important documents.

Light and Communication: Make sure to have a battery-operated radio, flashlight, clock, or wind-up clock (include extra batteries)

  • Extra Clothes, Pillows, Blankets: Stored in your emergency kit or a waterproof container.
  • Entertainment items: Cards, board games, toys, drawing pads.
  • Insect repellent
  • Plastic Sheeting/Tarps: to cover any holes or damage to your roof.
  • Plastic sheeting with a bit of duct tape is also great for patching leaks.
  • Tools/Supplies for securing your home: a drill with screwdriver bits; roof and window repair tools, rope, leather gloves, shovel, bolts for doors.
  • Keep non prescription drugs and other health supplies stocked.
  • These can include pain relievers,

fluids with electrolytes,

cough and cold medicines and face masks.

For more information see:


Comment (on previous post) from Tt Crusader:

  • I guess toilet paper would come under hygiene products, but I would add it explicitly to the list.
  • And also, from my experience in the Bosnian war, where all society and services broke down, PLASTIC BAGS were found to be extremely important ,as there was no garbage collection, no working sewerage. 

Comment from R.S –

Do you find you have those plastic shopping bags taking over your house (especially if you are recycling-minded)?

A good tip is to stuff them into a “bean bag ( – one of those large cloth bags that are stuffed with styrofoam beans and used as a comfortable pillow for lounging about.) A great solution is to stuff them into the bean bags – it will take hundreds, and the bean bag is still comfortable to lie/sit on.

AND you will have the plastic bags when you need them!