Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What is the Most Important Tool in your 72 Hour Kit?

This was the question in our last Ham Net and it is forces a lot of thought about what goes into your kit.

Is it the food? No, you can last for weeks without food, in this case food is more for comfort then anything else.

Is it the map and compass? No, you've been to your evacuation site plenty of times, so you should have a good idea how to get there, even if there are roadblocks.

Is it water? This was the most popular answer here in Denver, it is very dry here so drinking water is important, but you should be able to live for 3 days without water.

Is it a radio? As Hams that was the next most popular answer. Knowledge is power and a radio is a great way to gather knowledge as all kinds of transmissions are made during an emergency. It can be comforting and even vital, depending on the nature of the emergency but mostly it is a luxury.

Is it a particular tool, such as a knife, cash, flashlight or gun? All of these certainly had their places and uses, and some people certainly think if they have enough of one or the other of these things they can get what they need. And that may be true in some circumstances, but these can also be liabilities in others.

Is it a cellphone or other 2-way communications device? This is looking more like it, since you can summon help, food and contact family and friends with it. Certainly a very useful tool, though it does not help you survive directly.

I don't think there is any one most important tool, the tool we need for any particular emergency may be completely inappropriate for another emergency. That is why we make kits with lots of different tools, to cover the different kinds of emergencies we are preparing for.