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Emergency Preparedness Checklist
by Harry R. Weyandt, Nitro-Pak® President

© 2008 Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center, Inc

Today, as never before, we live in a time of increasing uncertainty. Natural and man-made disasters are on the news nightly. The looming Bird Flu pandemic is a real possibility. We all like to think "hey, that can't happen here or it won't happen to me." Can't? Think again....

In the past year, we have seen hundreds of thousands of people around the globe and in our own backyard hit hard by a variety of disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, flooding, tsunami (tidal) waves , nuclear - biological or chemical threats, etc. are all real possibilities at any time, on any day. Now, we can also add the Avian Bird Flu crisis to that list.

In addition, add to this business layoffs, corporate downsizing and the possibility of terrorism and its huge impact on our already struggling economy, and you'll quickly see why more and more Americans are getting better prepared today. It just makes sense!

Let's face it. We American's are a "security-itis" people. We have "insurance policies" for EVERYTHING. We insure our home's for fire & theft, our cars, our health & teeth, plus we insure our very lives with life insurance. We even have pet insurance policies now! Is having a "Preparedness or Survival Insurance Policy" any less important?

Just like all our other insurance policies, all of us hope we never have to use them, but in the event something goes wrong, we're always glad that we were covered and "prepared". All insurance is intended to bring greater "peace-of-mind and security". It's intended to help smooth out life's tough unfair challenges, though we hope and pray that we never need to use them.

The "media" often ask if I'm not just playing off peoples "fears". I Tell them, absolutely not! Does an insurance agent play-off people’s fears of crashing their car? House burning down? No. These are all real possibilities. So are hurricanes, earthquakes, pandemics, etc. Just like having a pair of jumper cables and a spare tire, it just makes sense.

All "insurance", at its root, is intended to bring "greater peace-of-mind and security". That's just what your "preparedness supply" insurance policy is intended to do also. Lessen the "fear" of a disaster, job-layoff, bird-flu, etc. If you are prepared, you're miles ahead of the 99% that aren't.

Most of us would consider it foolish indeed to drive a car without a spare tire and set of battery jumper cables...just-in-case. It just makes common sense! So likewise, it's prudent to have a long storing food reserve and necessary preparedness supplies to protect you and your family before disaster strikes (find a recommended list of supplies at the end of this article).

As one friend to another, let me be blunt and straight to the point. YOU and YOU ALONE can greatly improve you and your family's chances of survival when disaster or economic hardship strikes by taking ACTION NOW… before crisis strikes.

The added peace-of-mind and security will be worth every minute of your time and effort. It may well become the WISEST and most important INVESTMENTS you'll ever make. Whether you buy your supplies from us or other trusted company, just get it done NOW!

Some in the "media" think it's some kind of "doom-and-gloom" survivalist mentality to have preparedness foods and supplies. They just don't think "real people" prepare. They just don't get it!

Our "normal customer" is blue collar America just like you. In fact, lately, we've seen a large amount of "professionals" preparing. Not a "survivalist" in the bunch. Hey, the "media" is the real fear mongers. They have to sell papers and grab TV viewers with sensationalized headlines and "teasers" to make their money... big money. Just who's fooling who?

Now, let's look back to August 2006 at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Hundreds of thousands were caught unprepared. Panic, looting, lawlessness was rampant. The National Guard was called out to restore order. The unprepared ALWAYS PANIC!

Just as important as shopping for a "rock solid insurance company" who will be there both before & after the purchase, so should you also look for a preparedness company with a rock solid reputation and track record who offers tried and proved products you can depend on when you'll need them most.

Your "Preparedness Insurance Policy" should consist of long storing food reserves (like freeze-dried foods) and preparedness supplies such as 72 hour evacuation kits, emergency light, heat, first-aid, hygiene & sanitation supplies, etc. Ideally, enough to cover you and your family for 1 to 3 months or longer.

Unlike "paper insurance policies", you'll actually get something for your money NOW! Your supplies are always ready to use should disaster strike. In fact, the food portion, is the only "insurance policy" you can eat!.

Here's a startling statistic not many people are aware of. On any given day, if you were to call EVERY preparedness company in the America and ask how many "year supply foods units" (would cover a family of 4 for 3 months) you could purchase and have shipped TODAY, how many to you think you could purchase? 20,000? 2,000? 500? 250? Maybe 100?

The real answer would be closer to about 20 to 30 units max. Now just how long do you think those reserves would last when a disaster strikes, let alone how in the world you would get them delivered to you? I have been in the preparedness business for over 20 years now and know first-hand what happens EVERYTIME. I have been "CLEANED OUT" several times within hours, some items in minutes, of a disaster happening. Panic buying and hoarding is always symptomatic of nearly all disasters by those "caught" unprepared! Don't let that happen to you and your family!

Remember, you cannot purchase any kind of "Insurance" to provide food and survival supplies to protect you and your family. There is NONE, zippo! You, and you alone must do it or have someone else do it for you if you are unable to. NO INSURANCE COMPANY WILL DO IT, NOT THE RED CROSS, FEMA, OR THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. The old saying, "If it is to be, it's up to me!" hits right to the point!

The Red Cross, FEMA, or Local, State of Federal government may be of little assistance for days or weeks (or months) when disaster strikes (remember Hurricane Katrina?). Immediate protection will only come from you and what you have prepared for NOW. The investment in obtaining your preparedness foods and supplies today may one day become one of the wisest and most important investments you'll ever make. It's been said that preparing today "may be as important as boarding the ark was in the days of Noah". Food for thought.

Will we see these more natural and man-made disasters in the future?
You and I know we will! I personally believe we haven’t seen anything yet. If you're a Bible believer, you know of the calamities foretold of which are still to come. Perhaps we should all more closely heed the Boy Scout Motto to “BE PREPARED”!

Terrorism and disasters strike when you least expect them WITHOUT WARNING and can happen anytime, anywhere. For this reason you MUST be prepared well in advance before crisis strikes.

Let me be frank. When the day of crisis arrives, and it SURELY WILL, the time to prepare will be over— it'll be like trying to buy insurance when the house is on fire. It will be too late. You must plan and act now while supplies are still readily available.

So, you've resolved to get going. What's your next step?


Yes, I know, I know, this can seem like a huge task when done all at once, sort of like having to eat a whole elephant. But you CAN DO IT if you do it one small bite at a time. Make your preparedness planning in bite-size chunks. For those with means, you may what it all done in one pop, and that's ok, too.

Here’s What I recommend You do to Get Started:

  • 1) Determine first what you will be preparing for, i.e., earthquake, hurricane, flood, tornado, possible job layoff, bird flu quarantine, etc.

  • 2) Determine what length of time you want to prepare for. A minimum should be 2 to 4 weeks. 1 to 3 months would be better. A year would even be better yet.

  • 3) What will you do about food, water, light, cooking, heat, sanitation, first-aid, etc? Look at the suggestions listed below to get ideas for getting started.

AGAIN, don’t get overwhelmed. Take it in small bite-size chunks. Start with planning for 2 weeks and get the needed supplies together. Then progress to 1 month, then 3 months, or however long your goal is. Get your family involved in the planning and preparation.

If you’re ready to get started and need help, just give us a call at 1.800.866.4876 or place your order on our website at Our Customer Service Reps are preparedness experts and will be happy to make helpful recommendations and assist you in achieving your preparedness goals.

With over 25 years experience, we know what works and what's junk. Every product we offer is tried and tested before we ever offer it to our clients. Anyone can sell your preparedness supplies, but the real question is what is the long term relationship? We've been here for 20 years and counting. Bottom line, we'll save you tons of time, money and hassle!

Above all, get started NOW. Stop procrastinating. It's time to get it done!

Remember, it wasn’t raining when Noah was building the ark either.

Today, Real Peace-of-Mind and Security comes only to those who are prepared... ahead. Don’t procrastinate any longer. Do it NOW!.

—Harry Weyandt,
Nitro-Pak President

Below is a helpful checklist for gathering recommended foods and supplies that will help you to get better prepared. It is not intended to be all-inclusive for every situation, but instead provide you with an excellent starter list for you and your family or re-review your existing supplies.

Simply click your mouse to "check" which items you still need, then print off this list for your reference. Helpful links have been added next to various items to assist you in finding them on our site.

Store a minimum of 2 gallons per day per person for 2 weeks
(approximately 30 gallons per person).
For added safety, store 55 gallons per person, which would provide
about for 4 weeks of water per person (55 gallon barrels offer the least expense per gallon for storage use). Use only BRAND NEW, NEVER USED containers for your water storage reserves.

Emergency Water Suggestions:
Heavy Duty Plastic Water Storage Barrels** for Home Water Barrels*
Oxy-Stabile or Aerobic 07 five year water stablizer (for stored water) Water Storage Preserver
Home Counter Top Gravity Water Filter such as the Katadyn Gravidyn/Ceridyn or AquaRain filters Gravity Filter*
Camping Water Filter Water Filters
Emergency Water Rations (pouches) Water Pouches*
Collapsible Water Container(s) Water Carrier
Plastic Sheeting (for sheltering, catching rain water)
{can find at most paint departments or stores)
Chlorine Bleach (Ratio for water purification: 2 drops per quart, 1/2 teaspoon per 5 gallons. Double dosage if water is cloudy)
Water Purification Tabs - Mircopur, Potable Aqua or Iodine Crystals (Polar Pure) Water Tablets*

(Suggetion: If you regularly get bottled water delivered to your home in 5 gallon plastic bottles, consider ordering up to 10 or so additional bottles [store in the garage] along with their stackable storage crates. Rotate this water weekly as used).

Next to water, food is a vital part of any preparedness plan. Food considerations you should be looking at when making your 72 Hour Emergency Kits are emergency foods that have a long storage life and that are made to be non-thirst provoking and are not affected by extreme heat or cold. Lifeboat "Emergency Rations" are ideal for this use.

Foods for home reserves should consist of both normal grocery store bought foods (a 2 to 4 week supply on hand minimum [3 months would be ideal]) and a variety of long storing freeze-dried or dehydrated foods. Remember to store what you eat and eat what you store. If you're not a regular scratch cooker, don't store bulk grains and the like unless your family normally uses them. Buy food items your family is familiar with and will eat without a problem.

Foods should be lightweight, compact, and require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking. For long term storage, FREEZE-DRIED foods are our #1 recommendation. Freeze-dried foods, like Mountain House®, have up to a 25 year shelf-life, making them ideal for emergency backup. In addition they require much less water and require NO COOKING & NO PREPARATION. These are our top sellers today. It's what we call "no-brainer" food storage.

One other emergency food you may wish to consider are military MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat). These are excellent for run-and-go quick evacuations. 12 Meals typically come in a case. Shelf-life is usually about 5 years if stored at room temperature. Not recommended for kit stored in your car.

Emergency Food Suggestions:
Extra 2 to 4 Weeks of store bought non-refrigerated foods*
(canned goods, crackers, boxed drinks, cereals, oatmeal, etc.)
Freeze-Dried Foods in Pouches or #10 Size Cans Freeze-Dried Foods*
(Mountain House #10 can foods have up to a 25 year shelf-life, pouches 5-7 years)
Military MRE Ready to Eat Meals MRE's* (excellent for run & go evacuations)
Emergency Food Ration Bars for Kits (3600k) Food Rations*
Survival Food Tablets Food Tablets*
High-Energy Powdered Drinks Energy/Electrolyte Supplement Drink
Manual Can Opener
Long Storing Vitamins (Super Spectrim) 10 Yr. Storing Vitamins
Instant Powdered Soup Mixes
Instant Oatmeal Packets
Disposable Bowls, Cups & Utensils
Foods for your Pets
High Energy Hard Candy High Energy Candy Bulk Candy

Recommendation: Write the purchase date on all food packages before placing in your pantry or cubboard. Most store
bought foods will require rotation within 12 months.

Having a good quality first-aid kit on hand at home and one in your 72 hour kit is like money in the bank. Wounds treated immediately lessen the possibility of becoming life threatening.

Medical assistance may be hours to days away when disaster strikes. Be prepared with a good supply of first-aid supplies. In addition, we highly recommend taking some basic first-aid & CPR classes from your local Red Cross chapter, hospital or your local fire department. First-aid help after a disaster is critical and usually overwhelmed with others. You could save a life...perhaps someone you dearly love.

First-Aid Suggestions:
Group Size Comprehensive 1st-Aid or Trauma Kit Comprehensive First-Aid Kit*
Compact Car/72 Hour Kit First Aid Kit(s) [KnuckleMender™] Compact First-Aid Kit
Oral Rehydration Salts [CeraLyte®] Oral Rehydration Salts
Extra Prescription Medications (4 to 8 weeks for Home Use)*
Personal/Family Prescriptions Medications (for 72 hour kit)*
Extra Bandages, Gauze, etc.
Surgical Exam Gloves (for wound cleaning) Nitrile Exam Gloves
Extra Asprin & Ibuprofen*
Dental Emergency Kit Dental Kit
Chapstick or Blistex*
Emergency Surgical/Suture Kit Surgical/Suture Kit
(In an major disaster, it will be easier to find a medical professional who can use your supplies than expecting to find a medical person who has the supplies themselves)
Detailed & Easy to Understand First-Aid Book or Manual First-Aid Book*

After water, food and first-aid, sanitation considerations are essential. Sanitation is often overlooked. Most don't want to think about it, but it is of utmost importance. Unsanitary conditions bring about disease and dysentery (lower intestinal tract producing severe pain and diarrhea). Put this area high on your preparedness list.

Sanitation Suggestions:
Toilet Tissue Rolls (buy in bulk) Compact Toilet Tissue Rolls*
Instant Hand Sanitizer Hand Sanitizer*
Alcohol Wet Wipes or Alcohol Gel Wet Wipes*
Portable Chemical Toilet (home) Portable Toilet*
Toilet Odor Chemical (Bio-Blue) Toilet Chemical
Heavy-Duty Toilet/Trash Bag Liners (double bag to minimize breakage) Red Toilet Liners*
Large Rubber Bands (to seal liners)
Liquid/Bar Soap
Latex or Nitrile Gloves Nitrile Exam Gloves
Plastic Storage Barrel for Waste Storage Storage Barrel
Chlorine Bleach (used as a sanitation disinfectant)

Specially marked trash cans or sealed survival cache barrels normally used to store your supplies can be used afterward to store sanitation waste for later disposal. See our plastic storage container above.

Not as essentail but will make life more comfortable living in disaster conditions.

Toothbrush & Paste
Comb or Brush
Hair Shampoo
Solar or Hotman Shower Solar Shower
Shaving Razor
Contact Lens & Solution
Feminine Hygiene Supplies
Chapstick Lipbalm
Small Plastic/Metal Mirror Acrylic Mirror
Bar or Liquid Soap
Wet-Wipe Towelettes or Alcohol Gel Hand Sanitizer Wet Wipes
Small Tissue Packs Compact Toilet Tissue Rolls

You may need to quickly put out a small fire when help is unavailable. Don't cut corners here. You've got to much to lose. Cheap insurance for any home or car.

Fire Protection Suggestions:
2-4 (one for each level of your home home and one for your garage) LARGE 5 to 10 lb. A-B-C extinguisher rated for all fire types (grease, electrical & paper/cloth). Be safe. Get several. You'll be on your own! (Find at "Depot", "Club" or "Mart" stores)
One 2 lb. fire extinguisher for each car
Several Boxes of Baking Soda [Arm & Hammer]* (helps put out small kitchen grease or electrical fire by smothering the flames when throwing a handful at the base of the fire)

The need to know what is happening and recommended evacuation routes is essential. Also helps the time pass faster and lessens stress when no TV or power is available.

Communication Suggestions:
Cell Phone w/ 12volt Car Battery Charger Plug/Cord
Quality Am/Fm Radio (battery operated
with built-in solar and/or windup power generator [FreePlay Plus]) Solar/Windup Radio
Am/Fm w/ TV, Weatherband or SW Radio Am/Fm/TV Battery/Dynamo Radio
12 volt Battery TV
BATTERIES Spares for each Flashlight, Lantern, Radio, etc. Get several sets/sizes for each! (Alkaline, Rechargeable Metal Hydride and 10 Yr. Lithium batteries recommended. Minimum 3 sets)*
Solar Battery Charger Solar Battery Charger
Loud Whistle Whistle*
List of Important Phone Numbers
Police Scanner
Compass & Detailed Map of Your Area Compass*
Pen, Pencil, Paper pad, small roll of duct tape*
Stamped Postcards (the mail will go through)

Suggetion: Have all family members know an outside contact person to check-in with if the family is separated when disaster strikes.

We recommend having several backup sources of light. Be sure to store plenty
of extra batteries & bulbs. LED flashlights and lanterns will provide longer
light use but not as bright of light.

Lighting Suggestions:
Mulitple Flashlights w/ Spare Batteries & Bulbs Flashlights
LED Flashlights & Lanterns LED Flashlights
Solar Rechargeable LanternSolar Lantern
Extra Batteries (alkaline / lithium) Min. 3 sets*
Instant Lightsticks (Green, Yellow or White are best) Lightsticks
Kerosene Lamps or Lanterns (Dietz®
or Aladdin® recommended) Kerosene Lamps
Battery-Powered Camping Lantern Solar Lantern
Long-Burning Candles 100 Hr. Candles
Propane Lantern—when safe to use
Spare Lantern Mantles
Waterproof Matches Waterproof Matches
Propane Fuel Bottles or bulk BBQ tanks
Power Generator (sizes vary. Portable Size: 1-2,000 Watt, Home Size: 3500-8000 Watt)
Generator/Auto Gasoline Storage (Find at "Mart", "Depot" or autoparts stores)
Fuel Storage Preserver Fuel Presever

Small folding stoves like the Esbit Stove work best in 72 hour kits.

Heating & Cooking Suggestions:
Kits: Folding Esbit® or Jetboil Stove Compact Stove
Nuwick® Candle w/Folding Stove 120 hr Candles
Replacement Fuel Tablets Fuel Tablets
Waterproof Matches Waterproof Matches
Firestarter Sticks Fire Starter Sticks
Instant Hand/Body Warmers Hand Warmers
Magnesium Fire Starter Stick Magnesium Fire Starter Stick

Home: Kerosene or Propane combo Heater & Cooker Kerosene Heater/Cooker Stove
Wood Fireplace w/ Lots of Wood
Spare Propane (16 oz. or 5 bulk tanks w/ hoses)
Kerosene Fuel (5 to 10 gallons. Find at "Mart", "Depot", or most paint stores. Only use #1 Grade Clear Kerosene)

Blankets & Shelter
There are a variety of choices for you to consider. How will you keep warm in the middle of winter? Traveling? At home?

Blanket & Shelter Suggestions:
Kits: Compact SPACE® Blankets SPACE Blanket
Reinforced All-Weather Blankets All-Weather Blanket
Utility Wool Blankets Wool Blanket
Thermo-Lite Bivy Bag Bivy Bag
Compact SPACE® Sleeping Bag SPACE Sleeping Bag
Survival Sleeping Bag Fuel Presever
0° to 20° Rated Sleeping Bags Sleeping Bag
Heavy Winter Jackets
Popup Camping Tent

You may

Survival Gear Suggestions:
Pre-Made 72 Hour Kits 72 Hour Kits
Surgical/Dust Masks Surgical Masks
Leather Work Gloves Leather Gloves
Duct Tape
Rolled Plastic Sheeting 3 mil Thickness
Fire Escape Ladder for 2nd/3rd Floor Homes
Smoke Detector & Carbon Dioxide Detector
Plastic Tarps (for shelter or protecting
exposed personal property
3 to 4' Crowbar
Gas/Water Shutoff Tool or Adj. Wrench Gas/Water Shut-Off Tool
Folding Shovel Folding Shovel
3-4' Bolt Cutters
Camping Wood Saw & Spare Blades
Chain Saw w/ Spare Chain Set, Oil & Fuel
Construction "Bump" Helmet Bump Helmet
100 to 500' of Heavy Nylon Rope (shelter, towing, heavy pulling, etc.)
Assorted tools, screw-drivers, hammers, etc.
Plastic Eye Protection Goggles
Plastic Zip-Ties (hundreds of uses)
Self-Contained Motor Home (The ultimate evacuation vehicle)
Potassium Iodide Radiation Tablets Radiation Potassium Iodide Tablets
Personal Protection Items (pepper spray,
stun guns, handgun, rifle, ammo, etc.) Pepper Spray*

Used for a variety of uses. Multi-Tools are especially useful.

Knife Suggestions:
Multi-Function Pocket Knife Multi-Function Pocket Knife
Multi-Plier Tool (SOG/Leatherman/Gerber)

Used for breathing dust-free air in an emergency.

Mask Suggestions:
N95 or N100 Hospital Grade Dust Masks Hospital Grade Dust Masks
Evac-U-8 Smoke Hoods Fuel Presever
Evacuation Gas Mask (Adult, Child/Pet) Evacuation Gas Mask(s)
Should be strong, water-resistant, and lightweight.
Cache Storage Barrel Storage Barrel
Plastic Buckets Plastic Buckets
Backpack or Tote Bag —for your 72 hour gear Backpack/Tote Bags*

Think of your childs specific needs.

Baby Formula and/or Dry Cereal and snacks*
Large Box of Disposable Diapers*
Baby Wet-Wipes*
Baby Blanket/Jacket & Knit Cap*

It is important to have a "cash reserve" on hand for use in a disaster. The phone lines will be down that authorize credit cards and checks. REMEMBERMost businesses only take cash in a disaster.

Cash Suggestions:
Phone change (when the phones are active again). 1 to 2 rolls of quarters
Small bills $1, $5, $10's (Goal: $200-$500 or more. No $50's or $100's) Banks will not be open. ATM's will not be working. Change may be limited. Stores take CASH ONLY.
Longer Term Cash Reserve (1 to 3 months living expenses) stored away from the bank.
Phone Card(s) might be usable.

Morale Boosters
We recommend having a variety of morale boosters on hand to help occupy children and adults. These can consist of books, games, crossword puzzels, card games, etc.

Morale Boosters:
Small games, Puzzles, Playing Cards*
Small set of Holy Scriptures
Pocket Books
Chewing or Bubble Gum
Hard Tack Candy Hard Candy
Other Favorite Treats or Snacks

Recommended Books
We have found the following books useful and provide helpful suggestions.

Book Suggestions:
"Sense of Survival" Book Sense of Survival
"Preparing for Emergencies” Book Preparing for Emergencies
"A Year's Supply" Book A Year's Supply
"Survival in Today's Turbulent Times" Book Survival in Today's Turbulent Times
See our other books offered under "Books" Other Preparedness Books

* Items marked with an (*) are items we recommend aquiring first, then added as many additional items as your budget will permit.

Click here to find a variety of preparedness supplies to build your own 72 Hour Kit Build Your Own Kit or contact

NITRO-PAK Toll-Free Help Hotline: 1.800.866.4876. We're here to help!

Additional information is available from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) FEMA "Are You Ready" pdf

(The above list is not intended to be all inclusive for every possibility or disaster. Instead, it is intended to be a starting point of reference as you make your own family preparedness plan).

Copyright © 2008 NITRO-PAK® Preparedness Center, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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