National Preparedness Month in Action: A DRI Staffer’s Disaster Kit (AKA ‘The Uh-Oh Box’)
By Jeff Holland
DRI Communications and Social Media Manager
When I saw that week two of National Preparedness Month focuses on putting together your own disaster kit, I volunteered to brag a little, because I’m inordinately proud of the kit I put together, as soon as my wife Megan and I returned from DRI2020 in Savannah, GA (it was great to see all of you, BTW).
I’d love to say it was because I was so inspired by spending all that time with resilience professionals and sitting in on great sessions about preparedness but the fact is, when I got home we saw that the haphazardly strewn together bag of “emergency stuff” we had on a shelf in the basement had been ransacked by mice at some point during the winter. That said! Coming home from a conference devoted to preparedness did make me realize that if I was going to talk the talk writing about the subject every day, I should probably be sure I can walk the walk too.
Putting together a disaster kit is as easy or as complex as you want to make it, frankly. We’ve all seen plenty of those elaborate (and expensive) survivalist-themed kits designed to withstand three to five apocalypses. But for me, building the kit mostly meant an afternoon at the local dollar store, a follow up at the hardware store next to it, and a finishing trip to a certain red-circle-logo-based mega store, checking off the boxes provided by the FEMA shopping list.
As it turned out, the timing couldn’t have been better. Less than a week after we came home and I had my emergency kit proudly boxed up in the basement, the coronavirus pandemic sent us all into lockdown, just around the same time of year that bothersome rainstorms turned into hurricane warnings, and my neighborhood was hit with multiple floods and power outages that made me pretty happy to know exactly where our candles, flashlights, external battery packs, and solar-powered radios were.
So for National Preparedness Month, I sing the praises of our disaster kit, AKA, the Uh-Oh Box (as in, “Uh-oh, did the lights just flicker off just now?”), and share a few photos to encourage you to put yours together, too.