Why should you test your emergency kit?
Testing your emergency kit is the most valuable way of evaluating its effectiveness. Testing can determine whether people have the skills, abilities and emergency essentials necessary to survive. Sadly, when many people buy their emergency kit, they often store them away until they’re actually in an emergency. If you do that, you won’t understand how to use the product and may waste vital time and energy during a crisis. Instead, take some time to go through your emergency kit and get to know the items that might save your life.
Do you know how to use a survival blanket? Think again.
Your emergency kit may have a survival blanket, test it because it’s one of the most misunderstood types of survival tools. These blankets aren’t meant to warm you up; instead, it slows down heat loss from your body. These foil blankets don’t breathe so your sweat can become trapped, resulting in hypothermia. For that reason, you want to have a layer of something between the foil and your skin. Emergency supplies such as these should be used by swatting first, or sitting cross-legged then wrapping it around you.
Minimal standard Test
Emergency kits should be tested in one of three ways. First, check it under normal conditions. For example, there’s no actual emergency, and you casually go through the emergency kit ensuring you understand how each item works. You may realize that some things need batteries replaced or that you need some more information about specific products. At a minimum, this should be done.
Conducting a table-top exercise (TTX)
The second method to test your emergency kit is to conduct something called a Table Top Exercise (TTX). A TTX is when you develop an actual scenario that is likely to occur in your area and test your emergency plan and emergency kit. Create questions and actions, then workout solutions alone or as a family. For example, “It’s 2:00 a.m. your son/daughter is at a friend’s house, and an earthquake strikes, there no power, no phones, roads, and bridges are all blocked, what do you do?”. This process attempts to mimic a 911 emergency from initial impact to response. Your family can perform this exercise around the dinner table and discuss each action and item as a group.
Testing during a Live Exercise
The third method to test your emergency kit is to conduct a live exercise. Develop a scenario and test it by actually using the items inside the emergency kit. For example, heat up your emergency food, take out your bug out bag tent and bug out sleeping bag and prepare to camp outside. After your done, remember to replenish the items that are depleted or damaged. This method is time-consuming but is the most effective way of evaluating your emergency supplies. You can also try to make it into a fun family activity.
Adding Personal Items
After testing your emergency plan and items inside your emergency kit, you may realize that you’ll need to add a few personal things to make it complete. Your emergency kit may need additional clothes, money, prescription medication, passports, identification, insurance documents, etc. That way the emergency survival kit becomes a bit more personalized, and you won’t have to worry when an actual emergency occurs.
Remember your emergency kit is your lifeline when all else fails, test it, understand it, and keep it close…it’ll do the rest.