Deconstructing the Emergency Bag: Packing a Kit Is Tougher Than It Looks

by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California

Eco-Friendly? Does Anyone Care In An Emergency?

It might seem frivolous to be worried about green during an emergency, but that's exactly the time we should be worried about it. But what better time to be green in an emergency than before it happens? It's harder than it looks to find a good emergency kit made up of all green items. So, it's up to you.

The time you spend packing your bag can be the best way to make it have the lowest impact, now and during a disaster. Search out products and supplies that are organic, made of natural materials where appropriate and practical, and other steps to make it as low-footprint as possible. After all, in a disaster there are already enough eco-problems to deal with -- why let our emergency kits be part of the problem?

5x7 foot plastic tarp
Crow bar
2 pairs heavy working gloves
Waterproof matches
2 whistles
Generic Swiss Army-type knife
Plastic trash bags with zip ties
4 emergency survival blankets
4 ponchos
8 multifunction warmers, lasting 20 hours
8 tissue packs
4 toothbrushes and 2 tubes toothpaste
4 lightsticks
50' of 1/4 inch utility rope -- made of twine, not plastic.
Emergency ration bars
Drinking water - 4 bags filled 10 packs of 4 fl oz each
2 PVC water bags - 2 gallon capacity.
2 plastic flashlights (needing D batteries)
Waterproof radio (needing AA batteries)
D and AA batteries
Coloring book, 4 crayons, playing cards
First aid kit
Paper face masks

Many of the items are packed in Ziplok bags that can be reused.

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