A dictionary.com definition of "CLAD" is "To cover with a protective or insulating layer of... material." So, with your emergency kit, "Are you properly 'CLAD' to survive an emergency or disaster?"
Or as we might say, "Does your emergency kit have you covered?"
At LifeSecure we use the "CLAD" Test to evaluate our emergency kit designs (like the Grab-and-Go 1-Person 3-Day Emergency Kit pictured above) to make sure that we are providing an emergency kit and supplies that balance and optimize four key attributes of a good emergency kit:
C - Compact - small enough to reasonably store and transport
L - Lightweight -light enough to be practically transported in difficult conditions by the person who plans to use it
A- All-Hazards equipped - comprehensive and versatile for use in any emergency; with each supply item being as multi-functional as possible
D- Durable - able to perform in the tough conditions that often accompany an emergency
If your emergency kit has the proper balance of these four attributes, you stand a better chance of more successfully and comfortably surviving an emergency or disaster. These attributes become especially important in any emergency that might require an evacuation from your home or office.
In this first part of a four part series, I'll discuss the importance of making sure your supplies and your emergency kit are compact.
I was helping a woman on the phone one day as she selected emergency supplies for her family. After listening to her give me a long list of what she wanted, I asked her a simple question, "How do you intend to carry all of these supplies if you should end up on foot?" When we discussed the bulk of the total supplies she wanted, she realized that there was not a practical way for her and her husband to carry all these supplies and bring along their two young children. We pared down her list and ended up with a 72 hour emergency kit solution that was more compact and that better met the practical needs of her family.
The key to keeping an emergency kit compact and manageable, while still making sure that all essential survival needs are met, is making sure that the supplies in the kits are compact. Two emergency supply items come to mind as excellent examples of this principle.
The first is a new emergency supply that has just been introduced to the market: the compacted Emergency EZ Towel.
These compacted emergency towels are activated with a few drops of water, turning the small towel tablet into a 9" x 12" towel for use in emergency sanitation, hygiene, and First Aid (wound cleaning). These Emergency EZ Towels take the place of a large towel or multiple washcloths. They are disposable and bio-degradable.
The towels comes in a waterproof tube of 10 towel tablets. The compact tube is not much bigger than a roll of quarters.
This video clearly illustrates the compact nature of this product. A small roll of compacted towels can save a lot of space when compared with the room that a full towel or multiple washcloths might take in a backpack or duffel bag.
The second example of a compact supply is a traditional emergency basic found in most emergency supply kits: the emergency thermal blanket. This metalized foil blanket measures just 5" x 2.5" x 1" (that's about the size of a man's wallet) when folded but expands to cover 84" x 52" in use. This compact blanket provides warmth (retains and reflects up to 90 of body heat), a waterproof and windproof shelter barrier, and a covering to help reduce shock when someone is injured.
Emergency thermal blankets have several qualities that, in an emergency, are actually superior to those of regular blankets, and they take up a fraction of the space. Many traditional blankets would fill almost an entire backpack, leaving room for little else. So for emergency use, this supply gets high marks for being compact and versatile.
In addition to choosing compact supplies like those detailed above, it is important to properly size your emergency kits to fit the storage space that you can practically devote to it. For example, many people may find it difficult to fit a whole backpack in their office or workstation at work. This doesn't mean that you can't store the essential personal basic supplies to last up to 72 hours.
Compact kits like the Personal 3-Day Emergency Response Kit or the Personal Grab-and-Go 3-Day Emergency Kit can easily be stored in a desk drawer, on a shelf, or in a cabinet. While these kits may not be as extensive as a full 72 hour emergency kit in a backpack, they will give you the basics for survival in a very compact storage and transport solution.
When considering supplies for your emergency kits, make sure that you consider products that are compact. In doing so you'll be able to include emergency supplies that meet all your essential emergency needs without needing a bag or other container that is so big that it is difficult to store or impractical to transport.
What are some of your favorite compact supplies for including in an emergency kit? Is there something bulky for which you have found a more compact substitute?