Anyone who lives in hurricane country knows that hunkering down is a way of life when a big storm is predicted. As a matter of fact, in the southern United States, hurricane parties are common. When a hurricane is imminent, friends and family gather in a storm-proof area, bringing food, drink and amusements to help while away the time until the storm passes.
According to the Urban Dictionary, there is even a game called “Hunker Down”:
Hunker Down game is a game played at hurricane parties. You watch the weather report and every time the weatherman or news guy says “hunker down” you take a shot. By the time the electricity is out, you don’t even care any more.
Okay, that may be an extreme and may be making light of a serious situation but, still, during most emergencies we should be able to hunker down in our own homes, surrounded by the items that we have put in place to ensure our comfort and safety.
In the preparedness community, hunkering down is typically referred to as “bugging in”. To me, staying in your home for an extended period of time while waiting for the danger to pass makes good sense. Unless a situation is dire (and the local authorities say it is time to GO), I simply cannot imagine leaving familiar surroundings for parts unknown.
With this in mind, today I would like to share with you a list of items to include in an emergency comfort kit. These are items that you probably already own, although they are likely spread throughout your home in one place or another. Today we are going to gather these items together and store them in a bucket, large plastic tub, or even a box so that we can get to them quickly when the call to hunker down arrives.
Note: This list assumes all of your regular preps (food, water, first aid and such) are already in place and accounted for. With that in mind, let’s have some fun with this.
16 Items To Help You Hunker Down in Comfort
Below you will find a list of 16 items to help you hunker down – or bug-in – in comfort, whether in your own home or someone else’s. The list is in no particular order and most certainly is not all-inclusive.
1. Coffee and Hot Chocolate
Can you imagine anything more comforting than a hot cup of coffee in the morning and a warm cup of hot chocolate at night. Of course this assumes that you have emergency cooking gear in place (camp stoves, butane burners, fire pit, rocket stove).
2. Bar Soap
If you have ever gone 5 or 6 days without a shower, you will appreciate the need for some bar soap and a washcloth to keep you fresh while stuck in your bug-in location. Liquid soap is nice – and it has many uses – but bar soap is more compact and will last a lot longer in an emergency.
As with bar soap, some deodorant will help ensure that the others in your group enjoy your company.
4. Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Floss
Are you detecting a recurring theme here? Personal hygiene will make you feel better; and in the case of a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, will prevent dental problems from festering and giving you problems in the future.
5. Shaving Gear (Guys)
6. Makeup (Gals)
Ditto x 2. But more than that, I would by lying if I told you that looking good was not important, regardless of the circumstances.
Now we are getting serious. Everyone loves M&Ms and they store well. Seal them up in a mason jar and they will be consumed before they get stale. Guaranteed.
Pick your poison. Mine is cheap red wine (so that I can make Survival Sangria with my freeze-dried fruit) and the Survival Husband’s is Grand Marnier (he has expensive tastes).
9. Board Games, Playing Cards, Crossword Puzzles
These things are typically buried in the back of a closet somewhere. When the time comes, who wants to go on a search and rescue mission? My favorites are Ticket to Ride, Mexican Train, Rummy Cube and Sudoku. What are yours?
10. Pen and Paper
Some of my best ideas have come from making notes by candlelight. Create a journal, make lists or simply write for the sake of writing.
11. Coloring Books and Crayons
Not just for children! How long has it been since you have tried to stay within the lines?
12. A Teddy Bear
I still have a teddy bear. Do you?
13. Paperback Books
Although you may have plenty of ways to charge your electronic devices and gizmos, an old-fashioned page turner will take you back to simpler times. Plus, when you are done, you can pass the book along to one of your companions.
14. Blanket or Down Comforter
Staying toasty warm when the heat is off requires a blanket or comforter. It is even more fun if you have someone to share it with.
15. Warm Socks or Slippers
Like cuddling up in a blanket, padding around in warm socks or slippers is a lot more comfortable than wearing shoes. Why not?
16. Essential Oils
The last item on my list is a selection of essential oils. My favorite soothing essential oil is lavender (see The Miracle of Lavender Oil: 25 Amazing Uses for Survival). Not only does it smell heavenly, but lavender, as with many other essential oils, can be a stress reliever and will bring a sense of calm to one’s soul. Other good essential oils include rosemary, clary sage and rose.
The Final Word
Emergency preparedness is serious business. Having the right stuff and the right skills can be a deal breaker when it comes to survival.On the other hand, we all need to lighten up sometimes. By writing this article I want to give you permission to indulge yourself. Think about the things you would miss the most if stuck at home for a week or two. These are the nice to have items, not life or death items, do it or die items.