Considering events in recent years, such as the floods and KZN looting in 2022, we’ve tailored an emergency readiness kit for South Africans:

  1. Water: Secure a minimum of three days’ supply of drinking water, accounting for at least two litres per person per day. In areas prone to water cuts, consider storing additional amounts.
  2. Food: Stock up on non-perishable South African staples that require minimal preparation, such as biltong, dried fruits, mealie meal, canned beans, and tinned fish. Include a manual can opener for canned goods.
  3. Medications: Store a seven-day supply of prescription medications. Include common over-the-counter South African medications like Panado for pain and fever, rehydration solutions like Rehidrat, and antidiarrheal medications.
  4. Important Documents: Keep photocopies or digital copies (stored on a USB flash drive) of important documents such as your ID book or card, driver’s licence, passport, medical aid information, and bank account details, all sealed in a waterproof bag.
  5. First Aid Kit: Assemble a first aid kit, including adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, cotton wool, medical tape, sterile gauze, and a basic first aid guide. Consider adding local remedies known for treating minor injuries or ailments.
  6. Maps: Have updated paper maps of your local area and province, highlighting safe routes and areas, especially those less likely to be affected by civil unrest.
  7. Spare Cash: Withdraw and store enough cash to last several days, as ATMs may be out of service. Smaller denominations are preferable for easier transactions.
  8. Essential Contacts: Compile a list of essential contacts, including family, friends, local police stations, medical facilities, and your community’s local neighbourhood watch or community policing forum.
  9. Communication Tools: A charged power bank and spare phone charger are essential to maintain communication.
  10. Personal Hygiene Items: Stock up on soap, hand sanitiser, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, and wet wipes to maintain cleanliness, especially if the water supply is interrupted.
  11. Clothing and Bedding: Consider the local weather conditions and pack comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes for each family member. Include blankets or sleeping bags for warmth during cold nights.
  12. Tools and Safety Equipment: Include practical tools such as a torch (flashlight), LED Battery Lights, extra batteries, and a multi-tool or Swiss army knife.
  13. Whistle and Signalling Devices: A loud whistle can attract attention in case of emergency. This is especially helpful during flooding in difficult-to-reach places. Also, reflective items or a small signal mirror should be considered for visibility.
  14. Special Needs Items: Remember items for infants (such as formula, nappies/diapers), elderly family members, or pets (like pet food and additional water).
  15. Entertainment and Comfort Items: Books, card games, or other forms of entertainment can be valuable for maintaining morale and mental health, especially for families with children.
  16. Extra Vehicle Keys and Fuel: If you own a vehicle, keep a spare set of keys and ensure your vehicle’s fuel tank is at least half full in case of sudden evacuations.

By customising your emergency kit to fit the South African context and potential scenarios like those experienced during the KZN looting, you can enhance your readiness and ability to navigate safely through periods of unrest. Regular checks and updates to your kit will ensure its readiness when needed.

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