Emergency Survival Kits
Read more from Chris Bennett.
Recent events in Christchurch and Japan have highlighted the need of families to ensure they have Emergency Survival Kits available should a disaster occur. Good solid advice, which everyone should take note of and get around to gathering their kit together sooner rather than later.
This advice also got me thinking about having a basic hand tool kit to ensure that you can tackle not only small repair jobs around the home but also be ready for some emergency situations.
It may seem odd to be advising the over 50’s, (GrownUps!) about what tools are needed around the home when most of you will have a collection of tools garnered over the years. Well I think it’s worthwhile for a couple of reasons,
The first being you can pass this article over to your family members to read and two you might have downsized your home and need a small tidy kit of reasonably priced tools
Anyway I decided to contact one of New Zealand’s leading wholesalers of DIY hand tools (Amalgamated Hardware Merchants) and asked for their advice on my selection. After a couple of discussions we came up with the idea of two options:
1) A very basic kit for those people who really don’t want to become too involved in home repairs, but need an emergency kit available.
2) Add a few more tools to make comprehensive kit for those enthusiastic types who like to make and mend things around the home.
A good basic kit would comprise of :
- A toolbox for keeping everything together (Buy this after you buy your tools to make sure the tools will all fit inside)
- Claw hammer. Very versatile and the best all round hammer
- A pair of Insulated pliers. Important to be insulated just in case you are working anywhere near an electric power source or heat.
- Set of screwdrivers. Make sure you get a good selection in your set as its very frustrating when you need a Phillips and you only have a slotted type
- Electrical test screw driver. Very handy tool to make sure electric power points or cables are not live when you are working around them
- Tape measure, a retraceable 5metre is ideal
- Small adjustable spanner a 150mm (6”) will be OK for most domestic work
- Spirit level to keep things on the level
- Utility knife with disposal blades
- A small hand drill with a basic set of drill bits
- Pencil, very handy for marking or even writing notes
- Small torch for working when the power goes off.
- Junior Hacksaw for simple cutting of metal or wood
- Also make sure you have access to a basic safety kit as well: Earmuffs, googles and dust mask.
It’s a fact that you never know when you might be required to carry out emergency DIY tasks and having a basic tool kit will certainly help you. The above tools are all available from leading Hardware stores, look for the PROMARK
brand, great value for money.
Now let’s have a look at a more comprehensive kit that will be needed if you want to tackle DIY improvements around your home. This is still considered to be a starter kit and will need more specialist tools to be added as time goes on.
So add to your basic kit above:
- 20inch Hand-saw Have a look around the tool department of your local hardware store and you will see many different types of hand saws. All have a special purpose for cutting different things .The ideal saw to start with is a panel (general purpose) wood saw. This will be suitable for most jobs where wood is involved.
- Set of Wood Chisels Needed for various woodwork jobs. Its very important to keep them sharp at all times.
- Nail Punch For hammering the heads of nails below the surface of wood prior to filling
- Bradawl Used for making small pilot holes prior to screwing when using a drill would be impractical also used for marking
- 250mm (10 inch) Adjustable spanner Ideal companion to the 6”in your original kit, use for larger nuts & bolts
- 150mm (7 inch) Pipe wrench You will need this handy tool for removing or fitting pipes and plumbing fittings
- Vise grips They clamp tight onto most things, gives you a free hand when you need it. Almost a combination of clamp, pliers and spanner a very useful multipurpose tool.
- Long nose pliers For a variety of detailed work where you cant use your regular pliers
- Diagonal-Cutting Pliers Useful for electrical wire cutting and stripping back cable insulation
- Allen keys The tool most people forget until they need them. Get a multi purpose set for screws/bolts with a hexagonal heads.
- Sealant gun Used for applying silicone sealant, glue, etc from tubes, Easy to use with a bit of practice
- Set of screwdriver bits These are the ones you will use with your battery or electric power drill, makes the job easy.
- Extension cable A useful length is 10 metres, with a 10 amp power rating.
I could go on forever but this selection plus the basic set will be good for most small to medium jobs around the home.
Once again these additional tools are all available from leading Hardware stores, look for the PROMARK brand when you are shopping. Email Chris with any DIY questions and queries you may have.
Click here to see Chris' Q&A page.