If you weren't ‘lucky’ enough to be here during the Arab Spring uprising; Don’t Panic! We have compiled a quick list of essentials that should keep you fed and occupied if unrest occurs or curfews are imposed.
If you were in Egypt for the Protected content then the following may seem like old news to you. However, old lessons are fast forgotten so take a few minutes to refresh your memory.
• Drinking water: approximately 4 liters per person per day. Stock enough for at least 3 days
• Non-perishable food: at least a 3 day supply. Think of rice, pastas and canned goods. Don’t forget the ‘comfort food’ items like chocolate and cookies. If buying powdered goods such as packet soups and milk – remember to purchase extra water to prepare it.
• A can opener
• Alcohol if you drink it. Stocking up on Sakkara or some wine in advance of Ramadan is the norm here anyway so just do it earlier than planned.
• Dish soap/washing up liquid
• Trash/rubbish bags
• A first aid kit & first aid book
• Prescription medications. Think blood pressure pills, asthma inhalers, birth control pills or insulin for example.
• Eye drops and surgical masks in case of tear gas.
• A flashlight and candles
• Fire extinguisher
• Toiletries: toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, wet wipes etc.
• Cash: Try and keep small denominations as change may not be available. Banks may close and ATM services may be disrupted.
• Passports, driving licences, company ID
• Copies of important documents like birth/marriage certificates, banking details and medical records.
• Emergency contact numbers – include landline numbers in case of mobile network outages. Ensure family and friends overseas have land line numbers also. You may not be able to call out but they may be able to call in.
• Mobile phone chargers
• Mobile phone credit – if applicable
To Complete Your Crisis Kit …
• Include food and extra water for your pets
• If you have a small child, include diapers, wipes, formula, etc.
• Be sure to factor in the needs of any seniors, pregnant or nursing mums, or special needs people in your household.
• Activities for children and adults: books, games, puzzles. Remember that internet services may be cut and electricity may not be available to charge iPads and laptops.
• Bottled gas if appropriate. The food you stored will be no fun if you can’t prepare it
• Matches – you’ll need these for the candles and the gas.
• Keep extra water in buckets in bathrooms to flush toilets etc.
Safe Locations and Routes
• Swap home addresses and landline numbers with trusted friends and have an alternate location to move to should unrest occur near to your home.
• Buy a map and take some time to learn the streets surrounding your home and your friends. Knowing more than one route to and from any location will help you avoid potential road blocks or protests.
• Keep vehicles fully fueled at all times and store extra petrol in a safe place if possible.
• Register with you Embassy and know the emergency contact details.
• Have a backup plan and share it with a trusted friend.
Think: In case of an emergency – and you decide to leave Cairo – how would you do it and where would you go?
Road routes to the Sinai are expected to be closed. Major ports like Alexandria and Suez are expected to be as volatile as Cairo.
If flying be prepared for long waits at the airport and limited support staff and services. Take extra food and water with you and expect flights to be full. Have an onward journey plan should tickets to your preferred place to touchdown be unavailable.
If you do decide to evacuate make sure you let people know your planned departure time from home or office and your intended route.
Final word: The worst case scenario will be as 'exciting/dangerous' as a normal drinking walk after midnight in a weekend in a dangerous NY street with 20$ in your pocket :))) If you know what I mean!