How to set up an appropriate home emergency kit
You can’t predict most emergencies, but you can be prepared. With natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes still looming on the horizon, it pays to have the emergency kit essentials you need to overcome them, whenever they happen. arise unexpectedly.
If you already have an emergency kit, it may be helpful to check it to make sure all of the major parts are there (or haven’t expired). If you don’t have one, you should, and we’re here to help. The last thing you want is to literally stay in the dark and the cold when a big storm cuts your power supply.
It’s a worthwhile endeavor, even if you don’t live along a fault line or in hurricane country. A tree could fall on a nearby power line, a sudden flood could flow in, or extreme heat or cold could strain the power grid. No matter where you live, your home needs a kit to protect you.
You must eat. Instead of worrying about what you eat (hopefully the power won’t be cut for long), focus on canned foods that aren’t perishable and don’t need anything to prepare. In other words, a bunch of soup is fine, but you might have a hard time reheating it. Instead, opt for foods that are eaten well at room temperature, such as canned beans, fruits, vegetables and tuna. We also highly recommend a good portable water filter to keep your water supply healthy no matter what. You can also use the filter for camping trips and backcountry hikes.
If you want to live like royalty during a crisis, stock up on ready-to-eat preserves. Oh, and have plenty of water aside, like at least five to ten gallons.
Replacement power supply
Here, it’s all about battery-powered equipment. You will need some light, so settle in with the best headlamp or flashlight. Whatever route you take, have at least two available in case one doesn’t work. If you prefer to keep it natural, opt for candles and a good lighter or book of matches. Having dry wood and a sturdy ax isn’t a bad idea either, even if you’re missing a chimney or pit. At a dead end, you may find yourself making one in your garden, not only to warm up, but potentially to prepare some food.
Additional clothing and equipment
If you’re stuck at home, you’ll likely have access to all of your clothes. But some things are nice to have immediately accessible, especially if water is cascading into your basement or a tornado throws debris on your windows. Think about items that are compact, light and durable. We’re not trying to be fashionable in apocalyptic conditions. Instead, keep simple clothing on hand, like hooded ponchos, gloves, and socks. We also suggest a good hat and scarf for extra warmth, as well as a light blanket.
The basics of first aid
You may have to deal with some injuries, so make sure you have the medical basics. You will need bandages, gauze, pain relievers, antibiotic ointments like Neosporin, scissors, wet wipes, and gel for burns. You can assemble your own or buy a respectable kit like the Red Cross Deluxe All-Purpose First Aid Kit.
No, this addition is not critical but we suggest it anyway. Chances are the urgency is more of an inconvenience than anything else, so you might as well be entertained. If you can’t turn on your phone or turn on the TV, you can always relax a bit with a board game, a card game, or a good book. These items will help pass the time and before you know it the lights and heater will be back on.
Miscellaneous emergency items
If you have the room, a few more items will be very useful. These include:
- toilet paper
- masks (for smoke, dust, etc.)
- signaling device such as a whistle or pneumatic horn.
You can also consider cash (like traveller’s checks or standard checks) as well as a good old-fashioned pen and journal. Make sure your kit is in a designated location and contains enough of the above to last you at least several full days. Better yet, keep it out of the elements or in a waterproof bag like a bug out bag or container. It is also advisable to have a simplified emergency kit for your car or workplace.