Disasters can happen at any time. Every family needs to be prepared in the event of a major power outage, storm or other event. While many families put off creating a disaster preparedness plan, there is no time like the present to get started.
Aside from writing out contingency plans for every type of disaster, homeowners should put together a small emergency kit to help them get through troubled times. In many cases, your emergency kit is going to consist of things you already own. This means there is no excuse not to know where these items are.
If you aren’t sure what items belong in an emergency kit, read this guide to get more information.
Flashlights, Lanterns, and Candles
Light is incredibly important. Whether you are without power for a few minutes or for a few weeks, you will need to be able to see in your dark house. Most families include a single flashlight and a few extra batteries in their kits, thinking that their smartphones will provide them with all the light they need. The problem is, batteries die after a few hours. If you are without power for a long period of time, you could wind up using up your light sources on the first night. Instead, pick up a few candles and a lighter at the store. Manual crank flashlights and oil lanterns also make much better alternatives to traditional flashlights.
Smartphone Battery Pack and Charging Cable
If disaster strikes and you’re at 1%, you might not be able to use a wall socket to charge your phone and call for help. Having a fully-charged extra battery pack and cable with your emergency supplies could make all the difference. If you live with family, consider including a pack for each member.
Transportation can be vital if you are trying to evacuate your home. Whether you are escaping on bicycle or by car, you don’t want to risk tire problems. If the whole town is without electricity, your local gas station probably isn’t going to have an available pump. Not only are air compressors great for everyday use, small portable designs can go right next to the disaster kit in your home. You have to understand the details to realize just how important and versatile portable air compressors can be.
First Aid Kit
The first aid kit is something that every family knows to include, but few people ever do. A package of bandages and a bottle of aspirin can be helpful, but it certainly isn’t the same thing as a first aid kit. Don’t rely on preassembled kits to get the job done. Grab a small box or bag and fill it with bandages, peroxide, medical gauze, safety pins, plastic gloves, tweezers and a small sewing kit. If there is room, a full-size bottle of aspirin or ibuprofen is recommended, but be mindful of expiration dates.
If there is an emergency, you need to be able to eat food and drink water. Selecting a few non-perishable goods, whether they be cans of soup or freeze-dried camping rations, and including them in your kit is a great idea. Keep a few gallons of purified drinking water and a rain catching kit just in case. Make sure you have a few days’ worth of supplies for each family member so you don’t have to venture out of the home if conditions aren’t safe.
Where to Put Your Emergency Kit
An emergency kit can go anywhere in the home, but make sure each family member knows exactly where it is. Many people keep their kits in the garage, as it makes it easy to use the air compressor or flashlight and then put it back. It also makes it easy to grab these crucial items if you are leaving the home in a hurry.
While it can be difficult to think about what we will do in the event of an emergency, it is important to be prepared. No one sees disasters coming, so it is better to build a kit and not need it. Make sure you and your loved ones are ready for anything with a disaster preparedness kit.