emergency kit

5 Items Your Home Emergency Kit Needs

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.

 

Air Compressor

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.

 

Rations

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.

 

Do You Prefer a Real or Artificial Christmas Tree?

When it comes to purchasing a Christmas tree, I’ve always been a traditionalist. I love the ritual of picking out the tree at a farm and cutting it down myself. I love the smell of the pine needles permeating throughout the house as I go about decorating the tree and the rest of our home.  Granted, it’s not easy, but once the tree is in my home, there’s nothing like that wonderfully happy feeling that transports me back to those wonderful days when I was a kid.

As I got older, however, many of my friends told me that they preferred artificial trees to the live ones. This confused me because I couldn’t imagine anyone not enjoying a real tree. That got me thinking, so I did some research on the pros and cons of artificial trees.

It turns out that there are a few benefits to having an artificial tree.

After reading the info on some informative sites, the truth is basically they’re all comparable. It just depends on a person’s preference and whether they have allergies.

This may sound strange, but I’ve actually never consider the allergy bit. I suppose if you don’t suffer from a condition you don’t really think of how it affects you.

I never thought I’d ever get an artificial tree until my daughter was born. She was so miserable during her first Christmas that we had to get rid of the live tree. Thankfully, we figured out it was the tree causing her sneezes and irritated skin and eyes.

If you’ve ever had to deal with this sort of thing with your child, you know the anxiety and helplessness that we felt. Add lack of sleep and the stress of the holidays, and you’ve got the perfect storm.

It took a few days for the effects of the live tree to dissipate, which gave me time to order a surprisingly realistic looking artificial tree with lots of lights. I figured if I was going to have the same tree for the next few years, I should get the tree I truly loved.

Can I confess something?

I didn’t just buy one tree. I bought the main tree plus some small trees to put inside various rooms of the house. The smallest one ended up doubling as a night light for my daughter’s room.

I also bought another tree for the patio. It didn’t have any leaves on it, but the lights were waterproof, which impressed me. This would come in handy for the times I entertained my friends.

I have to admit that the artificial tree we bought to replace the live one didn’t impress me at first. It wasn’t until I realized that I didn’t have to spend my time sweeping up the dropped pine needles every day or make sure to refill the water that I truly began to appreciate the new tree.

Another perk came in the form of the lights. Before, we had to string the lights around the tree carefully, making sure it was evenly spaced, but there were already lights on the artificial one, so that saved me time and frustration.

The final benefit was that the entire family could decorate the artificial tree together. The branches were firm, but not scratchy, so the kids enjoyed putting the ornaments on the tree. Of course, they clumped a bunch of them together, but we just laughed.

Later on, I realized that having a real or artificial tree didn’t matter very much to me anymore. I had always been interested in what it represented: making memories.

I would always have the memories of my live tree experiences, but I was also adding to the memories with the new tree that we got.

As for the kids, they didn’t care which tree we had either. That surprised me, although it probably shouldn’t have. Adults tend to forget how adaptable children are.

They were just as excited when we plugged in the artificial one. They gasped with delight when they saw all those lights twinkling, which always made me smile.

I was happy with our purchase. I knew that the artificial tree would provide us with years of joy and laughter. Isn’t that what Christmas is about anyway?