Life tends to throw unexpected curveballs when we least expect it. Whether it be something as inconvenient as a flat tire or as dangerous as a natural disaster, we all need to be prepared in these unforeseen situations.
An emergency kit is always something worth having in an accessible location throughout your home. That way, the next time your power goes out or your area is under a hurricane watch, you and your family will be prepared for what life brings you.
There are many different types of emergency situations you want to be prepared for. Here, we will discuss five essential items you want to make sure you have for any condition that comes your way. From power outages to natural disasters such as earthquakes, you want to be prepared!
Water and Food
Your body needs water and food to survive and function. Depriving your body of these needs can result in a more complicated medical emergency that is entirely preventable by having these supplies on hand. When preparing your emergency kit, here are a few tips to keep in mind regarding water and food.
Having a clean source of water at hand can be quite challenging, depending on the situation. The general rule of thumb is to have enough water for three days setting aside one gallon per person per day. But you must put into consideration the needs of your family members that may require more water intake. If there are any children and/or nursing mothers within your responsibility, consider storing more than the standard amount.
If your emergency lasts for more than three days, it's important to know how to make your own water as well in case you lose access to water supply. You should familiarize yourself with how to boil water to make it safe to drink, as well as how to access water if your main line breaks.
Again, the general rule of thumb is to make sure you have three days of food for each person in your household. Depending on the individual and their needs, you may need to store more or less. Keep in mind any special dietary restrictions and conditions that can vary within each individual.
Non-perishable foods are ideal to have stored in your emergency kit. You do not want to keep foods that need refrigerated or foods with a short shelf life. Therefore, foods like granola bars, peanut butter, and canned cooked meats and vegetables are great options to consider as they are easy to eat and have nutritional benefits.
Battery Powered Radio
Having a battery-powered radio or a hand crank radio is hugely beneficial in times of an emergency. Without relying on WiFi or the internet, you will be able to receive alerts and updates on your area. Being informed of what is going on around you can help tremendously on your next step in safety.
An additional item to consider storing as well are extra batteries for your radio. As this device could be useful for so many alerts outside of severe weather conditions, you may want to consider having extra batteries at hand to ensure you will not miss a beat.
More often than not, many of us have experienced a power outage due to either severe weather conditions or simply from a local electrical mishap. In these cases, you want to make sure you have an additional light source that is not dependent on power lines. Candles and battery-operated flashlights are a great option to have at hand in an emergency. With these options, you want to make sure you have some sort of lighter, matches and extra batteries at hand.
A better option to consider are lightbulbs that remain on even without power, such as the EBulb. These lightbulbs can be used as your normal bulbs throughout the house and have an additional feature, automatically activating during a power outage. With its rechargeable lithium-ion battery, this lightbulb can supply you with up to four hours of constant lighting. Not only can it save you from an emergency, but it can also save you some money as it uses only nine watts of energy, and lasts almost 50 times longer than a traditional lightbulb.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is something you should always have at hand in or out of an emergency setting. Unexpected accidents are inevitable, especially while frantically responding to an emergency. A first aid kit is extremely beneficial in responding to such accidents. Some basic supplies to consider adding to your first aid kit can include, but are not limited to:
- Hydrogen peroxide, or any other antiseptic solution
- Adhesive tape
- Scissors and tweezers
- Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
On top of having some type of pain medication stated above, you want to consider individuals in your party that may require additional medication to have at hand. This can include additional items such as sugar cubes and/or insulin for diabetic individuals and an epinephrine pen for extreme allergic reactions.
It is impossible to know what kind of situation you will be thrown in. That is why it may be beneficial to add more items to your emergency kit depending on your family's needs. You may also consider storing an extra tool kit, a whistle, blankets and/or N95 or surgical masks in your kit in case you need them.
Being over prepared is never frowned upon, especially when it comes to your and your family's health and safety. Whether you are starting a kit from scratch or are thinking of updating your existing kit, consider these items mentioned earlier to make sure you are prepared.
Remember to weigh in special accommodations within members of your family that could change or add additional items in your kit. Review things such as medical history, past reactions, and dietary restrictions to make certain you are prepared.
After assembling your emergency kit, make sure to keep up with things such as expiration dates and storage environments to make sure you are maintaining the items you may need. Checking on these supplies yearly can help maintain your kit. Especially because your family's needs may change year after year, you may need to add or take out certain items. Being proactive can provide less stress and anxiety during unexpected times.