Natural disasters can happen anywhere. If you were facing an extended power outage or emergency situation would you be prepared to survive on a moments notice?
According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) almost 60% of American adults haven’t participated in any kind of disaster drill in the past year at home or in the workplace. Only 40% have any type of emergency plan, yet 80% of Americans live in areas that have been hit with a weather related disaster since 2007. This means most people are woefully unprepared to deal with a crisis and that’s unfortunate.
Consider the area where you live and what potential disasters you could face. Make a plan to escape in case of a fire, earthquake, severe storm or other sudden emergency. An emergency kit is something many people don’t think about until they need it. Fortunately, emergency preparedness kits don’t have to be expensive and you can build them up over time. Keep it in an easy to access location where you can grab it on a moment’s notice.
Emergency Preparedness Kit Contents
The first thing you should do is ensure that you have a reliable weather app on your phone. The National Weather Service has a free app that gives you quick access to forecasts. If you have a WEA enabled phone, you can also receive weather related alerts wherever you are. If there is an emergency weather situation nearby, it will alert you automatically based on your location.
Your next investment should be a solar powered weather radio with a hand crank and a battery operated cell phone charger. You can pick up both for under $100.
Keep extra batteries for your radio, charger and other supplies in your kit. Change them out yearly to ensure they work when you need them.
Next, you need to consider your family. Your survival kit should have a gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days and a three-day supply of non-perishable food. You will also need to add food and extra water for any pets.
Build a mess kit that includes plastic plates, silverware, cups and even a couple of pots/pans you can use on a grill if necessary.
Keep matches in a waterproof container and firewood or charcoal
Create a first aid kit that is equipped with several days worth of your prescription medications. It should also include a variety of bandages, gauze, peroxide or other wound cleaning agent, and any OTC products you might require like Tylenol or allergy medications etc. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of your emergency contact phone numbers inside your first aid kit.
Keep a couple of towels and a package of wet wipes in your kit for basic sanitation needs.
Purchase a fireproof strong box to store important documents like insurance information, bank account records, identification and other important items. You may also want to include pens and paper.
Place a full change of clothes including socks and shoes into your kit. You may need to have this change of clothes handy in the event of a catastrophic disaster that hits quickly. There may not be time to run around looking for shoes, or debris may make it difficult to find items. Have extras for everyone in your designated place.
Fill a bag with feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes and paste, soap and other toiletries.
If you have glasses or contacts, keep a glasses case, contact solution and other needs in your kit.
Keep a blanket or sleeping bag and some travel pillows handy for each person.
- The contents should be stored in bins or easy to grab containers.
- Everyone in your household should be familiar with the kit and its location.
- Go through your kit every six months and ensure everything in it is up to date.
A well-stocked emergency kit will make managing any crisis easier and help you avoid added, unnecessary stress. It may seem like a lot of extra effort, but if you find yourself in the midst of a disaster, you’ll be glad you made the investment.
Start with the most important items like chargers and a strong box for your important documents and work your way through the list adding to it each month until it’s fully stocked.