When an emergency strikes, do you know how you will respond? It’s tough to say what thoughts will be running through your mind during the hectic moment. Will you leap into action? Freeze? Run around frantically, searching for supplies, and throwing things together last minute? Do you really want to go through that burden? Most likely not. In order to avoid the added chaos of being unprepared while an emergency is occurring, opt to make or buy an emergency supply kit in advance. In this case, it doesn’t hurt to be proactive; it only helps!
What Does an Emergency Supply Kit Include?
An emergency supply kit should include all the essential items and supplies needed to survive in the event of a natural disaster. These supplies range from basic food and water to various tools and resources you may need. Below is a list of items you should consider when purchasing an emergency supply kit:
Water is an essential ingredient to the survival of any species, which means we must account for enough water supply for the entire household. As a rule of thumb, water should be prepared for at least a three day supply per person.
Since you never know if the emergency at hand will result in a power outage, it is a safe bet to have a supply of non-perishable foods in stock. Items such as canned fruits and vegetables, granola bars, crackers, evaporated milk, cereal, bread and spread, chips, and applesauce are a few grocery items you may want to shop for ahead of time. If your home has an operating backup generator, you are in even more luck, as you can finish off eating your refrigerated foods.
Whether you prefer to opt for candles with matches or lighters, flashlights, or an oil lamp, a light source will be extremely useful.
Emergency Treatment Supplies
Accidents can happen at any time, so a first aid kit is a smart investment in the long-term. If the situation calls for evacuations, add any of your maintenance medications to the kit as well.
Personal Cleanliness Items
The essential items you typically use to maintain hygiene, such as restroom wipes, toilet paper, paper towel, soap, hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes, diapers, menstruation items, and so on.
Tools and Resources
These items may prove beneficial in numerous situations: hand crank or battery-operated radio, different types of extra batteries, heavy-duty tape, rope, a multi-purpose knife, emergency flares, dust masks, and a note pad and pen, to name a few. Be sure to grab your cell phone, charging cables, and a portable charger as well.
Make copies or pack your originals; your important documents should also have a spot in your emergency supply kit. Birth certificates, passports, driver’s licenses, leases and deeds, insurance paperwork, medical records, pet immunization record, and county licenses all are handy documents to bring along if you need to evacuate. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have them all located in one area anyway. Use online FEMA resources to look up your evacuation zone and flood zone by plugging in your address; this should also make its way into your emergency supply kit.
Whether you plan to pick up some extra fuel for your vehicle or generator, gasoline is one of the first resources to run out in emergencies, so make sure to get to the gas stations early!
In the event ATMs are inoperable, and you cannot use credit or debit cards to pay for items in the meantime, it is best to withdraw some cash for any possible expenses that may arise.
Additional Items to Keep in Mind
While the supplies typically packed in an emergency supply kit are rather uniform throughout, your household may require some additional supplies depending on your family circumstances. Babies require some entirely different supplies, like, diapers, formula, bottles, and teethers. You may have an elderly individual that would require additional assistance in preparing walkers, wheelchairs, dentures, and so forth. Overall, disasters can occur at any given moment, and what best way to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe? Be prepared!