We may never know with complete certainty when disaster will strike. Even with all of our modern technological advancements and super-fast communication mediums, natural disaster may still hit us without warning. It is best to stay prepared for any sort of calamity that is likely to occur – be it floods, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, or viral apocalypses. There are several things that can be done to help both you and your family stay safe during this difficult time. Of these things, ensuring that you have a ready-to-go emergency supply kit is vital. It is also essential that you have the right supplies in your kit. If you’re looking for a checklist of all the things you need to prepare, read on.
1. Food And Water Supply
Ensure that your emergency supply kit contains a three day supply of nonperishable food and water for you and your family. Pack food that does not require refrigeration and little to no cooking. It is recommended to pack high-energy and high-protein foods. Some of the recommended foods to pack are ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, protein bars, dry cereal or granola, dried fruit, peanut butter, canned juices, non-perishable pasteurized milk, and comfort foods. If you have infants or pets, ensure that you stock up as per their specific requirements as well. The recommended water quantity is one gallon per person for drinking and sanitation.
2. Electronics, Shelter, And Safety Supplies
Emergency kit must-haves include flashlights – in the event of a power outage, an AM/FM radio – to stay connected, spare phone with a battery and charger, and backup batteries for the flashlight and radio. Also pack some multi-purpose tools like a Swiss army knife, a can-opener, a whistle to signal for help, dust-masks in the event the air is contaminated, sleeping bags, plastic sheeting and duct tape for specific shelter requirements, and blankets to stay warm. Pack an extra set of clothes, undergarments, and a sturdy set of shoes. Lastly, ensure that you have a copy of your local map and a spare set of keys.
3. List Of Emergency Contacts
Your spare phone is not going to be of any help is you don’t have your emergency contacts saved on them. Even if they are saved on your phone, make a separate hard-copy and wrap it in plastic or get it laminated. Include contacts of close family and friends so that you can check in on them or ask them for help.
4. Toiletries, Sanitation, Medication, And First-Aid
Make sure you have all necessary toiletries including toilet paper, antibacterial soap, shampoo, women’s hygiene products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deodorant. Be sure to pack your prescription medication if you have a specific condition. Apart from this, it is also good to pack some non-prescription ones like laxatives, anti-diarrhea medication, and pain-relievers. It is also essential to have a basic first-aid kit containing bandages, antiseptic, and instant ice packs. Don’t forget diapers, wipes, and diaper rash creams if you’re responsible for an infant.
5. Cash And Important Family Documents
Be sure to pack some cash in the event the ATMs don’t work. Also ensure you pack copies of insurance policies, personal identification cards, and bank account records. You can save them electronically in a memory stick but ensure you place it inside a waterproof container.
Storage Tips To Keep In Mind
Be sure to store your emergency kit in an easily accessible location that all your family members are aware of. Store your kit in a cool, dry place that is not in the way of direct sunlight and excess moisture. Ensure that you update the contents of your kit at least once in a year. You may have to replace expired supplies or change the items of your kit based on your family’s needs and requirements annually.