We all know that we should be prepping for disaster and survival mode, but how many of us have actually done that? We read articles on it, talk about it with friends, but I would venture to guess that not many of us actually have a fully stocked, easily accessible emergency kit that would be a huge help to our family in the aftermath of a disaster. Here are a few of the reasons why you need an emergency kit, and how to put one together.
Why You Should Have An Emergency Kit
First of all, having a prepared kit will insure that you have all the potentially life saving medical supplies you would need in a crisis. You want to have gear on hand that can help you to treat most minor illnesses and injuries at home, because after a disaster, you might not be able to get to a hospital or find a doctor. It could also save you money, as you would not have to run out and try to find an open store (which may have jacked up their prices due to demand) to find needed medical supplies.
Second, an emergency kit is going to contain items that will help you and your family to survive for several days and possibly up to a couple of weeks. It might seem like a hassle now to store all those non-perishable food items, gallons of water, and extra blankets and batteries, but you will be so thankful to have them when you need them.
Remember that prepping now will save you from unnecessary stress in the future. By putting together a survival kit and having it ready when disaster strikes, you are saving yourself and your family the stress of trying to come up with needed supplies at a moment’s notice. We don’t have warning with many natural disasters, so your emergency kit will be like gold to your family if you find yourself without power, running water, or even needed medications. Your planning ahead will make a world of difference.
Think about putting together a large kit for your home and a smaller one for each vehicle that you and your family drive. The emergency kit for the home can be a large locking tote, like a Rubbermaid storage tote, and the one for the care could be a duffel bag or backpack. The idea is to put together kits that are easily accessible, but also easy to be stored out of the way when not in use.
How to Build Your First Emergency Kit
How you actually assemble your kit will vary some depending on your family size and the age and medical needs of your family members, but most components will be the same. Here are some things to include in your kit:
Bottled Water – This is key in any emergency kit. Experts recommend enough stored water to last every person (and pet) in your home at least 72 hours. You should take into account extra water for babies requiring prepared formula or if water is needed to mix supplements or other medications. You can choose to store these in bottles, or in gallon jugs. If you’re packing a small emergency kit, bottles may be the best space saving option.
Food – Stock your kit with plenty of non-perishable food items like granola bars, MRE’s, canned foods, (don’t forget the manual can opener!), dried fruits, dried beans, and nuts. You want foods that are high in protein and nutrients, not sugary snack foods.
Medical Supplies – Your kit should contain basic first aid items like bandages, antibiotic cream, over the counter pain relievers, allergy medicines, and tablets to soothe an upset stomach. You should also pack feminine products, diaper rash cream, petroleum jelly, anti itch cream, and ACE bandages. You would also want to store extra of any prescription medications that you or other family members need. Additionally, your kit should contain small medical tools like scissors, tweezers, a suture kit, and latex gloves. You can make mini emergency medical kits to put in your car glove box, or in your bug out bags.
Other Items – these are items that don’t really fit in the above categories – but should be placed in an emergency kit. Some to consider: emergency candles, lighters, flashlights with a couple of sets each of extra batteries, a weather radio and batteries, diapers (if you have an infant or toddler), extra blankets, several pairs of socks and an extra pair of shoes for each family member, along with at least one complete change of clothes per person. You also want to put copies of everyone’s insurance info, passports, and other identification papers. You should also keep extra sets of house and vehicle keys in them should you have to leave your home and come back.
Can you see how having these items on hand would be very beneficial in an emergency? You would feel much more calm knowing you had food, water, and medical supplies for your family – at least enough to get through a few days. Have you made an emergency kit? What other items did you include besides the ones listed here?