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What Items Are Essential for your Emergency Bag?

What Items Are Essential for your Emergency Bag?

Thinking about all of the ways that things can go wrong in life can be overwhelming. Even when you aren’t dealing with an emergency, being unprepared can fill you with anxiety as worst-case scenarios play out in your mind. To save yourself needless fear and stress, one of the best habits to make is staying stocked up on emergency supplies. 

What Are The Most Crucial Items To Pack In Your Emergency Kit?

Emergency preparedness is a combination of keeping the right gear ready in your home and knowing what to do when a crisis hits. Navigating an emergency can be tough no matter what, but when you know what to do and have the gear you need on hand, you’ll be much better off. 

Over 60% of Americans don’t have a plan for what they will do if they end up in the midst of a crisis. It’s up to you to do everything you can to change that statistic. At JUDY, we want to equip you with the knowledge and resources that you need to keep yourself and your loved ones safe no matter what happens.

To make sure you are ready for anything that comes your way, keep an emergency bag stocked and ready in your home. This bag needs to cover the bases of the following categories: food, water, safety, first aid, tools, and warmth. Keeping all of the items you need in these categories ready to use in emergencies can make a huge difference in your ability to handle a crisis. In this post, we’ll walk you through some of the most important items that your emergency bag needs.

Warmth

  • Candles and Matches: Candles come in handy when the power goes out in your home. They can also be used as a source of warmth if you lose electricity in the cold winter months.
  • Hand Warmers: Hand warmers can provide emergency heat if you are stuck in a situation where you need to get warm as quickly as possible. With no need for batteries or wall power, hand warmers can provide heat for up to ten hours.
  • Emergency Blankets: Made out of a similar material to the heat-reflecting foil that NASA uses to line spacecraft, these lightweight sheets help your body retain heat by reflecting it back at you. Much lighter and easier to carry than a standard blanket, an emergency blanket can be quickly folded and stored in your emergency kit.

Food

Meal Replacement Bars: Our favorite food to pack in emergency kits is high-calorie energy bars. These are designed to replace entire meals, giving you a reliable source of sustenance if your access to other food is cut off during an emergency. If you or anyone in your family has any allergies or intolerances, make sure to pack non-perishable food in your emergency kit with none of the offending ingredients in it.

Water

Emergency Water Pouches: Smaller and easier to carry than plastic water bottles, emergency pouches of water also have a longer shelf life than bottled water. Your emergency kit should be stocked with enough water to keep you and your family sustained for at least a full day.

Safety

  • Ponchos: Ponchos provide quick and simple protection from rain and other forms of bad weather. If you need to quickly evacuate your home, you may not have time to grab full-sized rain jackets. Instead, leave ponchos for each member of your family in your emergency kit. That way, if you only have time to grab one thing and go, it can be a fully stocked bag of the essential supplies.
  • Whistle: A whistle lets you quickly signal to others so that they know your location. Blowing your whistle can also send out an alert that something is wrong. It’s one of the few items that you might want to keep separate from the rest of your emergency supplies. A good option is to keep your whistle on your bedside table, ready to use if you need to signal to the rest of the house that there’s an emergency.
  • Dust Masks: N95-style dust masks can help protect you and your family from dangerous debris, dust, and germs that might come your way as you make your way to safety during a crisis.
  • Glow Sticks: When you don’t have electricity and need a source of light, glow sticks can be a huge help. They can also be used to signal for help when you are in danger.
  • Work Gloves: These heavy-duty, highly durable gloves help protect your hands when you need to handle dangerous debris left behind in the wake of an emergency. 

First Aid

  • Hand Sanitizer: Alcohol-based hand sanitizer works to kill germs on your hands. It’s extremely helpful in emergencies, especially when you do not have access to soap and running water.
  • Tissues: More of a convenience than a necessity, tissues are a must-have anytime. They provide an easier and more sanitary method of dealing with a runny nose than using your sleeve, or worse, your hand.
  • Wet Wipes: Wet wipes serve as a reliable backup for hand sanitizer, perfect for wiping grime and dirt off your hands or sanitizing a dirty surface.
  • Quick-Dry Towel: This highly absorbent, quickly drying microfiber cloth is perfect for getting rid of any spill that might have the potential to damage your gear or leave behind a sticky residue.
  • First Aid Kit: As one of the most important items in your emergency bag, your first aid kit is really a collection of medical supplies. It contains everything you need to deal with minor injuries. Make sure to equip yourself with as much first aid experience as possible to make sure that you know how to use the supplies in your kit.

Tools

  • Multi-Purpose Bag: A disposable bag is perfect for getting rid of trash, storing dirty clothes, packing extra items, or a wide variety of other purposes. Keeping a few multi-purpose bags in your emergency kit gives you the ability to dispose of your trash without littering, even when you don’t have access to a garbage can. Alternatively, you can use it to store any extra gear that you might need for evacuating your home.
  • Flashlight and Batteries: A flashlight is one of the most reliable and powerful sources of light that you can turn to if you don’t have electricity. When the power goes out, a flashlight gives you pointable illumination that can last for hours when the battery is conserved. Make sure to stock your emergency kit with extra batteries in case you run out!
  • Hand Crank Radio: An easy item to forget about but an essential one nonetheless, a hand crank radio has a variety of uses. It can be used to tune into emergency broadcasts even when you don’t have electricity, or as a backup flashlight. Powered by a hand-cranked generator, JUDY’s radio can even charge your phone with its built-in USB port.
  • Duct Tape: Duct tape is another item that is easy to overlook but has a multitude of uses. It is extremely helpful for making a quick repair if a leak springs or a window breaks. In an emergency, you may not have the opportunity to reach for the tools you would normally use to make long-term repairs to your home, but duct tape can provide a reliable temporary solution.
  • Multi-Tool: A multi-tool has a variety of utilities built into it, including a mini knife, mini saw, screwdriver and more. These utilities can come in handy in any emergency, especially when you do not have access to a full-sized toolbox. 

Stay Prepared By Keeping Your Emergency Bag Ready

To save yourself the anxiety of wondering if you’ll be ready to handle an emergency, make sure to keep your emergency kit packed and ready to go for anything that comes your way. Whether it’s a natural disaster, an emergency in your home, or some other crisis, the items in your emergency bag can be a huge help, and some even have the potential to save a life.

In addition to keeping the items you need ready to go, make sure you also know how to quickly and safely evacuate your home in the midst of an emergency. If you can only carry one thing with you when you evacuate, make it your well-stocked emergency kit. The items listed above can keep you and your family going until you are able to get to safety and seek shelter outside of your home. 

Preparing yourself allows you to have peace of mind knowing that you have done everything you need to do to protect yourself and your family. With the necessary knowledge, practice, and supplies, you can successfully navigate an emergency and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Sources:

https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/first-aid

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/hand-sanitizer.html

https://biosafety.utk.edu/biosafety-program/waste/

If you have additional questions, send them our way!

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