Building Your First Emergency Kit? Read This First.
There is an abundance of reasons to keep an emergency preparedness kit in your home. Above all, having emergency supplies handy means you’ll be prepared if you find yourself in a crisis, ready to respond with the resources you need. Whether an emergency comes in the form of a house fire, a power outage, an injury, or something else, the items in your emergency kit can help. In addition, if you live in an area that is prone to dangerous weather or natural disasters, your emergency kit should contain items that will help you respond and recover.
In this helpful article, we’ll cover ten of the most important items to put in your home’s emergency preparedness kit. Some of these items may seem like more obvious choices than others, and there are some that you might not have even heard of. Your emergency kit should contain items that will keep you and the other members of your household safe and sustained for 72 hours. That means food, medical supplies, water, and more are all essential for your kit. Keep reading to learn the ten items that no emergency kit is complete without!
1. A Multi-Tool
This might be one of the less likely items on our list, but it’s a must-have nevertheless. A multi-tool is a reinvention of the classic Swiss army knife design that you might be familiar with. It’s a compact, collapsible metal frame that contains pliers, a screwdriver, a tiny knife, a saw, and more, all while being small and lightweight enough to easily store in your kit.
A multi-tool offers you the functionality of the key items in your toolbox all in one, and it’s a much better option than attempting to stash individual versions of the multi-tool’s many components into your emergency kit. The multi-tool can come in handy in many emergency situations, and you won’t regret having it available.
2. Work Gloves
If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, these are especially essential. Work gloves protect your hands for situations where you need to pick up a dangerous item that has fallen due to an earthquake, tornado, or another natural disaster. Heavy-duty gloves can make a world of difference when you’re working on recovering from damages caused to your home by a natural disaster, and they go hand-in-hand with the next entry on our list.
3. Duct Tape
You might be wondering why duct tape would be necessary for your emergency preparedness kit. Understandable, to be sure, but don’t be fooled by its humble appearance – duct tape is a powerhouse when it comes to making quick fixes in emergencies.
A natural disaster or other crisis can leave your home damaged, exposing you to the elements. In many situations, you don’t have time to make a permanent repair to a broken window or leak, nor do you have access to the local home improvement store in the midst of an emergency. In these circumstances, duct tape is there to save the day, covering up a leak or sealing a broken window until you can get what you need to make a permanent repair.
4. Food That Won’t Go Bad
An emergency can easily cut off your access to food by taking out power lines, damaging roads, and leaving you trapped in your home or forced to evacuate. In these situations, you need a reliable source of food that won’t go bad and can keep you full for as long as possible. One of the best options for food to pack in your emergency kit is non-perishable energy bars. Packed with nourishing carbs, fat, and protein, these bars are designed to replace a meal and sustain you for a long time until more food is available. Plus, their shelf life is up to five years, meaning you won’t need to replace them for a long time – you’ll probably need them before they do go bad!
5. Water, Water, Water
Hydration is crucial for survival in any situation, so your emergency kit needs to be well-stocked with enough water to sustain you for 72 hours. The best form of water to pack in your emergency kit comes in pouches. More compact and longer-lasting than bottles, water pouches are the perfect hydration option for when you’re in a crisis.
6. A Flashlight (And Spare Batteries)
As you now know, when the power goes out, it’s best not to rely on your phone, which will eventually run out of battery life. Stock your emergency preparedness kit with alternative sources of light, including a flashlight. A good flashlight will give you longer-lasting light than your smartphone, and stocking up on extra batteries doubles its use time.
7. Glow Sticks, Matches Or Both
Just in case your flashlight dies, you want to have other sources of light that don’t require batteries. Matches can be used to light candles in your home when the power goes out, and a glow stick can give you up to twelve hours of battery-free light.
8. First Aid Supplies
If someone gets injured, you want to make sure you have the resources and knowledge to get them patched up. Your home needs a first aid kit, no matter what, to help you address cuts, burns, bruises, and other similar injuries when they happen. In an emergency, the tools in your first aid kit can help you take care of someone who has been seriously injured until you have access to professional medical help. Getting first aid training and knowing how to use your first aid gear is essential as well.
9. Emergency Blankets
A natural disaster or other similar crisis can leave you without power and heat, or even force you to evacuate your home. If and when you run into an emergency, you want to make sure you have a source of long-lasting warmth packed in your emergency preparedness kit.
Emergency blankets are the futuristic foil sheets you may have seen wrapped around marathon runners as they reach the finish line. Also known as “space blankets,” emergency blankets are lightweight sheets of insulating foil that increase your body’s ability to hold onto precious heat. In a situation where you’re exposed to harsh weather or your home has been damaged by a natural disaster, the insulating help of a space blanket can make a huge difference.
10. Rain Poncho
In the case that you need to evacuate your home and it’s raining or storming, it’s useful to add some rain ponchos to your emergency kit. This way, if you do need to leave your home due to weather conditions, you’ll be able to stay warm and dry. That’s just another thing that you don’t want to have to worry about.
Of course, there are many more items that you can pack in your personal emergency kit that serve their own useful purposes. You can never be too prepared for the worst, so keep your emergency kit stocked with all the items on this list and more. A few of the other items you’ll be glad to have handy in a crisis include hand warmers, masks, hand sanitizer, ponchos, and many more.
If you have additional questions, send them our way!