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August 21, 2020

14 Key Items You Should Store in a Home Emergency Kit

Preparing for an Emergency is Crucial for Keeping You and Your Loved Ones Safe

In the case of a major emergency or unexpected event, you should have a variety of supplies on-hand to help you work through it. If you don’t have any tools or supplies that can help get you through unexpected disasters, it’s time to start shopping. 

While preparing for an emergency isn’t always exciting or pleasant, it is crucial for keeping you safe and comfortable during severe events and situations. Check out these 14 key items to store in your home emergency kit now. 

Here’s What Should Go in an Emergency Kit for Your Home

Make sure you have these 14 items in your emergency kit

Make sure you stay prepared for emergencies with these tools. 

Many times, disasters strike without warning. Essential services such as your electricity and water may even shut off if it’s severe enough. Natural disasters that can cause some severe damage include: 

  • Power failure
  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Extreme heatwave
  • Tornado
  • Mudslide
  • Fire
  • Blizzard

Some areas in the U.S. are vulnerable to particular natural disasters, such as fires or mudslides. If that is the case, you will want to make sure you have all of the necessary supplies and insurance.

1. Water

Water is crucial for your survival. During an emergency, the water you currently have from the tap might be unsafe or even completely unavailable to you. That’s why you should store at least a three day supply of water inside your home emergency kit. Because stored water only has a one to two shelf life, you need to remember to replenish it after a year or so. In addition to changing out your water, you can also purchase water purification tablets to dissolve in the water before drinking it. 

In general, you will need to store at least a gallon of water for each person. Not only will this water be necessary for quenching your thirst, but it will also be needed to keep you clean and sanitized. 

2. Non-Perishable Food

Make sure you have non-perishable foods in your cabinets in the case of an emergency. 

While non-perishable foods aren’t always the most appetizing meal choices, they will be necessary during emergencies. In some emergency scenarios, you might be discouraged from leaving your house for a certain period of time. The last thing you want to worry about is going hungry during this difficult time. 

Make sure you stock up on non-perishable items such as:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Dried fruit
  • Dry cereal
  • Powdered milk
  • Dried soups
  • Beef jerky
  • Peanut butter
  • Pasta
  • Protein bars
  • Canned meats and seafood

3. Tool Kit

Supplying yourself with the essentials can keep your family safe during an unexpected emergency. Make sure your tool kit has:

  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Saw
  • Screwdrivers
  • Masking Tape

You never know what could go awry, so it’s crucial to stay prepared for any situation or disaster that might arise. 

In the case of a power outage, you should keep an extra flashlight or two on hand.

4. Flashlight

If your power goes out, you’re going to need some source of light to get around the house. Luckily, we live in an age where we don’t have to carry around dim candles and you can purchase powerful LED flashlights instead. While you might not need a high powered flashlight for walking around the inside of your house, you might want it if you ever need to go outside. 

5. First Aid Kit

In case anyone gets hurt or injured, you will want to have a first aid kit on-hand. Most first aid kits include:

  • Gauze dressings
  • Tweezers
  • Sterile gloves
  • Neosporin
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Aloe vera
  • Cold medicine
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cold compress
  • Thermal blanket
  • Bandages
  • Cloth tape

Unless you are a skilled nurse or paramedic, you should brush-up on basic first aid. Storing a first aid manual in your kit can also be handy during these emergency situations. 

6. Batteries

Make sure you keep extra batteries in your kit for your flashlight and first aid kit. Back in the old days, you would just head to the store to purchase some disposable batteries. However, there are a number of powerful, rechargeable batteries on the market that are suitable for getting you through emergency situations. 

The number of batteries you should store typically depends on the size of your household as well as your unique needs. In general, you should plan to deal with at least 72 hours of living without power

Whistles are powerful tools that require little effort to make a loud enough sound for rescuers to successfully find you. 

7. Whistle

If your phone has no signal and you find yourself physically stuck in your home, you can use a whistle to signal for help. This will help search and rescue workers find you. Whistles tend to be pretty cheap, so you can purchase a bundle of them for your family members or housemates if necessary. 

8. Emergency Cash

In the event of a catastrophic event, the banks may close. To prevent yourself from having to deal without any money or food to help you get by, you should keep a certain amount of physical cash at home. 

You should try to save $2,000 in cash. However, this might be difficult for some people depending on their income, expenses, and any debt they need to pay off. However, you can always start saving cash now. By saving just a little money each week or month and even cutting down on unnecessary spending, you can slowly reach this goal. 

Keep your loved ones safe by wearing a mask and distancing yourself from others when out in public. 

9. Mask

Due to the pandemic, you should keep several masks at home for going out to public places. Masks made of 100% tightly-woven cotton are usually best. You don’t need to purchase an N95 mask to stay safe. In fact, many experts discourage people from purchasing these masks to ensure that there are enough N95 masks available for healthcare workers. When you wear your mask, you should still avoid touching your face and getting too close to people outside your household. Regularly washing your hands will also be crucial for staying safe. 

10. Chargers

While you probably already have a charger for your phone and laptop, it doesn’t hurt to have an extra one just in case. But if your power is out, you’re going to be out of luck with just a regular charger. Keeping a portable charger or case on hand can help you keep your devices charged and ready to go. Many portable chargers offer 10+ extra hours on your phone. To help preserve your battery, you can put your phone on airplane mode, turn on low-battery mode, or turn off your cellular data. 

Don’t forget to stock up on extra shampoo and conditioner bottles. 

11. Items for Personal Hygiene

Maintaining your personal hygiene is essential for taking care of your physical and mental health. Many people forget to store personal hygiene products like shampoo or conditioner, but they are necessary for keeping you comfortable during an emergency situation or natural disaster. 

Make sure you go down this checklist and make sure you have each of these supplies in the case of an emergency. 

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Moisturizer
  • Razers
  • Mouthwash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap

12. Blankets

If an emergency or natural disaster occurs during the winter or early spring, you will want some extra blankets to keep you and your loved ones warm. Cotton and wool blankets are popular for their soft material and breathability. If you are allergic to wool, you can purchase a fleece blanket as an alternative. Don’t forget to purchase a couple of extra blankets for added comfort and warmth! 

13. Medications

You might not be able to get re-filled for your medication immediately following a disaster. In your first aid kit, you should store a week-long supply of prescription medications. You will also want to keep an extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if you have a prescription.  

If you have kids, keeping them occupied with board games and cards can keep them from growing bored and antsy. 

14. Games

Staying cooped up inside can get boring. Keeping some board games, books, magazines, or any other activity to help pass the time can help you stay occupied and keep your mind off of the current situation. If you have children, you can also purchase toys or coloring books to help keep them entertained. 

Thinking about living through an emergency or natural disaster is never pleasant. However, you can take numerous steps to prepare for one, just in case. While you assemble your emergency home kit, you should also make sure you have adequate insurance coverage as well as contact information for local relief organizations and close friends or family members. 

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