If disaster strikes, is your family ready? You need to be prepared in case of a sudden calamity. Every home should have an emergency kit. This has to be packed and stored in an accessible place beforehand since calamities occur within seconds. Knowing what to pack can be a little tricky, but follow the guide below to assist you.
Here’s how to pack an emergency kit for your house.
- Container. You may use a large plastic bin with a handle, or a small travel bag or large backpack. You will need to put several items inside so it has to be roomy enough and it has to be portable.
- Medical supplies. You will need bandages, medical tape, small scissors, alcohol and peroxide. You may include aspirin and calamine lotion. If you have children, pack a small bottle of children’s Tylenol. Consider putting a small bottle of multi vitamins in your pack to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs even on a sparse diet. Put these items in a ziplock bag. Include your pharmacy and doctor’s phone number, as well as a list of prescription medications.
- Light. Place waterproof matches or lighter and a flashlight in your pack. You may purchase hand rechargeable flashlights that you wind up for power. Some versions even have a small radio. This is excellent to put in your emergency pack so you don’t have to worry about batteries.
- Heat. Include a solar blanket or a regular blanket in your pack. Pack a towel which can double duty for use during bathing and sleeping.
- Food and water. Pack non-perishable food such as instant noodles, energy bars, or canned tuna and as much water that you can fit. Include eating implements such as spoon, fork, plate and a cup. Put at least two bottles of water in the pack and a couple more gallons near the pack where you store it. Opt to include water disinfecting tablets which you can use to make any water source potable in case your own supply runs out.
- Clothing. Put one change of clothing including underwear and socks for each member of the family. Place the garments in a garbage bag. The garbage bag will double as a heat source, raincoat and area to sleep on in an emergency.
- Personal items. These include sanitary napkins, a roll of toilet paper, diapers and wipes, travel size toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and shampoo. Pack these in a large ziplock bag.
- Multi-purpose tool. Attach a Swiss army knife or similar tool to your kit. This will be indispensable during an emergency since you will use it to cut open your food packs, cut up bandages and many other things.
- Money. There won’t be any ATM machines working during disasters so pack a few hundred dollars in your pack. Credit cards won’t work if there are no phone lines. Include a list of credit card information and bank information (account numbers) so you can call for replacement cards.
Place your emergency kit in the basement or hall closet where it will be accessible to family members. Teach all family members what to do in an emergency and to grab the pack if possible when leaving the house.
You must check your emergency pack at least once a year to update its contents, such as throwing out an expired food items or medicine.
There you have it. Hopefully you’ll never have to use it, but it’s ready for you if you do.