Keeping an emergency kit handy is the best way to face any natural disasters. Emergencies and natural disasters are events that you can never predict. You would have definitely seen the impact of disasters on the news. Property gets damaged, people run out of resources, it’s complete chaos! During situations like these, people raid and clean out supermarkets and convenience stores to make sure they do not run out of food and supplies at home. This, however, is not the right way to do it.
It is always advisable to keep a fully packed emergency stash of supplies aside to use during emergencies. This will make sure you don’t have to worry about you and your family going hungry or not being prepared for the repercussions that the disaster might bring. It is better to be organized and think ahead. That is why after several hours of research and surveying, we have prepared a comprehensive article that will enlighten you about everything you need to have in your emergency kit.
Where To Begin?
Before you start putting together your family emergency kit, some things need to be evaluated. First, consider the number of people (and animals, if you have pets) that you need to pack for. Also, keep in mind that packing for babies and toddlers will be completely different from packing for a family that mainly consists of adults.
Then, you must think about what kind of emergency you are packing for. Your location must be considered. If you live in a coastal location prone to floods or tsunamis, pack accordingly; if it is prone to earthquakes, pack accordingly. Will the emergency require you and your family to stay put in a sheltered location, or constantly be on the move? For this, you will need to pack a kit that is easily portable.
Make sure you have clear answers to all these questions before you go ahead and start packing your kit.
What Needs To Go Into Your Emergency Kit?
During an emergency, you can never be too sure about being able to procure food supplies. The conditions outside may not be suitable for you to step out to buy food, and the grocery stores will probably be closed.
Worst case, they might be open and full of customers raiding the shelves to stock up on as much as they can. To avoid this chaos, it is better that you always have a well-stocked, constantly updated supply in your emergency kit itself.
In an emergency, it is better to keep easy-to-eat foods that do not require too much cooking or preparation. At the same time, make sure the food you have has sufficient nutritional content as well. You’re not going to be able to keep your energy up with bags of chips alone.
You need to pack food that is substantial and appetizing. Make sure you’re well aware of your family’s medical history and allergies so that you don’t stock up on something that they cannot eat. A few things you can include in your food pack are energy bars, granola, beef jerky, nuts, and dry fruits.
If you want options for proper meals, you can pack a few selected canned fruits, meats, and vegetables that your family likes, and freeze-dried meals, which are light and portable too. Make sure you replace the food in your emergency kit regularly so that when disaster strikes, you can be sure that you will have fresh food. Here are some emergency food ration packs that we recommend.
1. Mountain House Classic Bucket
The #1 emergency food pack recommended on Amazon, it contains a variety of foods such as beef stroganoff, chicken teriyaki, beef stew, lasagna, granola with milk and fruits, etc. There are totally 29 packets of food in this pack. It has secure packaging and is perfect to use for emergencies, camping trips, long road trips, etc. There is a bigger kit that has 58 servings too. Choose the size as per your family need.
2. Augason Farms Lunch & Dinner Emergency Food Supply
No products found.
This pack contains a total of 92 servings of food, which come up to 21,020 calories totally. It has 11 lunch and dinner varieties and shelf life of up to 20 years!
Almost all kinds of disaster, be it floods, fires or earthquakes, can have an adverse effect on clean water supply in your home. Water is a basic need for survival so you need to make sure you have enough clean water for consumption and sanitation.
You must have at least one gallon per person per day for both consumption and sanitation. Purchase drinking water from your local grocery store, and store tap water in cleaned and reused juice bottles. If you need to evacuate your home and travel frequently, you will not be able to carry too much water with you. Therefore, you must carry devices to filter the water that lets you make any water drinkable.
1. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
This product has a microfiltration membrane that removes parasites and 99.99999% of waterborne bacteria (including E.coli, salmonella). It also removes microplastics and reduces water turbidity down to 0.2 microns. It has been tested and verified with laboratories using standard testing protocols set by US EPA, NSF, and ASTM. With proper maintenance, this product will be able to provide up to 1000 gallons of clean water.
2. Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter High-Capacity Water Filter System
This water filter system is ideal for camping and emergencies. It has a high capacity and is gravity-fed. It meets all EPA guidelines for removal of 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa from the water. It does not require any pumping. It includes a 4-liter dirty water reservoir, a 4-liter clean water reservoir, a microfilter, hoses, and a storage sack.
C. First Aid Kit
Buildings and houses are the most common things that bear the brunt of a natural disaster. At times like these, with constant change in weather and piles of debris everywhere, injury and illnesses are extremely common. You always need to be prepared with sufficient resources to treat an injury or an illness. Start putting together your first aid kit with items that you should be having at home already, such as bandages, pain medication, gauze and antiseptic.
Then you should gradually add burn medicine, fever pills, tourniquets, allergy medicine and anything else you might need in the long run. Your family members might be on different medications so make sure their medicines are added too. An added tip to make your work easier, label all your medications. This way, when you need anything urgently, you will easily be able to grab it. Those few seconds can make a difference during natural disasters.
1. Surviveware Small First Aid Kit For Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Travel, Car & Cycling
The contents of this kit are packed in a bag that is durable and made to withstand any climatic conditions. The material is 600D polyester. Although it has several important first aid items, it is extremely light and easy to carry around.
It can easily fit into your rucksack, bag or the glove compartment of your car. This bag contains several labeled compartments using which your first aid items can be sorted and organized. This kit is FDA approved and has passed several stages of testing to be made available to you today.
2. First Aid Kit by Thrive- Ideal for Emergency and Survival Situations
The container is manufactured using durable nylon and vinyl fabric. It is lightweight, compact, and still manages to carry 291 hospital grade medical supplies that might be needed during emergencies.
This kit will make you ready for unexpected accidents and can be used under any climatic conditions. It can be kept for daily use as well as emergencies. It is FDA approved and complies with American ANSI and OSHA professional standards.
D) Communication and Light
Under normal circumstances, we count on news channels, weather forecasts, newspapers and the internet to regularly inform us about the recent news. But during disasters, these sources cannot be relied on. And it is times like when getting regular updates about the weather is the most important! Keep an NOAA weather radio in your kit, it will give you updates about the weather and other related news.
Many similar weather radios these days have several useful features included such as lights and chargers, which will be of use during emergencies. Power cuts are also common during emergencies. Hence it advisable to pack emergency lights into your kit as well.
1. Amerelle Power Failure Night Light by Amertac, 2 Pack
It has LED lights that automatically turn on during blackouts or power cuts. It is handy to use as a flashlight and can also be used as a 24-hour guiding light that is always charged. The built-in NiMH battery charges when plugged into an outlet. It doesn’t require any replacement bulbs or batteries. This a must-have device to keep during storms, power failures, and other emergencies.
2. Kaito KA500 5-way Powered Solar Power, Dynamo Crank, Wind Up Emergency
This portable emergency radio has a hand-crank generator, solar panel, battery compartment, AC/DC input, and a rechargeable battery pack. It has complete coverage of AM, FM, 2-band shortwave and 7 pre-programmed NOAA weather channels for entertainment, sports, talk-shows, breaking news around the world, and 24/7 real-time weather forecast (the USA and Canada ONLY) with PEAS (Public Emergency Alert System).
It can also work as a charger for smartphones, digital cameras, MP3 players, etc. Its additional features include a reading lamp, LED flashlight, and a red LED SOS beacon light. Its antenna reaches up to 14.5 inches for crisp and clear signal reception. This radio is made of strong, impact-resistant and waterproof materials. It can be used indoors and outdoors and can withstand any kind of weather.
In an emergency, you need to do everything possible to prevent you and your family from catching any infections or falling ill. The best way to do this is to keep yourself clean and sanitized, it solves half the problem! Here are a few essentials that need to go into your toiletry kit:
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Dental floss
- Bodywash/Soap bar
- Toilet paper
- Wet wipes, Clorox
- Moisturizing lotion
- Hand sanitizer
- Menstrual Supplies: Sanitary pads/Tampons/Menstrual cup
- Sunscreen lotion
- Insect repellant cream/ Bug spray
- Dry shampoo
- Trash bags to discard garbage and to store wet clothes.
You must pack clothing based on what kind of weather conditions you’re facing. Some disasters require woolens and warm clothes, some require waterproof jackets and boots, so make sure you’re prepared accordingly. Also, make sure you have enough spare clothes and underwear because nothing feels worse than staying in the same clothes for 3 days. Here is a list of what you might need.
- Extra sets of clothes and underwear
- Extra socks
- A sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes
- Rain poncho/Waterproof jacket
- A suitably thick blanket for each family member
Make sure everything fits properly before you pack them.
G. Other Miscellaneous Essentials
The items listed above in the article give you an idea of the basic items you will need for survival. Besides these, there are other important items that should be packed as well. Always keep a waterproof file of your important documents and keep a pen drive with soft copies of the same. These documents should include:
- Driver’s License: to identify yourself
- Social Security Cars: for identification
- Credit and Debit Cards: for purchasing essentials
- Birth Certificate: for identification
- Medical Certificate and medical records: Easy reference for doctors in case you are ever in need of serious medical attention
- Voter Registration
- Contact Information
Also, remember to carry enough money in the form of cash to sustain your family for the 3-4 days. You never know what kind of weather conditions you might encounter, or whether you’ll have to evacuate your home. If you have to evacuate, make sure you have umbrellas, tents, sleeping bags, and a basic toolkit.
How Should The Kit Be Stored?
If you are putting together the kit on your own, you will have to find suitable containers for it. Some popular options are rolling tubs, rolling suitcases, fishing vests (for short periods) and adventure rucksacks. Each of these packing containers has a different capacity and can accommodate resources for different numbers of people.
Keeping in mind the size of your family, the duration of the emergency, the quantity that you’re packing, and whether you’ll be in a shelter or constantly on the move, choose a suitable packing option. Also, make sure you have an emergency pack in all strategic locations, i.e., your home, your car, and your office.
The best way to be ready for emergencies is to regularly spend time outdoors with your family. Go for regular camping trips with your kids and teach them survival skills such as pitching a tent, starting a fire using flints, swimming in rough waters, rope-climbing, fishing and cooking with basic amenities. Also, make sure you have regular test runs and emergency drills with your family. You have to make sure that your family is ready to face any situation.
And finally, stay positive! During difficult times, family comes first. Stay together and keep each other cheerful and happy. A pleasant disposition during tough times is half the job done, and it will make the situation much easier to get through!