Your home and family should have a stockpile of emergency supplies saved up. The reasons why you might need them could range from an extended power outage to a hurricane to an earthquake. Most items you need are pretty cheap and not hard to find. Having them on hand could wind up saving a life.
If you’re headed out to a store, you can take a checklist with you. Government websites and the Red Cross both have printable versions you can download. Your stockpile of emergency resources will likely start with basic items before you expand it into customized selections that meet the unique needs your household might have, such as pet supplies, things for folks with specific health conditions, seniors, and more.
The most basic needs are what your emergency kit and supplies need to start with. That means having enough water and food for everyone in your home for 72 hours minimum. That usually means a gallon of water for every individual per day. The food should be nonperishable, since your fridge either won’t be running or available. A manual can opener might be needed for this, but you’ll also need things like a radio, whistle, extra batteries, first aid kit, moist towelettes, garbage bags, and tools. Local maps and wireless phone chargers also prove handy.
Duffel bags and plastic bins make useful containers for emergency disaster supplies, since you can store them easily but also move them into a vehicle should you need to evacuate. As you assemble your kit, store items in their own airtight plastic bags to keep things fresh, dry, clean, and organized.
You can download and print off emergency supply checklists and start picking things up one at a time as you visit your community stores for your normal shopping. However, you can also buy premade kits that are already full of nearly everything you might need in an emergency. These retail supply kits are even customized to various scenarios and sizes. Piece-mealing it out on your on can make it cheaper, but buying an assembled kit has two advantages. First, it’s usually going to be deliberately designed for compact storage and be light in weight. Second, the items will be sturdier and more durable than typical retail goods.
You might want to consider storing emergency supplies in multiple locations, given that you don’t actually know where you’ll be when a situation happens. As such, it makes sense to prepare stockpiles specifically for work settings, your home, and even your vehicles.
A home kit should be stored in a specifically designated place that everyone knows about, so that you anyone can grab it in the event of needing to leave home quickly. A work kit should be able to support you for 24 hours, including water, food, medicine, comfortable footwear, and other necessities in its own ‘grab and go’ container. A vehicular kit would be what you need if you are stranded in your car, either due to traffic backed up on an emergency escape route or perhaps a snowstorm.