5 Must-Haves For Your Family In Case of Emergency
Any emergency, large or small, is less daunting with key supplies and tools in easy reach. When it comes to disaster readiness, a little preparation goes a long way! But the sheer amount of information out there can mean we get overwhelmed and stop before we start.
Never fear! We have simplified our list into five emergency must-haves for your family, to help you get going on your preparation journey.
A complete life saver, this compact tool can accomplish a wide array of basic tasks while on the go. A good multi-tool should have pliers, cutters, knives, saws, scissors, a ruler, and a bottle and can opener.
If budget is not a concern, the classic Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool, SwissChamp Pocket Knife is an all-inclusive option, with 33 functions including a strong pair of pliers, magnifying glass, and chisel. It is made of tempered stainless steel, which assures extra durability of the sharp blades. It’s a bit heavy at 6.5 ounces (184 grams), but its versatility more than earns it a place in your kit.
A cheaper (but not lesser!) version is the Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster Multi-Tool. It is also stainless steel, with about 15 functional tools such as blade scissors and screwdrivers. It is lighter at 3.5 ounces (99 grams) and is enclosed in a sturdy protective covering.
We recommend keeping these gadgets on hand for an emergency situation:
Two-way radios / “walkie talkies” - one per family member.
Cellular towers may be impacted in an emergency, which means we can’t always rely on smartphones to stay in touch if family members are separated from one another.
That being said, smartphones are an excellent information storage tool - store an offline version of the local map, PDF files of important documents, or games to help pass the time.
A good emergency flashlight is waterproof, shockproof, has at least 500 lumens of light output, and is durable enough to withstand strenuous activity and long periods of use.
Don’t forget your power! Extra batteries for all of your devices and a hand crank or solar charger will keep your gadgets running in an emergency.
Having access to both prescription and over-the-counter medications is essential in an emergency - and an extra supply should be in your family’s emergency kit! The Federal Drug Association (FDA) recommends the following in case of an emergency:
- Keep an up-to-date list of family members’ medications, including dose and indicated use
- Store medication in water-tight containers (such as plastic containers with lids)
- Have ice available for medications that need refrigeration
To prepare for an emergency, you should keep a two-week supply of any prescriptions (in case access to a pharmacy is disrupted), plus a stock of common over-the-counter medications. Check these regularly to make sure they have not reached their expiration date. A pharmacist can assist you if you are unsure of how to safely store medications.
Food and Water
Every emergency kit should include a two-week supply of drinking water and three days’ worth of food. Choose foods that are easy to prepare, have a long shelf life, and do not require refrigeration. Avoid anything too spicy or salty, as these require extra water consumption. Also, remember to consider each family member’s allergies and dietary needs, such as baby formula or nut-free options.
For drinking water, the rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day. Store extra for family members who are pregnant or unwell, and for washing and first aid. In case the water supply gets depleted, you can use unscented chlorine bleach to disinfect nearby water sources.
Finally, don’t forget to include an extra set of lightweight cooking and eating utensils! You can’t eat without containers, spoons, forks and tumblers.
Now that you know the “must-haves,” the next step is to make sure they’re easily on hand in case of emergency!
We recommend keeping your family’s emergency supplies together in one grab bag. This bag should be waterproof, fireproof and stored in a cool, dry, and easily accessible location (rather than buried in the back of a closet or hidden away in the garage). Most importantly, every member of your family should know exactly where the grab bag is and be able to reach it easily.
To repeat, our five emergency must-haves are:
- Food and Water
- Grab Bag
For the next step in your preparedness journey, we recommend expanding your emergency kit, so that you’ll never be caught without something you need! Examples of contents can be found on emergency websites, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the PrepMeKits website.
Although grabbing these must-haves is quick and easy, collecting all the necessary supplies for a comprehensive emergency kit can be a time-consuming task. Kit specialists like PrepMeKits are able to provide fully stocked emergency kits that fit your needs and are ready to go, saving you endless hours of research and organization.
Once you have your completed kit, all you need to do is choose a place to store it, familiarize yourself with its contents, and schedule regular checks to ensure the contents are up to date. You’ll also need to talk to your family about an emergency plan.
Now is the time to prepare for an unexpected emergency; not next week or next month. These 5 must-haves are the first steps to safety for you and your family.
PrepMeKits helps you get prepared for the next inevitable disaster without the need to gather the kit contents yourself. Each kit is customizable according to your dietary and family needs. We can help you start your preparations today by providing expert consultations. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to connect.