You’ll never know when a disaster or emergency is going to strike. That’s why the US Government recommends building a ‘survival kit’ to last you for at least 3 days.
While you can make one on your own, you can easily buy a pre-assembled one. Here’s what you need to know when buying pre-packed kits for emergencies.
What Should Be in Your Disaster Kit?
Your kit should include these essential items:
- Water (1 gallon per person per day)
- Food supply (enough for 3 days)
- Radio (battery-powered or hand-cranked)
- NOAA weather radio with alert tone
- First aid kit (you also might want to get First-Aid and CPR trained and certified )
- Extra batteries
- Dust mask
- Plastic sheet and duct tape
- Moist towelettes, plastic ties, and garbage bag
- Pliers or wrench
- Manual can opener
- Local maps
- Cellphone with charger and backup battery
Additional Supplies for Your Kit
Depending on your needs, you may want to add the following to your disaster kit as well:
- Prescription drugs
- Non-prescription drugs such as antacids, laxatives, anti-diarrheals, or pain medication
- Cash or traveler’s cheque
- Family documents such as bank account records, insurance policies, and identification documents (stored in a waterproof organizer)
- Paper and pencil
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person)
- Climate-appropriate clothing and shoes
- Matches (kept in a waterproof container)
- Fire extinguisher
- Personal hygiene items
- Baby needs (formula, diapers, bottles, wipes, and rash cream)
- Items for your children (toys, puzzles, etc.)
- Food and water for your pet
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control also recommends including masks, soap, disinfecting wipes, and a bottle of hand sanitiser to your disaster kit..
Other Useful Tools
Apart from the above-mentioned items, you may also benefit from tools that help with transport, navigation, shelter, and personal protection. These items, which you’ll find in a Stealth Angel disaster kit, include:
- Safety Goggles
- Work Gloves
- Paracord Bracelet
How to Maintain Your Disaster Kit
While the items in your preparedness kit will last a long time, you need to take care of them by:
- Storing canned goods in a cool and dry place
- Placing boxed food into closed metal or plastic containers
Remember to check the food items in your kit periodically to replace the expired ones.
Also try to re-evaluate your family’s needs from time to time so that you may update your disaster kit accordingly. For example, you may need to add baby items if you’re expecting any time soon.
Where to Store Your Emergency Kit
Time is of the essence in a disaster, so you need to be able to pick up your kit as soon as possible. You can facilitate this by storing your kit in the following easy-to-reach areas:
Designate a place in your house where you can pick it up right away. For example, you may want to keep your kit in a cabinet near the door.
Make sure that your family members know this hiding place as well.
Your work grab-and-go kit, which should be good for at least 24 hours, should be kept in an accessible place like your desk or drawer.
Make sure that the kit is within reach, so avoid placing it in the trunk!
Preparation is important. Give yourself and your family a fighting chance by having disaster kits on standby.