Always Be Prepared for an Emergency
by Holly Vic Hammond
Are you prepared for an emergency? You never know when a power outage, natural disaster or severe storm might hit. Take action today by assembling emergency kits at home and in your car and be prepared.
Home emergency preparation
While weather forecasters usually do a good job of sharing up-to-date weather conditions, you don’t always receive advance warning about power outages. Thus, you need a plan. Prepare with supplies that keep you safe and warm for several days after a natural disaster hits. Your emergency kit should include essential survival items. Find everything you need in the Emergency Preparedness Guide. It includes a seven-day supply of items you’ll need during a disaster. If you want to prepare your own kit, assemble everything you need in an airtight and waterproof container. Remember you’re likely not to have power so prepare your kit with things that don’t require electricity.
- Food is the first item you want to assemble. Non-perishable foods like peanut butter, tuna, energy bars and nuts store best since they require no refrigeration and are ready to eat. Remember to pack a manual can opener and wet wipes or napkins. You’ll also want to store enough water for two weeks. Provide at least one gallon of water per person per day.
- Flashlights, batteries, a battery-powered radio and matches provide light and a connection to the outside world. Change the batteries every year to ensure they’re fresh and ready to go at a moment’s notice. A first aid kit, warm clothing and sleeping bags keep you safe and warm. Consider packing a whistle, small tool kit, duct tape and heavy gloves just in case you might need them.
- Make recovery easier with copies of important paperwork. It’s a good idea to keep copies of medical prescriptions, your identification cards and insurance cards. You may also want to store copies of your house, car and lock box keys, as well as extra cash.
While you may never need your home emergency kit, you’ll appreciate the peace of mind it offers.
Car emergency preparation
While you want to be aware of the weather conditions and take shelter if a big storm is coming, you can’t prepare for every situation. A flat tire might leave you stranded or you may drive into a big storm and decide to pull over and wait for it to pass. Use the emergency kit in your car to stay comfortable. The kit should include food, water, tools and clothing. Purchase a pre-packaged kit or make your own.
- Stored in an airtight and sealed box in your vehicle, a homemade emergency kit will include food and water, similar to your home emergency kit. You don’t need gallons of water, though. One to two gallons should be enough.
- You should store extra clothing, comforters and a sleeping bag in your car too. They keep you warm, especially when the temperature dips below freezing.
- A flashlight, batteries and matches are additional necessities. Use them to signal for help or increase your comfort as you wait for a storm to pass.
Emergencies aren’t something you can prevent, but you can plan for them. By assembling emergency kits for your home and car, you increase your comfort during power outages, storms or natural disasters. You also have peace of mind knowing you’re prepared with food, water and other necessities no matter what happens.
Holly is an Indianapolis native who works part time in the Windy city of Chicago. On a regular basis she is faced with less than favorable weather. When she isn’t searching the web for the warmest coat, you can find her blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she loves.