You never know when a natural disaster or other emergency could disrupt your life, but you can be prepared.
To ensure you’re ready for the unexpected, create a kit containing the supplies you’ll need most in the emergencies you’re most likely to encounter, such as power outages, tornadoes and snowstorms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the kit should contain at least three days’ worth of supplies for every member of your family, including pets. Many supplies go bad over time, so be sure to rotate them occasionally according to their expiration dates.
A well-stocked preparedness kit should include:
- Water: Store at least one gallon per person, per day.
- Food: Choose canned and shelf-stable foods. Don’t forget a can opener.
- First aid: You’ll want to seek treatment for major injuries, of course, but have the basics on hand for minor injuries.
- Medicine: Maintain a seven-day supply of any needed prescription drugs.
- Cooking gear and fuel: You’ll need a way to heat your food if the utilities are down. Propane camping stoves make a good choice.
- Light: Have candles and flashlights stored for every member of your family.
- Portable radio: You’ll want a way to follow the latest news and announcements if TV and Internet access are down.
- Cellphone charger: Choose a solar charger or DC charger (to enable charging in your car) for extra versatility.
- Cash: Credit and debit cards may not work if a retailer’s power is out.
- Batteries: Radios and flashlights won’t work without them.
- Multipurpose tool: This can come in handy when power tools won’t function.
- Pet needs: Animals need food, water, and a leash or carrier if you need to travel with them.
Make mini preparedness kits to place in each of your family vehicles. A backpack can hold everything you’d need to make being stranded in a car overnight much more bearable. Also, decide on a meeting place where every member of your family will go in an emergency, in case you’re unable to communicate when disaster strikes.