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Be prepared. Make sure you have these essential emergency kit items on hand!
Natural disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. Earthquakes, hurricanes, other natural disasters and emergencies can leave us helpless. Emergencies can happen when you least expect them. In the face of adversity, it’s always best to stay calm and practice mindfulness so you can take the right steps to stay safe.
Keeping an emergency kit can make a world of difference during these unexpected events. By taking some time to prepare an emergency kit, you ensure the safety and survival of your family and loved ones for days when disaster strikes.
A well-prepared emergency kit should include essentials, first aid supplies, and items to call for help. Here are some of the most important items to have in your emergency kit:
water and food supply
Food and water are the most important parts of your emergency kit. Have a supply of non-perishable food and a manual can opener on hand. Choose foods that your family typically eats and that meet their dietary needs. Here are some examples of foods to stock up on:
- Ready-to-eat canned meat, vegetables and fruit
- Dry cereals such as granola bars, cornflakes, raisin bran or bran flakes
- Protein or fruit bars
- Whole grain crackers or muesli
- High-energy foods like nuts or sweet potatoes
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- Dried fruit
To have an emergency water supply, it is recommended that you keep at least one gallon of water per day per person for drinking and sanitation.
First aid kit
A well-stocked first aid kit can help you treat common injuries at home. You can easily buy first aid kits in stores or put them together yourself. You want to put together your first aid kit according to your needs. Some basic supplies and medications may include:
- adhesive tapes and bandages
- Rubber tourniquet
- Instant cold packs
- Vaseline or other lubricants
- Sterile saline solution
- Antibiotic ointment and antiseptic solution
- anti-diarrheal medication
- Aloe vera gel
- Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (like Tylenol) or ibuprofen (like Advil)
Flashlight and fresh batteries
Since power outages can occur during disasters, a battery-powered flashlight will help you see through the darkness. While you can easily pull out your phone to use as a flashlight, you may want to conserve your phone’s battery so you can call or get help. Also remember to keep a fresh charge of batteries.
A whistle comes in handy when you need to signal for help. If you are stuck or stranded, the search and rescue team can easily hear a whistle call.
Even during natural disasters and emergencies, you should not take personal hygiene for granted. Toiletries might not take up a lot of space in your gear, but they make a huge difference in keeping you feeling fresh and clean during stressful times. Here are some toiletries you may want to keep:
- Bar of soap or shower gel
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- hand sanitizer
- Antibacterial wipes
- shampoo and conditioner
Battery operated or hand crank radio
Radios can provide you with important updates and information such as weather alerts, location and distribution plan for water and supplies. There may also be other announcements that could affect your security. Keeping a battery operated or hand operated radio is sustainable and also useful during power outages.
Portable multi tool
A multi-tool like a Swiss army knife is a portable device that combines several individual tools in one handy power tool. With just one handy device you can open canned goods, cut clothing and ropes, loosen and tighten screws, open bottles and much more. It’s a perfect little tool to keep in unexpected times.
Blankets are useful items in emergencies as they can serve many purposes. It can cover injured victims and line the inside of a sleeping bag to keep you comfortable. In hot weather, it can also serve as a shade or shelter from the sun. It can keep you warm and prevent hypothermia by reducing heat loss from your body in extreme cold.
Choose a light, portable and durable rescue blanket. Space blankets or emergency blankets have highly reflective insulators that can help prevent a sudden drop in your body temperature.
Keep important documents, cellphone and cash in a waterproof bag when exposed to rain or flooding. An airtight container or case also serves to protect your essentials from water, sand or dirt. Even better, you can use a heavy-duty waterproof bag for all your emergency gear.
This article was written by Ruth Riley, an educator and author. She teaches linguistics to college students and also conducts studies on CBD. She believes that CBD is one of the best natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs and that it deserves further research and understanding.