10 Items You Should Always Have On You In Case Of An Emergency
With tropical storms and hurricanes ravaging much of the country over the past few weeks and with more on their way, we are all now in the unfortunate position of having to consider making an emergency plan. And part of proper planning is putting together an emergency bag with essentials that can be easily grabbed, either to address needs in your home or out of it (if forced to evacuate). Here are some helpful tips on what to include to be sure you and your loved ones are as prepared and safe as possible.
Flashlight and Batteries
One of the most valuable items in your emergency bag is without a doubt a flashlight. With the very real possibility of losing power during a particularly harsh storm, having a flashlight will allow you to navigate both in your home and out of it as safely as possible. We are fans of latern-style flashlights, but any light source will work if your power is knocked out.
Another item that goes without saying (but we want to emphasize) is a first-aid kit. From bandages to gauze to surgical tape, a first-aid kit can provide important medical supplies that can help mend lesser injuries that could occur in the throes of an emergency. Obviously nothing will substitute for professional medical care, but until you’re able to reach a hospital or clinic, a first aid kit can provide the help you need.
Non-perishable Food Items
One of the most terrifying circumstances families will sometimes have to confront is the prospect of leaving their home during an evacuation. The uncertainty of fleeing, the fear of losing your home and possessions is unthinkable. But as much as we don’t want to think about it, being prepared is critical and part of that preparation is ensuring that you have food. Non-perishable food items that don’t require much in the way of preparation can be exceptionally useful and, honestly, life-saving if you’re forced out of your home.
Bottles of Water
In a similar vein, bottles of water can be worth their weight in gold during an emergency. We have all seen news reports in which scores of people flock to their local grocery stores, cleaning out every package of bottled water they can find. When compiling your emergency bag, be sure to have multiple bottles of water that can be critical during the first few hours of a crisis.
Hand Sanitizer/Other Personal Cleaners
This might not be the first item you think about packing, but rest assured that it’s one you’ll be grateful that you did. Be sure that you have hand sanitizer or other personal cleaning products (hand wipes, etc.) tucked firmly in your emergency pack. Whether looking to clear your hands before treating an injury or looking to sanitize before eating, it will be a useful item to have at your disposal.
To be honest, cash might not always seem like the most useful item in your emergency bag. Unlike many of the other essentials we mentioned, cash isn’t something that can be used in and of itself to solve a problem. However, if circumstances force you to flee your home or power outages cause credit cards to not be an option, you’ll be glad to have some cash with you.
A Multi-purpose Tool
Of all the items on our list, this might be one of the few you don’t currently have in your home. We can’t stress enough the importance of having a multi-tool readily at your disposal in your home and, particularly, during an emergency. Featuring scissors, knives, screwdrivers, etc., multi-purpose tools will provide a handy means of tackling tasks big and small without lugging around countless full-size tools.
Another item that might involve a trip to Best Buy or an outdoor gear retailer, a radio is old-school, but it’s definitely a must-have in any emergency pack. Depending on what sort of emergency you’re dealing with, downed power lines, electricity loss and cell phone outages could render you largely disconnected from the rest of your city, town or state. A radio will allow you to hear what’s going on and make moves accordingly to stay out of harm’s way.
Whether to wrap yourself in or to provide a comfortable seat, having a blanket at your disposal is very helpful and should have a prominent place in your emergency bag.
And last, but certainly not least: medications. We can’t stress the importance of making sure you have over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, as well as critical prescription medications in your emergency bag. The uncertainty that can accompany a natural disaster or other catastrophe could render you unable to get important medical care, so having what you need at your finger tips can be a true life-saver.