Emergencies don’t have a warning; they just happen. That’s why it’s essential to be prepared for anything at any time by making a home emergency kit ready and having a plan in place.
This is helpful during big disasters and minor emergencies like needing to go to the nearest hospital for first aid. This article will go over the six things you need to have at home to prepare for emergencies.
You’ve probably heard it said several times, but clean drinking water hardly comes by in an emergency, so you must have your supply at home. Keep a closed container for this amount of water stored in a cool, dark place at room temperature. You need at least a liter of water per person for at least three days.
It really depends on the size of your family, and it is recommended to have one gallon (four liters) per person daily. This should be enough for drinking, cooking, and other uses, as well as bartering if needed. In addition to storing potable water for drinking, you should also keep a few gallons of water from bleach or iodine. You can use this for cleaning and personal hygiene during an emergency.
You need a three-day supply of food at a minimum. If you’re going on a short trip, don’t forget to pack your emergency food supply.
When it comes to food for emergencies, remember that you want quick-to-prepare items that you can cook with minimal electricity and water if the power goes out. It’s also recommended to include a manual can opener in your emergency kit. If you’ve ever tried to open a can without one, you know why.
There are several things that everyone should have at home for an emergency. This includes first-aid supplies, battery-powered radio, flashlights, spare batteries, whistle (in case you need to call for help), fire extinguisher, extra cash, etc.
In addition to those things, it’s also a good idea to have supplies that will keep you safe from potential hazards that can occur during an emergency, such as smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and heat/cold-related supplies like blankets and a thermometer. It’s also helpful to make sure your home is easy to leave quickly in an emergency.
First Aid Supplies
If you or someone else is injured, the first-aid kit is essential to prevent things from getting worse and save lives. Bearing this in mind, here’s what you should have at home:
- Antiseptic wipes or antibacterial ointment
- Adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Butterfly wound closures
- First aid tape
- Gauze pads in assorted sizes
- First aid instruction booklet
Fix Heating and Cooling System
Heating and cooling systems, like furnaces and air conditioners, are essential during colder months and hotter days and should be necessary during emergencies since they can balance the temperature when needed the most.
It’s important to either know how to fix your home heating and cooling system or be able to call a professional for help if something goes wrong. You should also make sure that you check the systems every five months to get them cleaned and ensure they’re still functioning properly. A furnace tune-up is an excellent preventive measure, especially now that winter is fast approaching.
It’s also best to prepare emergency heating and cooling supplies like:
- Portable space heater that serves as a backup if the primary heating system goes down
- Programmable thermostat in case of an extended power outage
- Extra batteries for your carbon monoxide detector
- Candles, matches, lighters, etc.
Special Needs Supplies
The items on this list are for those who have something they can’t live without or might need an extra supply of because of a special need. In terms of prescription medications, it would be a good idea to keep at least a 30-day supply. If you have pets, make sure you have enough food and water for them and any other supplies that they may need in an emergency.
Always check the expiration dates on your pre-packed kit food and replace it once a year or when needed. If you have any questions about where to get supplies, many stores sell reassembled kits for different types of emergencies. Six months to one year supply of the following:
- Cooking staples like flour, sugar, salt, spices, and seasoning
- Dairy products like milk, buttermilk powder, and cheese
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Canned goods like sardines and chicken chunks or freeze-dried food
- Peanut butter
- Boxed fruit juices
In addition to the items listed above for your specific needs, you should also have a good supply of the following:
- A manual can opener
- Garbage bags and ties for personal sanitation
For your home to be prepared in case of an emergency, you need to make sure that all of these things are neatly organized and easy to find in case you need them quickly. If you’re not quite ready for this step yet, consider writing down all of these items and taping them to the inside of your cupboard so that you’ll be prepared when an emergency strikes.