Emergencies can happen in the blink of an eye. To keep you and your family safe, it’s wise to have a household emergency kit prepared and stored in a place that’s easily accessible. An emergency kit can help you get through all kinds of situations. You might need a flashlight and a wireless charger during a temporary power outage, or enough supplies to last you through a week-long storm. These tips for packing a household emergency kit will help you survive whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
What To Pack
Your emergency kit should contain a variety of items. You should store these items in airtight plastic bags and put the entirety of your kit into one or two easy-to-carry containers, like plastic bins or a duffel bag. In general, your kit should include:
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Dust mask
- Extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Local maps
- Manual can opener
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape
- Wrench or pliers
The food you include should be non-perishable. Some great options include canned meats, vegetables, fruits, soups, rice, pasta, cereals, and granola bars.
When you’re picking out a flashlight, consider opting for a tactical flashlight instead of a regular flashlight. Tactical flashlights have a longer battery life. They’ll also put out more light than a regular flashlight, making them an essential tool for navigating at night, reaching out for help, and more. You can even opt for versions that are rechargeable.
How To Maintain Your Kit
After assembling your kit, you’ll want to perform a routine inspection of its contents and replace them as necessary. If your kit contains canned food, keep it in a cool, dry place. Boxed food should be stored in tightly closed plastic or metal containers. Any expired food items should be thrown out and replaced. Every year, you should take the time to reevaluate your household’s needs. Make sure to include additional items in the kit for each new member of your family, whether it’s another adult, a baby, or even a pet.
Where To Store Your Kit
Another tip for packing a household emergency kit is to store it in a safe, easy-to-reach place. A disaster can strike anywhere, whether you’re at home, at work, or on the road. Preparing emergency kits for all three of these places will ensure you’re always stocked with safety and other survival supplies.
Your emergency kit should be kept in an accessible place. Everyone in your family should be informed of the location of your emergency kit, including children. Make sure to keep it at a reasonable height and avoid locking it behind complicated mechanisms—this makes it harder to access. A drawer, cabinet, or your kitchen’s pantry will usually work well. At work, store your emergency kit somewhere in or near your desk. For a car or truck, make sure the kit is stored somewhere you can access without needing to exit the vehicle.