Guest Post Written By: The Safety Company
Disaster can strike at any given time, without prior notice. Recently, a wave of tornadoes swept through the Midwest, killing 6 and injuring several dozen more. And most of you probably remember the super typhoon Haiyan that brought 200+ mph winds along a 20-foot wall of seawater crashing through the Philippians. Unfortunately, events such as this are an all-too-common occurrence in today’s world, which is why individuals and families should create an emergency preparedness kit.
Let’s hope you never have to use it, but having an emergency preparedness kit available will provide you with the peace of mine knowing that you are your family will survive in the event of a disaster. Whether it’s a hurricane, tornado, flood, severe ice storm, or any practically any other disaster, a preparedness kit is the key to survival.
The Basics: Food, Water and Warmth
There are a couple of basic ‘must-have’ items that all emergency preparedness kits should contain: food, water and supplies to stay warm. The government-run emergency website Ready.gov recommends 72 hours worth of food and water (for each person in your family). With that said, some people may wish to include additional rations in their kit. Just remember to make sure your kit contains at least 3 days worth of food and water for each member of your family.
Bottled water along with dehydrated food products are typically the recommended rations for an emergency preparedness kit. If you choose dehydrated food products that require water to cook, make sure you increase the amount of H20 in your kit.
Hypothermia is another concern when disaster strikes. When your home’s power is cut off during a disaster, you won’t be able to rely on central heating to stay warm. Of course, the threat of hypothermia is amplified in situations where home’s are flooded. Packing some thermal blankets into your emergency preparedness kit is one step families can take to prevent hypothermia. In addition, a box of waterproof matches could prove highly useful in situations such as this.
First Aid Supplies
- An emergency preparedness kit should also contain some basic first aid supplies, including
- Gauze wrap
- Antibiotic ointment
- Pain reliever
- Burn cream
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton balls
- Petroleum jelly
- Hydrogen peroxide
No emergency preparedness kit is complete without a set of working flashlights. I recommend packing two high-lumen flashlights into your kit along with several spare batteries. When the lights go out, you’ll be glad you packed them into your kit.
For additional safety and convenience, you can supplement your kit with candles. Just remember to use caution and never leave them burning unattended, as open flames can start fires – even in disaster situations.
Lastly, having a radio available during a disaster will keep you informed on the current relief efforts. Most radio local stations will broadcast relief news during a disaster, which is why this is such a critical piece of equipment in your kit. When choosing a radio for your emergency preparedness kit, look for a model that’s powered with solar cells and/or a hand crank.
Brian Smith is an avid blogger and journalist who frequently writes for the Safety Company blog. When he’s not blogging, Brian enjoys camping trips with his two young boys, Connor and Aaron.