As the winter season is quickly approaching, now is the time to start thinking about your home emergency kit. Hopefully all you need to do is update your kit from last year, but if you don’t have one at all then you’re going to need to start from scratch. But how can you do that?
Thankfully, we’ve done all the research and are here to tell you everything you need to include in your home emergency kit to keep your family safe throughout the year.
The first thing that you need to include in your home emergency kit are non-perishable food items -- enough for the whole family! When assembling your stockpile, take into account special dietary needs and restrictions of all family members. You should also prioritize foods that will be easy to prepare without electricity and can provide you with a boost of energy.
Some of the best foods to have in your emergency kit include canned meats, canned fruits, canned vegetables, and canned juices -- just make sure that you also include a can opener! Other good items include dry cereals, protein or granola bars, nuts, and dried fruit.
Water is one of the most basic human needs, and you’re going to need a lot of it in your home emergency kit! After all, humans are 60% water.
It’s recommended that you have one gallon of water per person, per day set aside for emergency purposes. It’s also a good idea to have extra gallons for sanitation and hygiene purposes.
If you get word that there’s going to be an emergency or natural disaster that could leave you without running water, experts recommend that you begin filling your bathtubs, sinks, buckets, etc. with water while you still can.
In addition to water alone, it’s also recommended that you have additional tools that could help convert water into potable water if needed. For example, there are water filtration devices that are able to filter out dirt and grime from water so that it’s safe to drink. There are also water purification tablets that can purify generally unsafe water. Both of these items are good to have in your home emergency kit.
Within your home emergency kit, you also need to include emergency lighting. There’s nothing worse than stumbling around your house in the dark. Not only that, but it can also be dangerous, especially at night!
While it might be tempting to light a bunch of candles and call it a day, you need to think about practical and safety factors. Open flames can be potentially dangerous and really don’t provide that much light.
Thankfully, there are a variety of emergency-friendly lighting products out there that would be a great addition to your home emergency kit.
Here are some of our favorites:
You need to be prepared for a lack of communication systems and information during an emergency. If the power goes out, you may not be able to charge your cell phones or have access to information that way.
Cell phone towers could also potentially be affected by certain types of emergencies that would make it difficult for you to stay informed on current weather, government advisories, etc.
That’s why it’s so important to have an emergency radio in your home emergency kit. We recommend going with a radio that’s not only battery-powered, but can also be powered through solar energy or through a crank -- that way, you won’t have to worry about its power supply running out if you don’t have access to electricity.
Just make sure that your radio also has access to NOAA weather alerts so that you’re aware of weather conditions and can use that information to make the best decisions for your family.
A lot of people forget about hygiene when assembling their home emergency kits -- but this definitely isn’t an area that you can just gloss over!
To start, make sure that you have cleaning supplies like soap, hand sanitizer, or disinfecting wipes. Also make sure that you have toilet paper, moist towelettes, and paper towels. Finally, make sure that you have things like feminine hygiene products, toothpaste, and deodorant to help make the experience go as smoothly as possible.
Don’t forget to account for waste by including things like garbage bags and plastic ties as well.
If your emergency occurs in the winter and temperatures are low, then you’re going to need to stay warm. The best way to do this without electricity is through a fire. Make sure that you have extra firewood, matches, and lighters within your emergency kit. Also make sure that you have additional components that are able to keep you warm like blankets, sleeping bags, coats, etc.
All of these components will be key to helping you survive cold temperatures until the heat comes back on.
Your important personal documents won’t necessarily help you survive, but they can make your emergency or evacuation situation go a lot more smoothly. Having documents like medical records, financial records, proof of address, identification records, etc. handy during an emergency is very important.
It’s always recommended that you keep these items in a fireproof and waterproof box so that they can stay 100% safe since they can be pretty difficult to replace, especially during an emergency.
Hopefully you won’t have to use it, but you definitely need to have a first aid kit within your home emergency kit. Here are some key items to include within a good first aid kit:
One final thing that a lot of people don’t think about when it comes to their emergency kits are masks. We are all more familiar with masks now thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have actually always been a vital item within a good emergency kit.
It’s never a bad idea to have some KN95 masks in your kit. Just make sure that you have one for each family member and, if possible, a few extras too. If you’re not able to get your hands on KN95’s right now, then simple dust masks or even surgical masks are better than nothing.
Instead of being overwhelmed by all the items that you need in your home emergency kit, it’s time to take action and be prepared. Companies like Boundery sell high-quality tools and equipment that can help keep you and your family safe during an emergency. After all, it’s better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to emergency planning.