We never want to think we need to worry about an emergency, but the truth is, emergencies happen, so the best thing we can do is be prepared. Being prepared for a disaster or emergency will make the situation run a whole lot more smoothly. It’s recommended that you keep an emergency kit filled with items for your family’s needs for at least 72 hours. By taking time to prepare your kit beforehand, you can be ready if an emergency strikes.
Here are the items you should prep for the emergency kit for your home and car:
- Water - one gallon of water per person per day for 72 hours (three days) for drinking, washing and sanitation
- Non-perishable food for at least three days and a manual can opener
- Cash- to sustain you for around five days
- Battery-operated flashlight with extra batteries
- Battery-powered radio
- Family documents including birth certificates, passports, licenses, wills, insurance
- Extra set of keys for your house and car
- First aid kit
- Whistle, in case you need to signal for help
- Personal hygiene items
- Special items like medications, baby needs, contacts, extra glasses, etc.
- Moist towelettes and garbage bags for personal sanitation
- Cell phones with chargers and extra battery packs
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
The items above are must-pack items you need in your emergency kit for your home and car if a disaster or emergency hits. The items below are additional recommended items to consider adding to your kit and are also based on individual needs.
- Change of clothing and footwear for each person in your family
- Pet food and pet medication
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- Toys, games and books
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, antacids or laxatives
- Baby formula, bottles, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Contact lenses solution
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Paper cups, plates and utensils
- Paper and pens/pencils
Where to Store Your Emergency Kit
Emergencies can strike at any time, so it’s important to be prepared wherever you are. Here are two places to store an emergency kit:
1 At home: Keep your emergency kit in a designated place that everyone in your household knows about. Make sure it’s easy to access in case you have to leave your home quickly.
2. In your car: You should also keep an emergency kit in your car in case you’re stranded when an emergency hits.
Emergency Kit Maintenance
Hopefully you’ll never need to use your emergency kit, but you should make sure to maintain it over the years to ensure everything in the kit is safe to use if an emergency does happen.
Keep your canned food items in a cool, dry place and store boxed food in tightly closed plastic containers. Replace items when they expire and make sure to add things to your kit as your family’s needs change. For example, perhaps when you first packed your emergency kit you didn’t have a baby and now you do. Add all necessary items to the kit.
Stocking your emergency kit is always a good plan. Use this list to make sure your emergency kit for your home and your car is packed with the essentials!