Planning ahead for emergencies and disasters isn’t something that we like to consider, no one likes to imagine things going wrong and the worst happening.
Unfortunately every now and then something happens to remind us that no matter how comfortable our lives are, none of us are immune to problems that happen in our local areas and in the wider world.
Power blackouts, water supply issues, natural disasters, national and global emergencies and more. All of these things might be rare but they do happen and when they do the only way to survive and thrive is to be ready for them.
That is why we put together a list of the top twenty things you will want in the event of an emergency.
These may not be things you would need if you were stranded in the wilderness, but if you are stuck at your house and potentially don’t have access to water or electricity, these items would absolutely make things a little easier. Not to mention, safer as well.
In no particular order, here are the twenty things to keep you prepared during an emergency:
1. Water & Nonperishables
Water! Water! Water! The importance of clean drinking water, in the time of an emergency, can’t be stressed enough. Every person needs half their body weight in ounces of water every day so you can’t over-buy on this one.
A gallon a day per person is recommended. It’s also recommended to have a two weeks supply stocked for everyone in the home. This seems like a lot when everything is running normally, but when an emergency occurs, you will wish you had stocked up!
Just like water, in the event that you cannot leave your home and no restaurants are even open for to-go or delivery, you will need food in your home. The type of food is crucial too, while produce will keep you healthy, it won’t keep in storage. During an emergency, you want mainly nonperishable items.
Canned food, crackers, pretzels, and peanut butter are all great options to stock up on. Canned food is an absolute must. You want to keep in mind that you may not have a way to cook it either, so picking canned food you wouldn’t mind eating cold is a top priority.
2. Battery Operated Radio
Having a radio can help you keep up to date with any vital information you may need. Broadcasts can be put out informing of current events as well as advising on what you need to be doing. Make sure yours is battery operated and use it sparingly for listening to updates.
3. Manual Can Opener
In addition to canned food, you will need a manual can opener just in case, there is no guarantee all of your canned goods will have pull tabs. An engraved can opener makes a fantastic addition to your emergency kit! If you are going to be prepared, then you have to be prepared for a time when the electricity is out, and you actually have to eat your canned food cold.
In those unlikely scenarios, you don’t want to be stranded with all this canned food and no way to open it.
4. Flashlights, Rechargeable Lanterns, Candles, and Matches
Really, anything that provides battery-powered light or light by flame is important to have in times of crisis. Flashlights, rechargeable lanterns, and candles are all long-lasting sources of light that are also cheap to stock up on. Granted, you won’t need too many of these necessarily, but a couple of good flashlights and maybe a rechargeable lantern or two will help out tremendously.
Of course, you can always gift a personalized flashlight to friends or family for their own emergency kit!
Candles are another cheap option, and a great source of light, not to mention they smell amazing! That said, it isn’t safe to scatter your house with lit candles. Instead, only use candles to light up the room or area you are in and move the candles when you move. This will ensure your safety, and you won’t need to stock on as many candles as you thought you would.
5. Powerbanks & Batteries
As mentioned above, we live in a technological world, but when the power goes out, you are going to want your phone more than ever before. There’s nothing like a time of crisis to get people to want to communicate with one another.
Having at least one power bank in the home will charge a dead phone four times before the power bank runs out of battery. If you have multiple people living in your home, you will most likely want more than one power bank. We have a nice selection of personalized power banks right here at Lazer Designs.
The good thing about power banks is their usefulness outside of emergencies. Having one on hand during routine travels, or for those days you are going without a charger just makes sense.
Alongside power banks, there are quite a few items in your emergency kit that will require batteries so make sure you pack extra in all the sizes and types you will need.
6. Whistle and Signals
In some emergencies, it might be vital to signal your location to other people so they can come to help you. A good whistle is lightweight and small so popping a few into your kit, ready to hand out when you need could save you and your loved ones in an emergency.
7. Knife or Multi-Tool
Personalized Multi-tools are extremely versatile and handy in times of emergency. Whether you purchase a knife for safety, survival, or just as a tool, you don’t want to be stuck without one.
Multi-tools are convenient because they can easily fit in pockets and other small areas, and multi-tools will include things like small scissors, screwdriver, filer, and other small blades and tools that may come in handy during an emergency.
Personalized Knives have been used for survival for centuries now, and the story hasn’t changed yet. Hands down, a knife is one of the best things to have if you are forced into survival mode.
8. First Aid Kit & Prescriptions
Safety is the main reason for a list such as this one, so it’s only right to include a first aid kit. Just like an emergency, you never really know when you’ll need a band-aid or peroxide. A first aid kit will keep you safe from infection in the event that you or someone in the house gets hurt and has an open wound.
For those that take medication regularly, it’s a good idea to always make sure you have refills available in the event of an emergency. Prescription medicine isn’t something you can necessarily stock up on, but staying on top of it is highly encouraged.
In addition to making sure your prescriptions are always in order, you may also want to include some pain relievers such as Advil or Ibuprofen in your first aid kit.
10. Baby Supplies & Personal Supplies
Even if you don’t have young children, supplies meant for infants can easily be used for adults as well – especially baby wipes and hand sanitizers. For those with young children, it is always good to keep updated supplies on hand such as the correct sized clothing and diapers, formula, and baby food.
Aside from baby supplies, make sure your personal supplies are taken care of as well. Not just prescriptions, but contact lenses and solutions, glasses, and feminine hygiene products too.
Let’s not forget toilet paper as well. Recently, people have stocked up on toilet paper so much that it’s hard to come across now. This is a small glimpse into what could happen to many other necessities if the Covid19 pandemic got any worse.
That said, this isn’t a warning to run out and buy out all the stores of everything they have. This is a reminder to be prepared but also to be mindful that no matter the emergency, we are all in this together. Having the necessary supplies on hand, and bulk stockpiling are two different mindsets.
11. Disinfectant Wipes, Sprays, and Bleach
Keeping a clean space goes hand in hand with safety. If you find yourself locked in your home for weeks on end, it’s important to have a way to disinfect surfaces.
We have seen this first hand recently with the Covid19 pandemic. In this specific emergency, we all must be careful to keep from spreading germs with one another. When dealing with a highly contagious illness, there’s no such thing as being too careful, so keeping disinfectants is necessary.
12. Extra Blankets and Sleeping Bags
Keeping warm can be one of the hardest things to do in some emergencies especially during winter. Having extra blankets on hand will help when the electricity goes out, making blankets a necessary part of survival. It might be useful to have some emergency foil blankets in your kit as well.
13. Wrench, Screwdriver, and Hammer
While a good multi-tool is a must-have, a basic set of tools comes in handy whether you are in an emergency or not. These basic tools are especially helpful for survival when it comes to repairs and necessary precautions depending on the emergency. A hammer and screwdriver can really get you far in a pinch.
14. Garbage Bags
This one may seem silly, but garbage bags can be used for more than just trash. No matter what you use them for, if you are stuck in your home for weeks on end, you are likely to rack up some trash, so extra garbage bags will be useful.
In the event that you have to pack up things quickly, trash bags are great for this as well. They are durable, versatile, and extremely functional during emergencies.
15. Pen and Paper
Once your power banks have all died and you no longer have a charge on your cellphone, communication will be limited. In our digital world, we don’t think about the power of pen and paper.
Granted, during a severe emergency, you may not be able to mail a letter to anyone, but waiting for help can be a long process. Some paper and a personalized pen or pencil can help pass the time with writing notes, jotting your thoughts, and keeping track of things you need.
Be sure to keep all paper in an airtight bag to avoid moisture being collected and ruining what you have.
16. A Map of the Area
Even if you have lived in the same small town for most of your life and you believe you know the area like the back of your hand, you could still find yourself turned around at some point.
Google maps and GPS systems may not always be able to function during a disaster situation. If your phone has died, a map could potentially be a matter of life and death by noting buildings and alternative routes that you may have forgotten about.
As mentioned above, be sure to keep all maps and paper products in a sealed bag to prevent moisture.
17. Important Personal Documents
It is always a good idea to know where your important personal documents are, especially during an emergency. Any insurance policies, titles, deeds, licenses, passports, etc. are all a crucial part of being prepared for any situation.
It is strongly recommended to have a small fire-proof safe to store all of your important documents in for emergency situations.
Keeping some cash readily available at all times is a great way to stay prepared for any situation. This one goes along with having all of your important documents in order.
If for some reason, there comes a time when you can’t use your bank card – Including a widespread power outage – you will need some cash on hand.
19. Functional Clothing
No matter the season, you need a set of functional clothes available. It’s impossible to time an emergency, so setting aside winter clothes like thermals, hats, gloves, and coats will keep you prepared for the winter months. It is also a good idea to keep a good pair of boots and a raincoat or poncho packed away too.
20. Games, Cards, and Activities
Often during an emergency, the most helpful thing to do is keep yourself fed, hydrated, warm and safe while waiting for help to arrive or for the utilities to be available again.
Sometimes staying at home or where you are, is the right thing to do. You have plenty of supplies on hand can keep yourself and your family safe for several days or even weeks. However, being stuck at home without your usual activities to keep you occupied can allow boredom to set in, especially for children.
To keep everyone entertained, make sure you include some easily transportable activities in your emergency kit, such as a deck of cards or board games.
You never know what kind of emergency will happen or when it’ll happen. That is why it is recommended to keep a contained supply of necessities within arm’s reach so that you and yours are prepared for whatever may come.
The Covid19 crisis of 2020 will eventually pass. It has been a steep learning curve for many of us, and we hope this list has proven helpful in preparing for any future emergencies.
Be sure to check out our other articles relating to the Covid19 crisis.