It doesn’t matter where you live, what your personal situation is, or what type of disasters you may potentially face, there are some basic supplies everyone should have on hand “just in case”. Not being prepared for an emergency is bad planning for life, in general; “failing to plan is planning to fail” and all that. Here are five things that you should stock and store at all times to make sure you can make it no matter what live throws at you. More people are, at the least, more unnecessarily uncomfortable, and worse, placed in unnecessarily life threatening situations for lack of bad planning. Know the five “must have supplies that should be part of your disaster preparedness.
Let’s start with the most important and most urgent item on the list – water. You can make it a surprisingly long time without food, power, and all sorts of other stuff. You can’t make it very long without a reliable source of drinking water. We have become so reliant on our faucets that it’s easy to forget that we should store water for a few days whenever something happens. (or has the potential for happening) One of the first things you should do when you are prepping for an imminent emergency is to store plenty of water. Buy a few bottles or gallons at the store, or fill up containers at home. Keep a water filter, or a little Clorox on hand to keep water drinkable for longer time periods. I know it sounds gross, but we are talking emergency situation.
Non-Perishable, Ready-To-Eat Food
While human beings can go a surprisingly long period of time without food, involuntary fasting is not at all pleasant. Keep a few ready to eat foods in your pantry at all times including peanut butter, crackers, protein bars, and canned foods that you can eat without heating. It helps to stick with items that you eat on a regular basis, so you can rotate through this food store and you don’t risk it going bad. The Ready Store’s Daily Sale is a good place to start for carefully packaged food for storage and other disaster preparedness supplies.
In addition, start stocking up if a time of year approaches where, in your area, natural disasters occur most often. For instance, I live in “tornado alley”. More tornadoes strike Oklahoma City, our state’s capital, than any other city in the United States. We know that from March to August the threat of tornado is always present. During this period of time it would be smart for us to be stocked up in the event of power outages and supply line problems. Don’t forget to bring some of this emergency food supply with you if you need to evacuate. You can’t always rely on others to provide you with food and stores and restaurants along the way may be closed.
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The next important item that makes it on the list is a small battery operated weather radio. Keep a set of spare batteries with it as well. This is important because you will need the latest weather and government updates as well as news. Do not rely on your phone and the internet as your only source for information. The network could go down or overload. A weather radio makes an important backup.
Flash Light And Batteries
Things always seem worse in the dark, don’t they? And not only that. It can be downright dangerous to move around outside, or even inside your home (especially the elderly) without a reliable source of light. Candles will work in a pinch, but they also bring the risk of setting your surroundings on fire. Instead make sure your kit includes several flash lights and spare batteries. Headlamps are particularly helpful when you are trying to move around get things done.
First Aid Kit
Last, but certainly not least and while I realize it is a “no brainer” you’d be surprised at how often we take for granted that “we’ve got stuff in there”. So, let’s talk about an emergency first aid kit. The size of your kit will depend on the size of your family. Start with a standard kit available at your local store and then add any and all medications you and your loved ones take and need. Check this kit and the rest of your disaster supplies regularly to make sure you’re prepared when you need to grab your supplies and leave quickly.