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No one likes to think about natural disasters. We hear about them on the news, happening other places and affecting other people, and we shake our heads and think “Oh, those poor people.” Then we move on with our lives, relieved that it didn’t happen to us. This time. But what if we’re the ones on the news whose hometown has been destroyed by a hurricane or a tornado. What if our family were the ones devastated by an earthquake?
Hopefully, those are things we will never experience. But there is no certainty. Recently, there was a great deal of discussion in our state about the possibility of a large earthquake at some point in time causing a huge tsunami off our coast and wiping out everything from the coastline inland to the Willamette Valley. While we would be safe where I live, there would still be repercussions for us as well.
Tornadoes are not common in our part of the country, but we had one several years back. It touched down in a little town about 12 miles from where we live. Home and businesses were destroyed there – and it came as a total surprise to everyone. Tornadoes only happen in the Midwest … right?!?!
There is no certainty that we will never face some sort of disaster that leaves us without power for an extended period of time, or isolates us from basic services. Having an emergency kit in our homes for a time like that is a good investment in our peace of mind.
Here are the basics of what you may need for your emergency kit. You can check out ready.gov for more information and ideas.
- water jugs
- water bottles
- water purification tablets
You’ll need to have at least a gallon of water per person per day. That’s what is recommended, but you may want more, when you factor in cooking and personal hygiene. You can use water bottles, gallon water jugs, water bags, etc. You might want to have water purification tablets on hand as well, in case you need to purify some water for your use.
- granola bars
- protein bars
- emergency food bars
- beef jerky
- dried fruit
- meals in a pouch
- canned tuna
- canned chili
Think food that stores well, and is ready to eat. Things like granola bars, protein bars, emergency food bars, beef jerky, peanut butter crackers or cheese crackers, dried fruit, or meals in a pouch. Nutrient dense foods are your best bet; now is not the time to be watching your calories.
Also, pack related items you will need: paper towels, paper plates and cups, plastic utensils or camping plates/utensils, etc.
- matches or lighter
You will want to make sure you have some items to use for light, as electrical power may be out for a time. Candles and matches, flashlights and batteries, headlamps, lanterns or glow sticks (or any combination thereof) should be stocked up on, and placed in your emergency kit.
- battery-powered radio
- extra batteries
- first aid kit
- bleach wipes
- toilet paper
- trash bags
Here are other things you may want to store in the emergency kit as well: battery-powered radio, more batteries, first aid kit (this could be very important), bleach wipes, toilet paper, and trash bags.
How do you store all this? Well, a large sturdy plastic tote would work great. Or you could use a few smaller totes if you wanted to store items by category. Or you could use backpacks to store items. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s sturdy and will hold everything you need.
Store it somewhere central in the house, where you can easily get to it when it’s needed. You may have to find it in the dark, so make sure it’s easily accessible.
Make sure other family members know where it’s located as well, in case they need to get to it if you aren’t around.
This kit is to have in your home in case of an emergency, when you are cut off from basic services for a period of time. I am also going to post about putting together 72-hour bags for yourself and family members (if you are forced to leave your home for a few days), as well as creating an emergency kit for your vehicle.