My wise mama always says, “There are no emergencies for those who are prepared.”
Of course, that must be taken with a grain of salt, but truly, for those who are prepared emergencies are much less traumatic. So why don’t I have an emergency kit pulled together at home yet?
It’s been on my to-do-list forever and I’m finally choosing to make it a priority this month!
Depending on where you live, your emergency might look different from mine, but a basic emergency kit will hold the same things. I’m in the good ol’ Pacific Northwest and I know it’s only a matter of time before another earthquake shakes things up around here. Think about the disasters that could strike your area and plan accordingly.
In preparation for an emergency, this is what will be tucked in the corner of my garage from now on:
Think through what your family prefers and has a long shelf life. Each emergency kit should have enough for each person in your family for 3 days. If you are breastfeeding your baby, think through what alternatives you would want available for them in case you were separated from your baby or unable to nurse. Don’t forget about pets!
- Water (one gallon/day/person)
- Canned meal replacement shakes, meats, fruits, and veggies
- Protein bars, nuts, soups, and crackers
- Can opener
- Waterproof matches
- Paper plates, cups, napkins, and utensils
HYGIENE & HEALTH
Think through your normal day; make note of all the necessities you and your family use on a daily basis. Make sure the bare necessities are packed in your emergency kit.
- Plastic bags: gallon and trash can size
- Bar soap and liquid detergent
- Toilet paper
- Toothpaste, toothbrush, sunscreen, contact solution and supplies (if needed)
- Basic first aid kit
- Extra glasses: prescription and sun
- Diapers and wipes
- Women’s hygiene items
Depending on where you live, you might need clothing for a variety of seasons — pack layers so you are prepared no matter the time of year that disaster may strike.
- 1 pair of clothes for each family member
- 1 pair of warm pajamas for each family member
- Waterproof outerwear
- Sturdy shoes and a few pairs of socks
I’ll be honest, I consulted my husband to walk me through the necessary items we might need in regard to safety. I also thought it was a good idea to run this list by him before I started gathering from his work bench!
- Flashlight with batteries
- Portable radio
- Rubber gloves and masks
- Work gloves
- Hammer, screwdriver, pliers, and duct tape
- Utility knife
- Blanket and tarp
- Cell phone charger
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
Once everyone is safe, it might be awhile until electricity is restored or help arrives. Package appropriate activities for your children.
- Puzzles and books
- Crayons and coloring book or journal and pen
- Family board game and playing cards
- Video games (with batteries)
- Knitting or crafts
If home is inaccessible and internet is down, it would be wise to have copies of important paperwork and other information you might find helpful.
- Copies of birth certificates, social security cards, passports, bank account information, and debit cards
- Spare key for home and each vehicle
- Cash and checkbook
- Phone numbers and addresses of 1-2 local and 1-2 out-of-state contacts whom your spouse or child could contact if needed
Depending on where you live and how old your children are, you might have other things in your kit — what would you add?
Further resource about building an emergency kit can be found here:
FEMA’s “Ready” Recommendations
Red Cross Kit Recommendations
The First 3 Minutes from According to Kelly
Car Emergency Kit
Anatomy of a First Aid Kit