Whether or not you expect to find yourself in an emergency situation, there are a few items it never hurts to have on hand. Storms and natural disasters can strike with little warning, and being prepared is the best way to make it through emergency circumstances without panic.
Electricity is the main thing that people take for granted. Just about everything in our lives uses electricity, from appliances and computers to cell phone chargers and the wireless routers that allow us to connect to the internet. The first thing that people scramble to get when the power goes out is a way to power their necessities; in a word, batteries. Make sure to have a stock on hand so that you aren’t left in the dark if a lengthy power outage should occur.
In any emergency, it’s important to have a light source. Placing several flashlights at important places around the house will ensure that you won’t be caught stumbling through the dark should there be an unforeseen power failure. Keeping a powerful flashlight in the back seat of the car is also a good idea in case of a breakdown.
Canned or dried food
Long power outages or damage from natural disasters can make it difficult to keep certain foods fresh or re-stock foods that have spoiled. If you live in a climate prone to snow storms, a deep snow can keep you cut off from the store for several days. Having a reserve of canned fruits and vegetables, as well as dried foods like rice and beans, will ensure that you have meals even if you can’t get out to shop.
Radios and flashlights often take the same kinds of batteries. Instead of wasting potential light power on a radio, invest in a crank-powered model. These are available for many manufacturers in models ranging from small, portable radios to multi-function units containing cell phone chargers. These radios can run for about an hour after being cranked for one or two minutes and provide access to news, weather, and other important information during an emergency.
First aid kit
Emergencies where people get hurt are some of the scariest, but having a well-stocked first aid kit can be a great help. Instead of having to scramble when someone gets hurt, a first aid kit keeps everything close at hand. If you put together a kit, make sure to keep it stocked and re-stock it after use so that there is never a shortage of important items. Consider stocking things like gauze and elastic bandages, surgical adhesive tape, antiseptic solution, instant cold packs, scissors, cotton swabs, eye drops, and antihistamine.
Being prepared can keep an emergency from becoming a disaster. With a little careful planning, you can be ready to take on any unexpected situation.
Louise Baker is a freelance journalist. She currently writes about getting an online degree for Zen College Life. Her most recently article was a review of the best online colleges in the USA.