No matter if you live alone or with your family, it is important to be prepared for an emergency. Having the emergency essentials to take care of your needs and those of your family is important to helping you make it through an emergency unscathed. Emergencies come in all different forms, including weather, war or terrorist attacks, accidents, natural disasters, and disease. It is important you consider the different types of emergencies so you can gather the emergency essentials that will help your survival and comfort. What are some of the emergency essentials to consider?
Emergency essentials vary from person to person. While you aren't in an emergency is a good time to consider what you need and what you want to have. You could prioritize those needs and wants based on whether you are evacuating your home or getting to stay in your home. Even having emergency essentials for when you are on the road can be a good idea.
WaterHaving a backup supply of water is important, for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Although we are used to turning on the faucet and having water, some types of emergencies can occur that can stop the flow of water into our homes, or make water from the tap unfit to drink. By stockpiling one gallon of water per person per day, you can help ensure that dehydration won't be a concern during an emergency. And don't forget water for cooking and cleaning.
Stocking water raises the question of what to store it in that keeps the water potable. There is so much concern about plastics and water (or food for that matter) you may want to consider glass, metal or crockery for storing your water. The challenge is finding such containers for reasonable prices. In my opinion, water stored in plastic would be ok for cleaning or flushing the toilet, but I personally don't want to drink water that's been stored in plastic.
Food is necessary for survival and your list of emergency essentials should include some type of food for you and your family. Whether you choose non-perishable MRE's (meal, ready-to-eat, or K-rations), protein bars, or dried and canned foods, you want to be sure you have at least three days worth of food, and more is probably more prudent.
Check out the other Food Storage suggestions, as well as Gadgets and various Emergency articles I have on this site. You should be able to gather lots of useful ideas on what you want to consider an emergency essential.
Shelter and warmth
We all assume that we will be able to take shelter in our homes, but what if your home is destroyed by a hurricane, flood, or other event? Or if you just can't be in it because of being evacuated, or not having access to it? What would you do then? By having basic components of a shelter, including plastic sheeting and tape, or a tent, you can keep yourself sheltered from the elements. Include blankets or a sleeping bag and maybe a portable heat source to help you to stay warm during the cool and/or damp months as well.
A hand-crank radio or a battery powered radio with extra batteries can allow you to find out information about what is going on around you. This can come in handy for finding help and assistance during an emergency.
A basic first aid kit is definitely an component of emergency essentials. This includes basic bandages, antibiotic ointment, alcohol or iodine, and other supplies to take care of basic first aid needs. Prescription medication and nutrients should be included in your emergency essentials kit as well. If you are not sure how to do first aid, a basic book outlining care can be helpful.
Other supplies you will want to be sure you have as emergency essentials include a flashlight, garbage bags, moist towelettes, dust mask (NI95 is a good type to have), diapers, formula, etc. Any items that you and your family can't live without should be considered. And don't forget entertainment options, be it books, toys, music or movies. Keeep in mind, however, you may have to carry these items, so you may want to have a priority list of what you have in this list. Weight can be a huge consideration in your decision-making process.
Having emergency essentials on hand can help take some of the fear from a bad situation. Being able to take care of yourself and your family can allow you to concentrate on getting back on your feet from an emergency. By creating a kit that has the emergency essentials you can be prepared. That is worth any time, effort, or money that you have to put into it.