Emergencies happen. Are you prepared for them? From natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes, to personal emergencies as in an injury on a camping trip—things don’t always go as planned.
Emergencies may be inevitable, but you and your family’s personal safety when dealing with an emergency is manageable with the right tools and approach.. While you may not be able to put an end to an emergency when it happens, you can prepare now to save a ton of stress and panic in the long run.
Start building your own emergency kit so you’re prepared for the unexpected. Here’s 7 things you should have on hand in case of an emergency.
This first one may seem obvious. But think about it, do you own a fully stocked first-aid kit? You’ll need more than band aids and antibiotic ointment. First-aid kits are full of things you may need in the event of an emergency, no matter the scope.
You can easily put together your own kit or add to an already-made kit you find at the store. One of the benefits of buying a premade kit is that often they include a lot of things you might not have thought to include. If you are intent on creating your own kit, though, then browsing first aid kits available at the store is a great place to start.
A few items you should keep in your first-aid kit:
- Instant ice packs for sprains
- Elastic bandages
- Acetaminophen for fever
- Ibuprofen for swelling or pain
- Benadryl for mild allergic reactions
- An epipen if you or your family has a history of severe reactions
- Saline to flush out debris from any injuries
- Sterile gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
Multipurpose Knife & Tool
Having a simple pocket knife on hand in the event of an emergency will certainly be a lifesaver. Whether you’re needing to cut gauze, cord or rope, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one. A simple knife like this can even be used for food preparation if needed. If you need to filet a fish, carve the bark off a stick, or even just chop up your dinner, there’s nothing more handy.
And a multipurpose tool that also has a knife is even better. A good multipurpose tool includes little tools other than a knife, such as tweezers, small scissors, bottle openers, and so on.
Another item for your emergency kit that may seem obvious, but is so important to your personal safety.To be well prepared for any emergency means you should stock your kit with the sustenance you need to get through the emergency. The key here is to pick some things that are long lasting (i.e. won’t soon expire), yet require little preparation.
Foods such as granola bars and dry cereal are great, and so are canned goods, too. When picking out canned goods, don’t just go for the veggies! Look for canned soups with protein and vegetables, and maybe some potatoes to help keep energy up. Eating hearty soups in case of a prolonged emergency will be far more satisfying than simply trying to survive on green beans. If you are in an emergency situation and can’t start a fire for cooking, , canned soups can be shaken well and eaten cold. Just make sure you are purchasing the ready-to-eat soups and not a condensed soup. Your taste buds will thank you.
Amazing to have on hand in case of an emergency, isopropyl alcohol can kill bacteria on needles, hands, and dishes. Rubbing alcohol can also act as a deicer, which is perfect if you have a frozen lock or need to remove ice from your windshield, wipers, or headlights.
As for its disinfectant properties, there are plenty of opinions on what percentage of isopropyl alcohol one should buy, but don’t let that stop you from grabbing what’s available. In the event that you don’t have access to soap, isopropyl alcohol is a versatile disinfectant.
Make sure to do your research to find what you think will work best for your needs. For example, it might be good to keep 91% on hand, because you can easily dilute it with water if necessary. But if you’re worried about not having access to water for dilution, 70% is less harsh on the skin.
Water is a vital part of life. If you happen upon an emergency where water is not readily available, you’ll be so glad you were prepared. Stored water is great to use for washing dishes, flushing toilets, and so on. And by adding one tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of water, it will store for a long time without molding.
When it comes to drinking water, make sure to research what kind of bleach and how much you should add. However, a good rule of thumb is to stay well-stocked with bottled water at all times so that you’re always prepared. Don’t forget to keep water in your vehicle as well as in your car.
Keep approximately a gallon of water on hand for each person, for each day.
Blankets & Towels
In addition to quality outerwear, you should store blankets and towels in case of an emergency. Blankets are obviously a necessity for colder weather, but they can also be utilized for privacy barriers or element protection.
Although they can be used for simply drying things, towels are another versatile cloth. They work as hotpads when cooking and can be heated to treat headaches or muscle spasms. The best part? If you have access to a water source, towels can be easily washed and reused, even after cleaning a wound.
You can use paracord for just about anything. If you happen upon an emergency that requires rope, paracord will come in handy. If you need to hang supplies up out of the reach of wild animals, or create a makeshift stretcher, you can do so with paracord.
Despite its strength, you can still condense paracord into something small (and even wearable, such as a bracelet) to save space.
Put It All Together
One thing to remember in the event of any emergency is that you and your family’s personal safety is the most important thing. Consider taking CPR and first-aid classes so you can be prepared for any situation. The training will not only offer you new skills, but you’ll also be better able to respond to any situation calmly and effectively.
Simply knowing that you’re prepared will give you the peace of mind you need to get through just about anything. So whatever your emergency is, whether it’s a sprain or a natural disaster, these essentials will help you make it safely through.