Aug 17, 2022

WITH THE POSSIBILITY FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS ARISING AT ANY TIME, ARE YOU PREPARED? What happens if a natural disaster strikes, your city undergoes a quarantine, or you cannot leave your apartment for days? Be prepared by putting together an emergency kit for you and your family.

Does the Emergency Kit Have to Be DIY?

It is okay to skip the DIY route and purchase a kit online that has everything you need. Unfortunately, many of the online kits can be expensive so look at options through organizations like the Red Cross for a pre-made kit within your budget.

A customized solution does come with its advantages. A DIY emergency kit includes all the essentials you need for your family. It includes items that are crucial to your personal situation – from protecting your pets to keeping yourself entertained, a customized solution covers it all.

Things to Include in a DIY Emergency Kit

Here are the items to include in the main DIY Emergency Kit. If possible, also consider creating additional smaller kits to keep in individual bedrooms and vehicles.

– Water. The more, the better! Plan for one gallon of water per person per day for several days to cook, drink, and stay sanitary. Water packets can also be purchased online that are sealed and easily stored in a backpack

– Three to four days per person of non-perishable, nutrient-rich food. MRE’s or “Meals Ready to Eat” can be found online and at camping supply stores. These options have a long shelf life and are tightly sealed

– Flashlight(s) and extra batteries. Hand-crank flashlights are an excellent option as well

– Matches and candles in a sealed, waterproof container or baggie

– First Aid Kit with bandages, antiseptic, gauze, scissors, eye flush, and other supplies

– Manual can opener – must have if you are including canned goods for your food supply

– Backup cell phone battery or, as many cell phone batteries are not changeable, a portable charger or a portable solar charger

– Wet wipes and moist towelettes to maintain hygiene and sanitation

– Emergency numbers of utility companies, public services, and your loved ones

– Multitool like a Swiss Army Knife or credit card multitool that comes with a knife, wrench, bottle opener, and more

– Fire extinguisher – any size

– Duct tape and twine

– Rechargeable hand-crank AM/FM/NOAA weather alert radio

Once you’ve accounted for the essential emergency supplies, move on to personal items that are a must-have. These are items that are not necessarily required for an emergency however, they are part of daily survival. You must remember that you may find yourself on lockdown or in a quarantine situation for longer than expected.

– Prescription and over-the-counter medication to last at least a month. Remember to pack allergy medication and ibuprofen

– Glasses or contact solution and a month’s supply of a spare set of contacts

– Baby supplies including diapers, wipes, food, rash cream, and extra clothes for any little ones in the house

– Extra pet food for furry friends & booties or foot protection – during a disaster there may be debris that can injure your pups’ feet

– Cash

– Paper maps in case you need to leave on foot without a GPS

– Extra set of clean clothes

– Water purification tablets and/or a LifeStraw purification device

– Sewing kit

– Feminine products to last several days to a week

– Paper, pencil, and pens

– Activities like small games or a few favorite books to keep yourself occupied

There is no such thing as being over-prepared for an emergency.  Emergency kits usually only need a few days’ worth of supplies. However, you can stockpile a few essentials like extra water, batteries, and non-perishables for greater peace of mind.  Just keep it in perspective and within reason. A year’s worth of supplies is probably overkill but preparing for a month of disruption is reasonable.

DIY Emergency Kit Storage and Maintenance

Make sure to keep all your essentials organized and ready to go by using a durable, weatherproof backpack or bag.  Everyone in your apartment or home should know where the emergency kit is stored.  It should be kept in an easy-to-access area and it should be at a height that everyone can reach in case a child needs to grab it. Also keep in mind that some situations may require finding the emergency kit in the dark.

Choose a dry, cool area where canned or boxed food can stay fresh as long as possible.  It is also wise to take note of the expiration dates on any of the items so that you can replace items as needed. One way to keep track is to put a reminder on your calendar.

The best-case scenario is you never need your DIY emergency kit but, if you do, it is packed and ready to go.  Having a kit handy will give you peace of mind should there be an emergency or natural disaster in the future.

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