Weather-related disasters can happen at any time. No matter what part of the country you are in, chances are you are going to experience some form of extreme weather. Between tornados, hurricanes, flooding, fires, and earthquakes, you should try to be as prepared as possible and ask yourself what you can do to get ready. Getting a “go-bag” or disaster preparedness kit ready beforehand can help you survive dangerous weather conditions. Here are ten things you should include in your disaster preparedness kit.
The Red Cross recommends that you have at least one gallon per person per day. At a minimum, you should try to have at least a three day supply, but it might be better to have up to a two-week supply. If you are evacuated from your home, take at least a three-day supply.
In a natural disaster, it is likely that your power supply will go out, and the perishable food in your fridge will quickly go bad. Therefore, for your food supply, try to store at least three days worth of food. You can purchase non-perishable items that require almost no prep or water. Foods like cereal, canned fruits and veggies, trail mix, granola bars, and peanut butter are all excellent options to keep in your disaster preparedness kit.
First Aid Kit
Your first aid kit should include gauze pads, sterile bandages, Band-Aids, petroleum jelly, antibiotic ointment, adhesive tape, hand sanitizers, sunscreen, and instant cold packs.
You should also keep extra prescription medicine on hand in case you are unable to refill your prescription. Also keep over-the-counter medication like painkillers, antihistamines, laxatives, sterile eyewash, and contact lenses in the kit for easy access. Don’t dip into your supply when there is no natural disaster, but make sure to cycle everything out, so it doesn’t expire.
Keep a stash of toilet paper, feminine product, and toiletries handy. Especially if you will need to evacuate, these products might become very useful.
If the power goes out and your cell phone doesn’t have any service, a radio can help connect you to the real world. Try to find one like the NOAA Weather Radio, which can serve multiple uses including light, radio, and power supply. It has a hand crank and solar power source so you are never without light or radio broadcasting. The NOAA Weather Radio also has a power bank so you can keep the essentials charged.
Have a couple of outfits packed away just in case you have to evacuate quickly. Having rain gear like a poncho can also be a good thing to have ready to go.
Have a few items also packed away like blankets, sleeping bags, paper plates, cups, and disposable utensils.
Have copies of your important documents packed in waterproof bags. You should have some cash, driver’s license, passport, family records, and emergency phone numbers. You might want also to have your will, insurance policies, and other contracts you might need.
Tools and Supplies
You might find that you need a wrench to turn off utilities like gas or water so keep one handy in the kit. Extra batteries, a sewing kit, candles, matches in a waterproof container, scissors, a manual can opener, flashlight, and a knife can also be useful during a natural disaster. Even if you have all of these items scattered around the house, make sure to store an extra set in the kit. You don’t want to be running around in a dark house trying to find a flashlight.