Every day is a new gift and sometimes being prepared for the next day seems to be a goal that, at times, is difficult to achieve. However, if disaster strikes being prepared could save the day, and your life. It’s hard to be prepared for the worst case of anything, from family emergencies to natural disasters, but with proper research and knowledge, and a small investment you can create a basic disaster preparedness kit for your entire family to make sure that in the event of an emergency you can be better prepared to keep yourself and family safe until you can seek more stability or refuge from such events. With a little ingenuity you can have yourself and your family as prepared as possible for anything. In your basic disaster preparedness kit you should have certain essentials that are ready to go at any time, this kit should include a first aid kit with effects such as triple antibiotic ointment, bandages, gauze, medical tape and sterile compresses for wound care as well as means of sterilization for wounds like antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer, general medicine (asprin, antiacid, pain reliever, etc) tweezers, scissors, gloves, hydrocortizone cream and a thermometer. It is also important to include medicine that you cannot do without like blood pressure or other necessary medicines. Each first aid emergency kit should have enough of each item for whatever number of family members you might have to be able to use one item or one use quantity of each item for a total of 3 days. (EX: 6 family members, 3 day kit you would want to have enough supplies for 36 uses of each item. Like a 36 quantity bottle of aspirin, large tube with 36 uses of antibiotic ointment and so on.) Once you have a fully prepared first aid kit, you want to think basic means for each person for at least 3 days, and other essential that could come in handy in an emergency situation like waterproof matches and candles. Each person should have one fresh change of clothes, and since you may never know when disaster may strike you will want to think ahead to be prepared for any season, meaning that each person should have a fresh set of clothes with multiple layers, socks, underwear, shirt, jacket, shoes, shorts etc, so that you are prepared no matter what season you may be afflicted by disaster. To go even further and be better prepared you can add items to your kit like a whistle, emergency or Mylar blanket (one per person for kit), sleeping bags, tent, cell phone with charger or solar chargers, flash lights, extra batteries, LED head lamp for hands free use of light in emergency situations, emergency flares or glow sticks, candles, moist towelettes or baby wipes and travel sized personal care items for each person with feminine care products in mind for any female that may need said items in case of an emergency. Other emergency items like rope, zip ties, gloves, Hot hands warmers, hand-crank radio and flashlight, extra batteries for said devices if you cannot buy a hand-crank version. A basic tool kit or multi-tool can come in handy in your kit for extra means in an emergency situation.
Aside from first aid and basic emergency supplies for everyone in your household, you will also need to think about food and water supplies for each person. Most kits are suggested to be stocked for up to a 3 day supply for each person. Every person in your house should have 1 gallon of water for hydration as well as sanitation, per day. So if you have 6 people in your house, to be prepared on water supply for 3 days you will need 36 gallons of clean water in total. You can achieve this by utilizing water bottles, gallon jugs, 5 gallon refillable water jugs for or an emergency water bladder that can be filled with clean fresh water and typically has a larger capacity. You can also purchase water purification tables or other travel sized water purification means if providing a large supply of clean water might be difficult in the case of an evacuation emergency. For each person you will also need at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food items for each person. Some easy things to store and pack are items like peanut butter, canned vegetables, meals like chili or stew, fruits, crackers, jerky, soup, canned or packaged tuna and chicken. Items like energy or granola bars, electrolyte powdered supplements, instant coffee packages, and dehydrated food items are all easy to store and stay good for quite some time, making your kit more effective as you will want to update your non-perishables annually or as needed to keep your kit up to date in case of an emergency. You can also think about items like MRE’s or other easy to store and minimally packaged items can be very beneficial to your kit and also give some variety and balance to your food supply especially if you have small children in your emergency plan, because although there may be an emergency of whatever kind, small things like variety and activities that can be planned and prepared for to take with you in your kit can help to keep the peace and minimize tantrums and meltdowns in the instance of an emergency. If you want to take things a bit further, you could prep your own emergency supplies by purchasing a food dehydrator or learning how to utilize your oven to dehydrate foods and take to making your own dehydrated items like, fruit, jerky and other items. In which case your can add a bit more customization and care into each kit by being able to make your own prolonged shelf-life food items better suited for your family. When you prepare your food for your emergency kit you can use storage in your kit as a way of saving space and giving yourself more items in case you need them all in one. Mason or air tight lid locking glass or hard plastic storage containers are useful for storing item in your kit inside. For instance you can store baking mix in a large glass mason jar keeping it safe from air and pests and then having a water tight vessel for storage once it is empty as well as a sanitary container for emergency food prep. Storing sterile first aid items in air tight containers also protects the items and allows them to be waterproof in case of a flood emergency and improves their shelf life. Once you have water, food, first aid and basic essentials squared away for each member you can also prepare for an emergency by creating an all-in-one family disaster plan and important document binder. Having a laminated copy of any important personal or family documents allows you to have all that important information in one place, as well as, water resistant. Going over family emergency plans can help to improve the execution of the plan for when the time comes and also give a bit of ease and peace of mind to those facing the emergency, whichever type it may be. Having emergency cash along with your personal documents in an air and water tight container or even zip lock baggies can be useful for after the disaster so you are able to have it as needed. Other personalizations to your emergency kit can come in handy, like a mess kit and small pot for having basic essentials for when you need food. A smaller packaged self-inflatable raft with a larger load capacity. A small bottle of vodka can be useful as it can be used to clean and sterilize wounds and utensils. An emergency activity kit like battery operated hand held devices, cards and other small games can help to distract from the circumstances and keep peace among children. If you have pets you can create a special emergency 3 day kit for each pet or animal so that they have everything they might need. You can also better prepare yourself in case of an emergency by backing up all family photos, documents, certificates or anything else you might include by scanning and saving digital copies to a storage system like a Cloud drive or multi access system like Google docs so that you can access all your information on a back up drive or back up service. My described emergency preparedness kit above is more tailored to a larger family, 4-8 people, in the case of a flood but can be altered or adapted to suit any size group for any type of emergency with just a little bit of early preparation. Storing things inside your emergency kit is fairly essential because you’ll want a large enough water-tight and air-tight vessel to hold all essential item for your size group with ease of access in mind (EX: crush-able or food items and first aid will likely be at the top of your kit for more sound packing and easier access to items as you would generally need them on top of other items like changes of clothes and emergency blankets and camping/living gear.)
Another helpful tip for when it comes to an emergency situation, especially a flood. Since most are at least some what predictable with weather radio and apps if you expect your residence might flood you can use air and water tight appliances like a safe, dishwasher and even a fridge to store hard to replace items like photos and valuables such as jewelry and anything else you might include. Appliances like this even if they are ruined electrically from flooding are water tight and can keep whatever is inside them from being ruined in the case of an emergency and are typically easier to locate after a flood so that you don’t try to load and carry everything you own. Being prepared can make a world of difference, especially in an emergency situation and can be a great way to ensure that you have peace of mind for yourself and your entire family, even your pets and can prevent from further damage and loss in the event of an emergency. Because it is always better to be proactive rather than reactive, especially when it comes to Mother Nature.