Essential Items for Your Home Disaster Kit

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It doesn’t matter if you live in an earthquake zone like Southern California, tornado alley on the plains or southeast, or a hurricane area along the gulf coast. Disasters of some kind can happen anywhere, and they can happen in the blink of an eye. The best thing you can do to help your family stay safe in a disaster is to be prepared when conditions are normal and good. Every home should have a disaster kit ready for the worst. Here is what you need to include

Water

When you think of disaster tools and equipment, water certainly isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. It’s still critical to keep several gallons of clean water on-hand as part of your kit, because it takes surprisingly little to disrupt your access to water to drink, cook, or bathe while you wait for the water in your neighborhood to come back to normal.

Batteries and a Generator

It’s much more likely to lose power in a disaster than water, so having a backup is critical. Having a stash of standard-sized batteries (double A, triple A, C, and 9-Volt) will help you keep many of your electronic devices running, especially an NOAA weather radio that can keep you appraised of current conditions. For cell phones and tablets, having a few portable USB-based chargers can be a huge safety net to keep you plugged in. To keep bigger items running (and keep small items running longer), consider purchasing a gasoline-powered generator and have it filled up and ready to go.

A First Aid Kit

Hopefully, no-one in your household is injured during a disaster. Unfortunately, it’s very likely that someone could be. Having a simple first aid kit with bandages, scissors, antiseptics and tape can make the difference between a cut and a serious infection. Also include some splints in case you need to isolate a bone and some pain-relieving medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

A Flashlight

Going back to a scenario where the power is out, make sure you have a flashlight with fresh batteries on-hand. It may seem a little out of date since most people have light apps on their smartphones, but in true darkness, they can’t compare to a good, old-fashioned handheld model.

Non-Perishable Food

Finally, have some food on-hand in case your refrigerator is offline or destroyed, or if it’s unsafe to leave your home for a day or two. A three-day supply of canned fruits, vegetables, and meats, along with energy and cereal bars are great staples. Just be sure to have a can opener in your kit as well.