When you are thinking about the future, it's often smart to live by the motto "hope for the best, but plan for the worst." One of the ways you can protect yourself in a crisis situation is by preparing basic essentials and keeping them in a readily available emergency kit.
In this blog, we walk you through the first four steps of creating a solid emergency kit and maintaining it over time.
1. Evaluate Your Situation
Before creating your final kit checklist, think about potential emergency situations you could face. For example, in the San Diego area, you're more likely to need your kit after an earthquake or during a wildfire evacuation than for a massive snow storm. In this case, you should focus on potable water and the supplies you might need to travel away from a disaster area rather than equipment to keep warm.
Also consider emergency situations that aren't related to a natural disaster, such as an eviction or even an extended hospital trip.
Once you have an idea of the most common emergencies that affect people in your situation, start making a list of what you would need in each type of crisis, following the guidelines in the next section.
2. Calculate Your Needs
Most survival experts recommend creating an emergency kit that can last for at least 72 hours. If you live in a remote area, you should consider building up a kit that could tide you over for as long as 10 days while you wait for emergency responders.
Calculate what you'll need in terms of the following:
- Clothing—Your kit should include at least one change of clothes. If you anticipate needing to evacuate after a natural disaster, be sure to include a pair of reliable shoes.
- Equipment—Think about the equipment you might need if you were left without running water, power, or other comforts of home. For example, your kit should include at least one light source, a camp stove, and a way to purify drinking water.
- Food—Often, food is the part of an emergency kit depended on most. Calculate your caloric needs and pack long-lasting foods such as meal-replacement bars or meals ready to eat, also known as MREs
- Water—In addition to your water-purification equipment, stock up on potable water that you can carry with you if necessary.
At this point, account for any special needs that you have. If you're creating family emergency kits, individualize each kit for the family member's needs. For example, you may need to include a supply of prescription medication.
3. Choose the Right Container
As you begin collecting emergency-kit items, you may realize that the final kit could be large, heavy, or otherwise difficult to carry. Choose a high-quality container that won't wear out quickly. If possible, look for a container with straps and wheels so that you have multiple options for transportation.
If you're creating multiple kits, distribute your heaviest items across the kits to increase portability.
4. Check Your Equipment Regularly
You never know when you may need your emergency kit, so it's important to be certain that everything in the kit is necessary and well maintained. Check that your kit is in good shape at least once every six months. Test your equipment, especially any items that rely on battery power.
Replace any items that are expired or that have outlived their usefulness. For example, you may need to update the included medication or swap out older clothes for better-fitting options.
Use these steps to ensure that you are able to grab your kit and go if your hopes for the best are interrupted by an emergency situation.
Contact us by calling 619-295-1181 for more ideas or visit our store to start stocking up.