Although it is kind of romantic when the power goes out and a neighbor you’ve never met comes over with a flashlight to check on you, realistically that isn’t how it goes. You might get a text asking if you are okay, but that’s about it. So it’s best to be prepared for any emergency your family might face.
Having an emergency kit at home and one in the car can help prevent or get you through most emergencies. The majority of them will be minor, so that if you only had a few key items you’d be able to get through on your own.
Where You Should Keep Your Emergency Kit
- One in your car
- One in your house
- If you have a second floor, add another
- If you have a basement, add another
Reasonably, you should have at least one emergency kit at home and one in your car. The more levels your house has, the more kits you should have. It’s in case something happens on one floor of your house and you can’t get to a different floor.
What Should Be in Your Emergency Kit
There are some basics you should have no matter what, no matter where you are, and no matter the emergency.
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food items
- Basic first aid kit
- Candles and a lighter
Additional items should include
- Cell phone charger
- Change of clothes
- Games or puzzles or things to pass time
Depending on the number of people in your family, and the ages of the people in your family, you could need other things like diapers, bottles, and medicines.
You want enough items to last your for about three days if necessary. While most emergencies don’t last that long, if you live in a more rural area where help might be harder to find or take longer to get to you, you want to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
Check on Your Kit
You don’t want to be in a situation where all you need is a flashlight and realize the batteries don’t work and you took out your extra set for something else and forgot to replace them. Whether you mark it on your calendar or put a reminder in your phone, you need to check your kits.
- Replace any items you may have used
- Check expiration dates for any food and replace
- Make sure nothing has rusted or molded or gone bad
- If you family has grown, make sure there is enough for everyone now
Have Your Kit Plan in Place
Maybe as important as having a kit at the ready is making sure everyone knows where it’s at. Just like you should have an action plan for if there is a fire and that everyone knows the routine, everyone needs to know where the emergency kit is.
If you have to have a child grab the kit for you and they haven’t looked for it before, some stress is coming your way as you try to explain where it is. If you practice as a family where it is and how to look for it in the dark, then you’ll be good to go when the time comes.
Making sure it stays in the same place every time will help everyone remember where it is. Just ask the question once a month to all family members to refresh their memory. So don’t wait for an emergency to happen to make you put a kit together, even if it’s a small one. Just the basics will go a long way to making sure you can survive until help comes your way.