Home Emergency Kits

How to Plan for Home Emergencies

Items to have in Home Emergency Kits

Disasters, whether man made or natural can occur at any time and in any place. These disasters create emergency situations that need to be dealt with in the best way possible to reduce loss of life and increase the survival rate of those involved. This calls for households to ensure that they are well prepared to handle the emergency till qualified help arrives. One way is to have well equipped home emergency kits.

A home emergency kit should have supplies to last the family several days. It can be a single container or a small bag for each member of the family. It should contain items that cater for the basic needs required for survival. These are:

Food and Water - Water is life, so the saying goes. Ensure you have enough water for each member of the family for at least 3 days. The recommended amount per person per day is 1 gallon to cater for both drinking and sanitation purposes.

For food, home emergency kits should have a supply of non-perishable foods to last each family member at least 3 days. Cans or food bars should have a shelf life of 5 years. The calorific value of the foodstuff is also an important consideration. Keep foods that can provide at least 1000 calories per person per day. Remember to include a can opener if you have canned food.

Light - You will probably need to generate some light during an emergency. It is essential to have a flashlight with extra batteries and a rechargeable or self powered flashlight. There are some powered by solar, others by cranking or squeezing. It is good to have a few candles, though they can be a hazard if there is gasoline nearby.

Communication and other tools - It is crucial to remain in contact with the rest of the world and so home emergency kits should contain a battery powered radio. Tools such as a multifunction knife, wench, duct tape and garbage bags also come in handy. Also put in activities for children such as puzzles and books.

First aid kit - The chances of having to deal with injuries during an emergency are high. Hence home emergency kits should have a first aid kit. This should have items such as bandages, scissors, disinfectant, burn cream, safety pins, anti-bacteria cream for cuts and some mild pain killers. It is a good idea to buy a first aid kit and add any items required that are missing.

Warmth and Shelter - In case there is need to establish a shelter, ensure you have sleeping bags, blankets, plastic sheeting or a tent in your home emergency kit. A change of clothing, sturdy shoes and lightweight rainwear for each member of the family should also be included.

Hygiene - Put in essential hygiene supplies like tissue, soap, washcloth, toothpaste and brush, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, a razor and a comb. Also include diapers if you have kids and women's sanitary products.

There are several home emergency kits available in the market but it is best to develop your own to suit your needs and ensure nothing required is missing. A home emergency kit can make a difference between life and death. Do not take having one for granted.