Note: Here’s another guest post that will equip you with basic knowledge on how to prepare for emergencies. As we are living in an uncertain world, it is a must to be prepared all the time. – AFCB
Photo used under Creative Commons License | Credit
While you can purchase ready-made emergency kits, it is often more cost effective to build your own. You will not only save money, but the kit will be tailored to your specific needs, as well.
At its most basic, an emergency kit needs to keep you alive for 72 hours. A week, however, is a far better time frame and ensures that you have time to move out of the area if need be, or hole up to wait for help. Either way, building your own emergency kit is simple.
Every household should keep fresh water on hand. You’ll need one gallon for each person per day. If you’re planning for 3 days, then that’s 3 gallons per person. Don’t forget pets and include a little extra if you have an infant who will need formula.
While people cannot survive without water, food is not as necessary. You can live for weeks without it, but if you want to keep up your strength, it’s a good idea to have a good sized food supply.
Look for food that will not spoil quickly and which is easy to prepare without electricity or water. Canned foods are a common choice, but you can also opt for soups that do not require additional water. For the emergency foods, keep in mind that it may not be possible to get more water easily.
If you are adding food for more than a week, you can include items that require water, since it is likely that you will have to find a water source by then anyway. Freeze dried foods are easy to prepare and tend to be light, in case you need to leave and carry food with you.
In addition to the basics of food and water, every emergency kit should include a few basic items to help you in a disaster situation. These include:
• Flashlight and batteries
• Radio, preferably hand crank
• Space blankets
• Fire starting supplies
• Hygiene supplies (e.g. toilet paper, plastic bags, soap, toothbrushes, etc.)
• Work gloves, shovel, wrenches, etc. to remove debris and turn off gas, etc.
• Pet food, collars, and leashes
• Diapers and formula if needed
You will know best what is necessary in your family. If you have special dietary or health needs, then these should be addressed in the emergency kit, as well.