Emergency Supplies for the Home
There’s about a thousands ways you can prepare for disasters. I won’t be able to cover them all here, but we’ll hit the most recommended by Emergency Management personnel and rescue workers in most Cities.
The first question that usually comes to mind is; what disaster should I prepare for? Because there’s about a thousand different types of disasters to prepare for, so it’s a good question and the right question to start with. The answer is that it depends where you live, however there are some basics that apply to any type of disaster no matter where you live. An example is a go-bag with extra cloths, phone charger, food etc. (we’ll go much further into go-bags in another article).
If you live in the city however, your list of survival supplies and equipment will be different than if you lived or were going to the mountains.
For your home, you’ll want to have at least 72 hours (3 days) worth of extra food and water in your house in case of an emergency so you don’t have to leave your house.
Something you should have in your house for survival and during normal times is a first aid kit. So we’ll also dive into how build a good first aid kit. Click Here to build one, and Click Here to buy a pre-built kit.
Let’s dive into WHY you might need extra supplies at home.
If you live on a coastline you’ll have to prepare for floods caused by hurricanes and possibly a tsunami. This is a very dangerous situation and you should be sure to always check with your city’s emergency management personnel or at least follow the instructions on their website.
However, I can tell you that most of the time they’ll tell you to prepare for between 3 to 7 days of being on your own without power or help from the city.
Basically the same advice is given to those who live in the Mid West and are under the threat of tornadoes. Prepare for at least 3 to 7 days.
California and the West coast is under the constant threat of earthquakes, and up north near Seattle, a volcano, and the advice is the same, prepare for 3 to 7 days without water, power or help from the city or Emergency Rescue Workers.
During some of the recent disasters along the coastlines, we’ve seen people on their own for much longer than 7 days. So keep that in mind.
The advice about what you should do in any of these different situations is different of course, but if you’re trapped or stuck or confined in your house with no hope of going to the grocery store because of either earthquakes, floods or tornadoes, etc, then these are the items you’ll want to have on hand in case of such an emergency. (Hopefully if you live in the MidWest you have a cellar, even detached from the house so you can store supplies if your house is damaged beyond the ability to live there)
Preparing for the unexpected doesn’t have to cost a lot nor does it mean you’re going to move to the mountains and live off the grid. It simply means you’re going to buy some extra supplies and groceries every time you can. For example, if you go shopping for the week like my family, just buy some groceries/supplies every week, it adds up quickly.
Buy two or three cans of tuna-fish or soup or ramen noodles, or whatever you like. These things can be stored for a very long time and they’re inexpensive.
Also, buy a pack or two of extra toilet paper every week, as we learned recently, TP goes quick when there’s a run on supplies. So buy your weekly supply, then buy a few extras on top of it and don’t use them, just store them in a closet, pantry, under the bed etc, then next week, do the same until you have a good supply of extra TP, soup, tuna fish, energy bars, granola bars ect. But the following week, buy your normal supplies, don’t use your extras, that is for storage and emergencies.
3 day emergency list of supplies:
- The first is always water (one gallon per person, per day for both drinking and sanitation.)
- Water Purifier
- Non-perishable food (that’s at least two meals a day, more if you can, for each person for 3 to 7 days)
- Non-perishable food examples are: MRE’s (Military meals ready to eat), tuna fish, soup, roman noodles, energy bars, granola bars, cookies, peanut butte, spam, canned beans, fruit and vegetables etc. (anything that can be cooked using only water. Do not count on anything that needs refrigeration or dairy products)
- Toilet Paper – Remember the recent tp shortage?
- (also a camp stove and fuel and camping pots and pans)
- Personal hygiene items, and feminine products.
- Manual can opener
- First Aid kit & Supplies – I would also recommend a first aid book
- Prescription medications, diapers, baby formula and baby supplies if needed.
- Keep a supply of Cash in small bills safely in your house.
- Cell Phone Charger, (Solar if you have one) (many of the new emergency radios have phone chargers included)
- Important family documents in a waterproof folder (birth certificates, driver’s license, marriage license, house deed or mortgage paperwork, insurance cards and/or other legal documents). Keep documents in a safe or a safe place and in a waterproof envelope or folder so you can quickly take them with you if needed. Also keep a family emergency contact list
- Paper dishes and plastic utensils
- Paper towels
- Wrench or pliers (at least to turn off utilities) and other unexpected uses, bolt cutters, foldable shovel
- Flash lights (small and large. I recommend MagLight flashlights)
- 50 feet of nylon rope
- Sleeping bags and wool blanket
- Change of cloths (at least underwear and socks) and jackets (if in cold weather)
- Moist towelettes, soap, disinfectant, garbage bags, plastic ties (ties and bags may have to be used as a toilet) hand sanitizer, face wash, emergency toilet (or bucket), unscented bleach
- Face masks, gas masks (if you can), otherwise something to filter out smoke and chemicals etc. At a minimum, a dust mask
disposable Rubber gloves
- Plastic tarp for coverings or to cover parts of your house that may be severally damaged
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container, and cigarette lighter
- Hand crank or solar emergency radio with alerts – NOAA weather radio.
- Rain gear, sturdy shoes (hiking or combat boots), long pants, extra shirts and gloves
- Some kind of entertainment for you AND for children, i.e. games and toys
- Extra batteries
- Hunting Knife or a fixed blade knife and/or a folding knife, Swiss Army Knife and/or multipurpose tool
- Extra keys for car and house
- Map of your area
- Two way radios
- Rain Gear
- Extra pet food, Bowl, leash, ID and any medications
This are the things you’ll want to have at home anywhere between 3 and 7 days, and perhaps longer.
Most of this you already have in your home. You’ll just want to buy the few extras.
When thinking about these items, you need to make sure you have enough for every member of your family. Also, this is a list for 3 to 7 days, you just need to add the appropriate amount if you want to prepare for more than 7 days, which is actually a good idea.
I know that was a lot, but as we’ve learned recently with the COVID-19 shut in orders, sometimes we cannot make it to the store. And imagine if it got worse, and it can by the way, easily.
If you have to evacuate the house:
Turn off electricity (main box, circuit breaker), close gas and water valves. Turn on alarm. Close and lock all doors and windows
I also recommend buying a good backpack and add the supplies that we’ll be talking about in the next article and put it in a place where you can easily grab it and head out the door. So we’ll build you a good go-bag for you and your family.
If you would like to take it a step further, there are several things you can do to make sure your car is ready to go when disaster strikes, so we’ll discuss a few supplies you can get for your car as well in the next article.