Home Preparedness and Creating an Emergency Kit

4 Nov

Today’s Home Executive topic is Emergency Kits.

Since we are entering the snowy season for lots of people, it is good to start thinking about having a basic set of supplies in case you get snowed in or the power goes out.

Last Thanksgiving we had a snow storm in Seattle and the power was out at my house for two days!  Thankfully, I had bought a shovel and salt and we have a 4-wheel drive truck, so we could go and get the supplies we needed.

This year I decided to be on the defensive and prepare in advance in case that happens again.

Why have a kit?

Pretty simple: Being prepared makes your life easier.

When the power goes out and everyone else is running to the store to get water, canned goods, batteries and candles, you can relax and focus on making sure everyone is calm and taken care of.

Often stores run out of supplies quickly in a power outage or other emergency.  Most people aren’t prepared, and the stores aren’t stocked to have hundreds of people buying gallons of water or shovels.  That is why it pays to already have these things on hand.

 

What is in my kit?

  • 3 day supply of water for myself, my husband and our dog (a gallon a day per person)
  • 3 day supply of canned goods (soups, chili, beans, etc.)
  • Propane tanks (to cook on the camp stove/grill)
  • Candles and butane lighters/matches
  • Lantern and extra batteries
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Dust masks
  • Can opener
  • Local map
  • Wrench/Pliers
  • Extra toilet paper/paper towels

Additional Items in my kit:

  •  My glasses
  • Pet food and extra water for Trigger
  • Important family documents
  • First aid book
  • Sleeping bags
  • Warm clothes
  • Waterproof matches
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles

Items I have for Snow Preparedness:

  • Shovel
  • Salt, gravel or dirt to melt icy walkways
  • Ice scrapers for cars

What about the cost?

Realistically, you already have a lot of these items in your home, so you probably won’t have much to buy.  When I went to get the gallons of water, canned goods, and propane tanks I was surprised by how cheap it was.

If you had to start from nothing, putting together a kit like this might cost $100-$200, but it would be well worth it!

For transparency sake, I am still missing to important items: a fire extinguisher and battery powered radio.  My goal is to purchase these over the next two weeks.

How often should I check and update my kit?

Every six to twelve months would be a great time to check on your kit.

This would involve restocking any items you may have used, and checking expiration dates for any perishable items.

Set yourself on a regular schedule and add it to your calendar.  This year I set October as the month when I got my kit together, so every October I will update it.

Check out these sites for more detailed info on emergency preparedness:

The Red Cross

Ready.gov

If you aren’t wanting to put this kit together yourself, you can Google emergency kits and find ones to purchase as well.

As always, remember the why!

Being prepared for a minor or major emergency blesses you and your family by reducing stress.

If you missed the last two Home Executive posts and want to catch up, click on the links below:

The Will to Make A Will

Helpful Info. for Record Keeping and Taxes

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3 Responses to “Home Preparedness and Creating an Emergency Kit”

  1. lifevesting November 4, 2011 at 06:46 #

    This is such an important thing to do. My boyfriend and I even added radiation pills to our kit and various other things so we are prepared for all emergencies, not just weather related ones. But I hadn’t thought about packing away extra dog food – that’s a wonderful idea, I’ll have to get a large bag of Apollo’s food to store away.

  2. Caroline November 4, 2011 at 05:59 #

    Great post and so important! I try to take inventory of these things every year when the time changes (as well as batteries in smoke detectors, etc). Also, after being out of power numerous times for 3+ days, we finally broke down and purchased a generator last year. While I’m not suggesting that everyone do this (those suckers are expensive!), if you have one, make sure that you have gas to run it should there be an emergency. So many of my friends have them but then still lose all the food in their refrigerator because they forget to have gas on hand to run the thing. 🙂

    • kickasswife November 4, 2011 at 06:33 #

      That is a really good point Caroline. What is the point of having a great tool like that if we aren’t prepared to use it!

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