Optimizing your own Home safety kit for the season
Are you prepared for an emergency in your home? Disasters and emergencies can occur at any time. You could find yourself dealing with floods, a blackout, or stuck in a snowstorm.
Whatever the case, at such times, it helps to have some survival items on hand to keep you going until things get back on track. This is what we call an emergency safety kit, and everyone should have one.
Preparing a winter home emergency safety kit
Emergency kits come in handy during severe weather conditions in winter. It’s common during winter storms to experience power outages and cut telephone lines, or get snowed in your homes with little or no supplies. That’s when a complete safety kit becomes a necessity at home, work, and in your car for survival until things get better.
It is not difficult to assemble a safety kit. It is only a matter of putting together items that you will need in an emergency. If you would like to have one for winter, here are the items that you should include in it.
- Non – perishable food and water: Think energy bars, canned foods, and dry foods. For water, ensure you have at least two liters for each day.
- Powerful flashlight: Get a water-resistant, LED flashlight. Ensure it’s easy to grip with an anti-roll design, so you don’t lose it in the dark.
- Heating fuel and emergency heating source: You could get a small kerosene heater or wood stove to use in a blackout or snowstorm. Camping cooking bags or cans of biofuel are other options.
- Battery-powered radio: A lightweight, small NOAA weather alert radio with a flashlight is a good option
- Spare batteries: Have batteries that can get you through a minimum of 72 hours of no power. Get extra batteries for every battery-operated items you have in your kit.
- A set of warm clothing and sturdy shoes: Pack lightweight clothes made of warm material that you can easily pack and layer when wearing. Include items like gloves, hats, scarves, and socks. Shoes must be waterproof and tough enough to get you through rough, wet, or slippery terrain.
- Sleeping bag: Get a compact emergency sleeping bag and top it up with a thermal blanket.
- Essential medicine: Pack a cache of any prescription medication you use and non – prescription medicines you may need, e.g., antacids, pain relievers, water purifier tablets, etc.
- First aid kit: You can purchase a small first aid kit with basics like bandages, scissors. Cleansing wipes, thermometer, antihistamines, antiseptic cream, etc.
- Cell phone: Keep a charged phone and an extra fully-charged battery on hand. Also, include a hand – crank charger to recharge your phone when it gets flat. Lastly, ensure you input all emergency and personal contacts you may need on the phone and purchase some prepaid minutes and texts for it.
- Personal hygiene and sanitary items: Include a compact toothbrush, toothpaste, tissue, wipes, and any feminine hygiene products you may need.
- Extra money plus an extra set of home and car keys: Put aside money in different denominations that can last you for at least three days. Include coins you can use in a payphone, or purchase food from a snack or beverage dispenser
- Documents: Keep copies of essential documents in a waterproof package in case you cannot get to your originals due to bad weather or any other emergency.
Compact and easy to store
Everything in your emergency kit should be easy to pack and carry. You cannot lug around heavy things during tough times. Try to fit all your emergency items in a small duffel bag. You can do this by buying small size items that are easy to pack and carry.
Also, store your emergency kit in a cool and dry place while not in use to keep everything in good condition. Make sure it’s easy to access when you do have to deal with an emergency fast.
Preparing your car for a winter emergency
You may have an emergency kit in your home, but is your car ready as well? If you need to drive away from your home in a winter emergency, your vehicle should be in the right condition for it. Here is what you can do to keep your car prepared for an emergency.
- Store a shovel and snow brush in the car: These tools will help you to clear snow from your path and scrape it off your windshield, car roof, or windows when necessary.
- Emergency reflectors: Reflectors will keep you visible to other motorists in case you get stuck somewhere on the road at night during a storm.
- Tow chain and jumper cables: Keep a tow chain and jumper cable handy in case you have to drag your car out of snow or restart your battery after it dies.
- Tool kit: Pack tools you can use for small repairs of your vehicle when you cannot immediately get help after a breakdown.
- Antifreeze Windshield washer fluid: Visibility from your windshield is paramount. Have an extra bottle of windshield cleaner fluid at hand in case you run out.
- Window film: Putting window tint over your car windows is a great way to insulate your vehicle. It will come in handy if you are ever trapped in the car in severely cold weather. The film directs any heat back into the car, keeping you warm.
- Fuel: Keep your car fuel tank at least half full at all times in harsh winter weather. You don’t want to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere in winter.
To make your car completely winter emergency ready, you should also pack an emergency kit in the trunk. That way, in case you are stuck out on the road, you have everything you need to survive a cold day or two.
These are a few tips on how to prepare an emergency kit for your home. We also give you a few tips on how to prepare your vehicle for a winter emergency. Use them to ensure you are ready for any bad weather this and any other winter.