There’s not a week that goes by when you don’t hear about a natural disaster or extreme weather conditions causing havoc to our communities. I don’t know if things are getting worse or not - but sometimes it sure feels like it.
The best thing for all of us to do is to be ready for when it happens - and you never know where a tornado, earthquake, flood or fire might occur next. So, today, let’s take a look at what you need for your disaster toolkit. A little preparation might well go a long way in ensuring your family’s safety and health.
One thing you can almost guarantee when disaster strikes is that it will cut out your energy supplies. And, it doesn’t matter how good you are with fixing up electrics or connecting up a generator, you can’t do diddly without light. So, make sure your kit contains a flashlight so that you can see - or everything else on this list will be rendered useless in many cases.
It’s also a good idea to have some emergency lights and keep them somewhere safe. Make sure you have emergency light batteries, too, so that you can see a little better in an emergency situation. In the event of an emergency you’ll have no idea how long you could be trapped in your home, so a flashlight should be a short term solution only.
First aid kit
Once you have light, you’ll need to tend to any minor injuries. Again, you have no idea how long it will take for emergency services to get to you, and there could be many others in the same situation - or worse. So, a first aid kit is essential - I would keep a separate one for emergencies as well as one for everyday use. Just make sure that all the bandages, painkillers and creams stay within their use by date. Include a whistle so that you have something to call for help if you need it.
Food and water
It’s also a good idea to keep some food aside for emergencies. This is especially true if you live in an area where natural disasters are frequent. You should have enough to last a few days or so at the very least. Three gallons of water, per person, should do you for water, and buy non-perishable food for the same length of time. Also, don’t forget to include a can opener and some basic utensils for eating.
Charged cell phone
You are going to need to call for help at some point in the vast majority of cases. And, you can’t rely on the fact that you will be able to use your everyday phone. So, keep a charged phone for those emergencies - and keep it simple. Modern phones are terrible for holding a charge while older models can last for several days at a time.
One of the biggest problems with natural disasters is that they are often followed by more of the same. And, if you don’t know it’s coming, you might not be able to do anything about. A radio - battery powered is essential - can help you keep in touch with what is happening in your area. And, of course, you might hear some valuable instructions being broadcast by the emergency services.
OK, so that’s your basic disaster toolkit - what else would you add?