If there’s one universal lesson we can take from history, it’s that we should always be prepared for emergencies. From environmental catastrophes to airborne diseases, things can escalate in a heartbeat, and you need every tool at your disposal to help navigate challenging situations.
Having the right equipment can be a lifesaver, especially in a world where your home can suffer irreversible damage overnight. We’ve put together four emergency items you should invest in so you’re well prepared no matter the scenario.
1. Ham Radio
If you’ve never experienced a true disaster, you may not be aware that cell phone towers aren’t reliable during emergencies.
When thousands of civilians are calling for help simultaneously, there can be a network jam. An overload in the network causes disruptions in your cell and internet service. Also, it’s common to see physical damage to infrastructure, such as downed telephone poles.
In short, you need ham radios. These are radios that operate completely independently from cell phone and internet networks. They provide a longer range than other communication devices, so you can contact your loved ones (if they have a ham radio) or receive updates from government authorities.
Power outages can be frightening, especially if severe weather is at your doorstep. That said, you don’t have to be left in the dark.
When grid power stops working, you won’t have to suffer in freezing temperatures. A backup generator will provide temporary power during emergencies.
You can choose from two types of generators – home standby and portable.
Home standby generators must be left outside and run on natural gas or liquid propane. They’re usually installed into the home’s electrical system and automatically switch on once the power goes out.
Portable generators are more affordable and much smaller. They primarily run on gasoline, but you can find other fuel sources, such as solar-powered options. Portable generators are designed to be moved; however, they often don’t provide enough power for your entire home.
3. Emergency Supply Kit
With climate change becoming an increasing problem, it can impact the frequency of natural disasters. That’s why you need a supply kit to keep you and your loved ones safe during natural disasters such as flooding and hurricanes.
Your emergency kit should continually be stocked and ready to use at a moment’s notice. It should include all the essential items needed for survival.
At the bare minimum, you should have the following items in your supply kit:
- Food and water for at least several days
- Local maps
- Dust mask
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit
- Supplies for your pet
- Important documents
- Prescription medication
The supply kit should also be personalized to fit your family’s needs to help them feel comfortable during trying times.
4. Emergency Food and Water Supplies
During emergencies, access to regular food and water supplies can be disrupted. It becomes crucial to have a sufficient stock of emergency food and water to sustain yourself and your loved ones. Whether you’re facing a natural disaster, a power outage, or being stranded in adverse conditions, having sustenance is vital to maintain energy levels and ensure hydration.
Types of emergency food to consider
- Non-perishable canned goods -When it comes to emergency food supplies, non-perishable canned goods are a reliable option. Canned foods have a long shelf life, making them convenient for storage. Consider stocking up on essentials like canned beans, vegetables, and soups. These items are packed with nutrients and provide a quick and easy meal solution during emergencies.
- Protein bars and meal replacement shakes – Another option for emergency sustenance is protein bars and meal replacement shakes. These compact and nutrient-dense options are designed to provide a balanced combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Look for options with quality ingredients and a good nutritional profile. Having protein bars and meal replacement shakes can offer a quick source of energy and nutrition when regular meals may not be available.
- Dried fruits and nuts – Dried fruits and nuts are excellent choices for emergency food supplies. They offer essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Dried fruits are a concentrated source of nutrients and can provide a natural energy boost. Nuts, on the other hand, are rich in protein and healthy fats, offering a satiating snack option. Ensure you choose varieties without added sugars or salt, and consider vacuum-sealed or airtight packaging to maintain freshness.
Tips for storing emergency food supplies properly
Proper storage is essential to maintain the quality and longevity of emergency food supplies. Here are some tips to consider:
Find a cool, dry, and dark storage area: Exposure to heat and sunlight can affect the shelf life of food items. Look for a place in your home that meets these conditions, such as a pantry or basement.
Use airtight containers or resealable bags: Prevent moisture and air from reaching the food by storing them in airtight containers or resealable bags. This helps to preserve freshness and prevent spoilage.
Rotate and consume stored food: To ensure your emergency food supplies remain fresh, practice a “first in, first out” approach. Consume and replace food items before they reach their expiration dates.
Importance of having an adequate water supply and options for water storage
In addition to food, having access to clean water is vital during emergencies. Water is essential for hydration, cooking, and maintaining hygiene. Consider the following options for water storage:
Suitable containers: Store water in food-grade plastic jugs or containers specifically designed for long-term water storage. Avoid using containers that previously held chemicals or non-food items.
Water purification tablets: In situations where a freshwater supply is limited, water purification tablets can be a valuable asset. These tablets can help purify water from questionable sources, making it safe for consumption.
Portable water filters: Portable water filters are compact and efficient tools for filtering water from natural sources such as rivers or lakes. They remove harmful bacteria and contaminants, providing clean drinking water during emergencies.
Note the shelf life and expiration dates of emergency food and water
It’s important to be mindful of the shelf life and expiration dates of your emergency food and water supplies. Different food items have varying expiration dates, so it’s crucial to check and update your supplies periodically. Keep track of expiration dates and prioritize consuming and replenishing items as needed to ensure your emergency food and water remain safe and effective.
Wrapping It Up
We don’t wish for emergencies, but unfortunately, they’re a part of life. Having an emergency readiness plan is the best way to minimize physical harm and other dangers that they impose.
Stock up on these three items so you have a good head start before disaster strikes.