Disasters don’t check your calendar or give you heads up before striking. They happen when you least expect it, which is why it’s important to always be prepared.
One simple way to prepare for unforeseen events—whether natural disasters or manmade causes—is to have an emergency kit ready at your home. An emergency kit is a collection of essential supplies to be used during an emergency. If your family is ever stranded at home without power or access to stores for a period of time, an emergency kit can mean survival. Having an emergency kit ready to go can help give you peace of mind knowing that your family has access to resources if disaster strikes.
There are many emergency kits available online for purchase, but it’s also easy to create your own. You may have many of the supplies already at home. Gather what you have, and pick up the rest at the store, and assemble everything in an easily portable container, such as a plastic tote or duffel bag. It’s important for your emergency kit to be easily portable, in case you need to carry the kit outside your home. The American Red Cross recommends preparing a three-day supply for evacuation and a two-week supply for home.
In case of emergency, start preparing your family’s emergency kit with these items:
Include one gallon of water per person, per day. Check out emergency drinking water pouches, which usually have a long shelf life and are easily packable.
Stock your emergency kit with foods that have a long shelf life and are easily prepared, such as canned foods and dry mixes. Try to include high-energy foods, like canned fruits and vegetables, dried cereal and protein bars. Don’t forget a can opener and basic serveware.
First aid and health care supplies
Invest in a good first aid kit to include in your emergency kit. Look for one that can help you treat cuts, swelling, sprains and more. Your emergency kit should also contain any medications, prescriptions, medical items, hygiene items, and sanitation items your family needs.
If you don’t have power, you’ll need a source of light, such as a flashlight. Be sure to also include extra batteries. You could also consider including emergency lanterns and candles.
A radio may be important for staying up-to-date on the emergency situation, especially if cell service is down. Consider getting a battery-operated or hand-crank radio, in case the power is out.
Portable cell phone charger
If there’s a power failure, you won’t be able to charge your cell phone using electricity. Look into solar or power bank options to include in your emergency kit.
These typically include many small tools you may need, such as a knife, scissors and screwdriver, to help you with various tasks.
Folder of important papers
Consider including copies of medical information, proof of address, deed/lease, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies. Also include cash, emergency contact information and a local map.
Designed to keep you warm and dry in extreme conditions, emergency blankets are multipurpose and can be used as tents, ground covers, blankets and more.
Other special needs
Consider the special needs of your family and plan accordingly. For example, if you have children or pets, they may require special items in your emergency kit. Also consider disasters that are common in your area and pack any items you think you may need. Whistles, surgical masks, fire starters, rain gear, tools, plastic sheeting and liquid bleach may be helpful in certain situations. Remember, it’s always better to be overprepared than under!
Preparing for the future
While you’re thinking about being prepared, it may be a good time to also think about preparing for your future retirement. Bankers Life can be with you every step of the way. Our agents can help you prepare for four factors: retirement income, health expenses, retirement care and final expenses. We can help you build a plan that helps provide security and peace of mind. Talk to an agent to get stated.