Everything You Should Include in Your Emergency Preparedness Kit

emergency preparedness kits

Emergency preparedness kits are crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of yourself and your loved ones in case of unexpected emergencies. Well-stocked emergency preparedness kits can help you and your family deal with the immediate aftermath of a disaster, whether it be a natural disaster, power outage, or other emergency situation.
From a health standpoint, it is especially important to include certain items in your emergency preparedness kit to ensure that you have the necessary supplies to take care of yourself and others in case of illness or injury.

First Aid Kit

First and foremost, it is essential to have a basic first aid kit in your emergency preparedness kit. It can provide you with the necessary supplies to take care of yourself and others in case of illness or injury, such as cuts, scrapes, burns, and broken bones. It can also help prevent minor injuries from becoming more serious by providing the means to clean and dress wounds and administer basic first aid. Ultimately having a first aid kit will help you to take care of yourself and your loved ones until professional medical help arrives. 

A basic first aid kit for emergency preparedness should include the following items:

  • Band-aids: Various sizes for cuts and scrapes
  • Adhesive tape: To secure bandages and gauze
  • Gauze: Sterile, for covering wounds
  • Scissors: To cut gauze and clothing
  • Tweezers: To remove splinters or debris from wounds
  • Thermometer: To check for fever
  • Pain relievers: Such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Antiseptic wipes or solution: To clean wounds
  • Disposable gloves: To protect against infection
  • CPR face shield: To perform CPR safely
  • First aid manual: To guide you through basic first aid procedures
  • Emergency contact numbers: Including your doctor, hospital and emergency services

It is also important to include any prescription medications that you or a family member may need and consider adding items such as a snake bite kit, instant cold packs, and a SAM splint if you’re planning on being in a remote area.

Food Supplies

When it comes to food supplies for emergency preparedness kits, it is important to have enough non-perishable items to last for at least three days. The following items should be considered for inclusion in your emergency food supplies:

  • Non-perishable, high-energy foods: Such as granola bars, dried fruits, nuts, and peanut butter
  • Canned goods: Such as canned fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish
  • Canned or dried soups and stews: These can be easily heated and provide a source of protein and nutrition
  • Instant or canned meals: Such as pasta or rice dishes
  • Crackers or hardtack: These are long-lasting and can be eaten with canned goods or peanut butter
  • Powdered milk: It can be mixed with water for a source of protein and calcium
  • Manual can opener: To open canned goods
  • Camping stove or portable stove: For heating and cooking food if necessary
  • Water: A minimum of one gallon of water per person per day is recommended, more if you live in a hot climate
  • Water Filtration: a portable water filter or purification tablets are good to have on hand in case of a water source contamination 
  • Basic Cooking Manual: There are manuals on basic cooking and food preparation in case of emergency that might be helpful to have on hand with your food supplies.

Also note that it is important to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies of the people in your household when stocking up on emergency food supplies. You’ll want to prepare accordingly for any of their dietary needs. 

Hygiene Items

Hygiene items are an important part of emergency preparedness to maintain health and sanitation during an emergency situation. The following items should be considered for inclusion in your emergency hygiene supplies:

  • Soap: Both bar soap and liquid soap are useful, and they can be used for washing hands, face and body
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes: To maintain oral hygiene
  • Hand sanitizer: To kill germs when soap and water are not available
  • Toilet paper: For personal hygiene
  • Feminine hygiene products: Such as pads or tampons for women
  • Diapers and baby wipes: For infants and young children
  • Moist towelettes: For cleaning hands and face when water is not available
  • Trash bags: To keep the area clean and sanitary
  • Personal hygiene items: Such as shampoo, conditioner, and lotion
  • Face masks: If the situation requires you to protect yourself from air pollution or other hazards
  • Sunscreen: To protect yourself from sunburns
  • Insect repellent: To protect yourself from insect bites

Miscellaneous Items

There are several miscellaneous items that can be helpful to include in emergency preparedness toolkits. These items can provide comfort and safety during an emergency situation. Some of these items include:

  • Flashlight: With extra batteries or a hand-crank option for power outages
  • Warm blanket: A warm blanket can provide comfort and warmth in case of power outages or other emergencies
  • Maps: Maps of the local area can be useful in case of evacuation or for getting directions if you’re lost
  • Multi-purpose tool: A multi-purpose tool like a Swiss Army knife can be useful for various tasks such as cutting, opening cans, and starting a fire
  • Duct tape: Duct tape can be used for a variety of tasks, such as sealing windows and doors or making temporary repairs
  • Fire starter: A fire starter such as matches can be useful for starting a fire for warmth or cooking
  • Cash: Cash can be helpful in case of power outages or other emergencies that prevent the use of credit or debit cards
  • Cell phone charger: A portable cell phone charger can be useful to keep your phone charged during power outages or other emergencies
  • Pet Food: Don’t forget your furry friends! If you have any pets in your household, be sure to include some food for them in your kit as well
  • Toys: If you have children in your household, a toy or two may help bring them comfort in the event of an emergency

Maintaining & Storing Your Kit

Maintaining and storing an emergency preparedness toolkit is important to ensure that it is ready to use in case of an emergency. Here are some tips for maintaining and storing your emergency preparedness toolkit:

  • Review and update your emergency preparedness toolkit regularly: Make sure that all items are in good condition, and replace any expired or used items
  • Keep your emergency preparedness toolkit in a convenient location: Make sure that all members of your household know where the toolkit is located and how to access it
  • Store your emergency preparedness toolkit in a cool, dry place: Avoid storing it in damp or humid areas, as this can damage some of the items
  • Keep your emergency preparedness toolkit in a waterproof container: This will protect the contents from water damage in case of a flood or other emergency
  • Keep your emergency preparedness toolkit accessible: Make sure that the container can be easily opened and that the contents can be quickly and easily accessed

Emergency preparedness is an ongoing process and your emergency preparedness kits should be reviewed and updated regularly. It is also a good idea to have a plan in place for what to do in case of an emergency, and to make sure that all members of your household know where the emergency preparedness kit is located and how to use the items in it. With the right preparation, you can ensure the safety and well-being of yourself and your loved ones in case of an emergency.