We live in between a major supermarket and a hospital, so for years I’ve been flip about making an emergency kit. But after the past few months of national disasters, my husband and I agreed that it was time to get serious. The information out there can be overwhelming, so I turned to my friend, and sustainability expert, Friday Apaliski, for help. Friday is a wealth of information and actually helps make custom emergency kits for busy families as part of her services. I had questions and she had answers:
Q: I’m overwhelmed! What are the essentials I should stock for my family? What are the most important things to have?
Friday suggests stocking a three-day supply, at minimum, of the following supplies:
Water // You’ll want a minimum of one gallon per person per day. Bottled water isn’t regulated and can grow bacteria over time. If you want to avoid the hassle of swapping out water, invest in this 50-year water and you will be set for years.
Food // Friday recommends stocking up on your favorite energy bars instead of canned goods, which can leak. Similarly, freeze dried options generally don’t appeal to children. Also, don’t forget baby formula and any daily supplements or prescription drugs.
First Aid // Make sure to include the following in your kit: Prescription glasses, an inhaler or other required medical device, sunscreen, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and a basic first aid kit.
Documents // It’s important to have copies of social security cards, birth certificates, titles of cars, and passports. You can keep these items in a locked, fireproof box for security.
Tools + Supplies // You have to imagine that even if your home doesn’t fall down, there could be shattered glass and navigation could be very difficult. Make sure to stock some tools in your kit to help you turn off the gas line and deal with any major home issues. This includes a basic set of pliers, a crow bar, duct tape, plastic sheeting (or heavy plastic bags that can be used for glass clean up), a tarp, a flashlight, and a pair of leather work gloves. Also, it’s worth investing in a radio that’s a flashlight/radio combo. You can store all of your supplies in a secure, waterproof bin or chest. If you’re storing your kit outside, make sure to put a lock on it to protect it from theft.
Q: I spend a lot of time out of my home in the car. Do I need another kit for the car?
Yes, it’s important to stock a car kit since you don’t know where you’ll be in the event of an emergency. Your car kit should include the following items to make sure you’re prepared: medication, eyeglasses, extra set of keys, change of clothing, water and snack bars, cash in small bills, first aid kit, flashlight, portable radio, cell phone chargers, and copies of your I.D.
Q: What else should I know to make sure my family is prepared?
1. A landline phone can be used in an emergency to call 911 – an internet phone (VOIP) cannot.
2. It is easier to call out of town than to call within town during an emergency, so designate a family member outside of your local area as the person everyone will call to report in about safety and whereabouts.
3. If you can’t meet at your home, decide where you and your loved ones will meet. Make sure to review the plan with all members of your family.
Thank you, Friday! I am so grateful to have all of this information simplified. On my to-do list: order the suggested supplies and set up a family meeting to review emergency protocol so we all feel more prepared and on the same page. Who’s with me?
If you need help sourcing or setting up your kit, make sure to get in touch with Friday right here!