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Be Prepared In Case Of An Emergency

Updated on February 11, 2011

Bring, In Case of Emergency

When it’s time to run, will you have time to stop to gather the much needed supplies you’ll need if you’re stranded for a few days?

In most places, the only emergency you have to worry about is a house fire, but if you live in possible flooding, hurricane or tornado areas, then your emergencies are more likely and we all should have a pre-packed emergency kit in case we have to leave our home in less than 30 seconds and can only pick up one item on your way out, no matter where you live.  Look up your local resources for likely disasters in your area whether natural or possible man-made and how you are supposed to be notified if any of these ever happen. 

When packing what you’ll need, it’s important to keep it up to date.  When packing your kit, you’re packing things you may need some day; so they will expire.  When you buy new items, rotate the packed items, like food, water and batteries; when buying batteries, buy the latest expiration date you can find, etc.   If you have an infant, pack formula, etc.  If you have a toddler or kids, pack some toys and activity items.  All the extra things your family needs that is unique to your situation, medications, special emergency medical kits, etc.

One pack per person

Pack a backpack for each person and make sure they know what’s in it and not to touch it.  Knowing the only thing they need when an emergency hits is that backpack.

What you MUST have

You don’t know how long you will be stranded, alone or without resources so most importantly is water, since you can go a week without food, but you can’t go more than a few days without water.  Although, food is something you can get through some websites for army-like pouches of containers that will last several years staying packed away.   Know the expiration date and keep it updated.  You can also get packaged water that never expires.  These things can run pretty expensive so the less expensive option is to have some bottles of water in each pack that you rotate when you buy new cases of water.  For the food option, buy some boxes of cereal bars, canned food (pack a can opener), dried fruit and nut packages and other long lasting foods that won’t expire for a long, long time.  Keep a note on your cabinet door on when to swipe out the old and replace with the new. 

Secondary must-haves

Not all emergencies will leave you stranded and alone but you may be without money or resources in case of house fire, evacuation, etc.  So the above mentioned items will hold you over a few days until you’re saved with a more permanent situation.  In case of a large emergency that leaves you in dire straits, a more comprehensive pack will be needed.  You never know what will happen or what you’ll need so the essentials are important. 

What you must have added to your pack:

Radio, batteries and extra batteries

Flashlight, batteries and extra batteries

Whistle, red flag, compact/hand mirror, flares


Waterproof matches, lighter, flint

First aid, pain medication, tampons, bandages, gloves

Blanket or solar blanket

Local map

What you should have:

Cash or traveler’s checks

Duct tape

Hand cleaner/sanitizer


Fishing line, hook


Sun protection

Dust mask

Toilet paper

Other non emergency medications for headache, heartburn, etc

Pry bar, folding shovel, wrench/pliers

Mini saw, machete, hatchet

Gardening gloves or workman gloves


Rope ladder

Extra socks

Added notes:

Have packs/containers that are water proof and float

Have emergency drills that don’t scare the kids and be simple with your directions

Your community may have recommendations for emergency routes and resources

You can find more lists at and

Some other important notes:

Some other things to consider when getting prepared will include classes in First aid, self defense and emergency preparedness.  Check your local community and YMCA for information on free or discounted classes.

Create a plan ahead of time with maps and markings you’ll know if on foot, etc.

Copies of important documents like a picture id, insurance policies, and address book/contacts are most important but also try to include, credit card info, marriage license, birth certificates, passport and will, in a water proof secure type of bag inside your pack with cash or traveler’s checks.

Store your kits in a large clean plastic trash can or storage bin in a high dry safe area of your home.

Don’t forget, your emergency could leave you stranded in your home for several days without water or electricity so plan for an at-home emergency as well, with candles and water, etc.

And a final note:

Think of a situation at home or away from home if something happened, would you be prepared, what would you wish you had with you?  Write down what you would do each day if you were stranded in your home or had to leave your home so that it will make you think of what you may need as well, like when you’re getting ready in the morning, imagine each step you perform and what you do so you know ahead of time and prepare what you may need in most cases.


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    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      It is always good to be prepared for emergencies, great tips.