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Ten Things We All Should Have but Hope We’ll Never Need

Updated on May 21, 2016

For some of those ‘just in case’ times in life, there are things we probably should have, even if we never use them.  Hopefully, we’ll never have to, but we wouldn’t want to be without these things if we ever did need them.


1. Smoke/Fire Alarms in Your House

It is necessary to have smoke alarms, or fire alarms as they are sometimes called, in your home, one on each level, or as recommended/required by fire safety standards in your area. They should be tested often to ensure that they are in good working order, with fresh batteries.

2. Pepper Spray in Your Purse/Pocket

Pepper spray isn’t legal everywhere, but it is important to have something with you that will help you to defend yourself if needed, even if it isn’t pepper spray. Whistles, air horns, even keys can be used in your defense if necessary.

Types of Insurance

  • Travel Insurance – for your own trips or your traveling visitors, including travel medical insurance, travel insurance for seniors, and trip insurance. Documentation should be carried with you and copies kept in a safe location.
  • Life Insurancelife insurance is important to have to help take care of those left behind in the event of your death. This thought is morbid, perhaps, but worth consideration. Documentation kept in a safe and secure place – home safe, safety deposit box, etc.
  • House/Renters Insurance – this kind of insurance will help cover costs of unexpected damages to or loss of your home. Again, documentation kept in a safe and secure place – home safe, safety deposit box, etc.
  • Car Insurance – for all those unlikely, but very possible, issues related to your car: theft, break-ins, accidents, etc. Documentation should be kept in your vehicle with copies made and kept in a separate safe place.

3. Insurance

It's important to have insurance, with the proper documentation in accessible locations. Insurance is exactly one of those things you have 'just in case' and hope you never need. There are many types of insurance to consider, each of them important for a specific purpose (see sidebar).

4. Toilet Plunger in each Bathroom

Having a toilet plunger in each bathroom in your home will ensure that this essential household tool is close at hand when you need it, and can save many big messes!

5. Fire-Box / Safe for Important Documents

Birth certificates, marriage licenses, passports, wills, insurance documentation, and other things that are difficult to replace should be kept in your safe or fire-box for protection from fire and thieves.  

6. Jumper Cables in Your Car

You never know when you might need a jump start, after leaving an interior light on, or when your battery will no longer keep charge for whatever reason, and you can almost always get a jump start if you’ve got the jumper cables. Having cables means that you can help someone else who needs a jump, as well.


7. Fire Extinguisher in Your Kitchen

Kitchen fires are very common, and a fire extinguisher placed in this room could possibly save your whole house.

8. Survival Kit in Your Car

Whether you are traveling in hot or cold weather, a basic emergency kit in your car can be helpful, even life-saving, for you, or for other travelers you may have the opportunity to assist along the way.  Water, warm blankets, emergency candles, and a first aid kit are the minimum requirements for a good survival kit.

9. List of Twenty Things You’d Take with You if You Had to Immediately Evacuate Your Home

Even if you don’t live in an area prone to disasters, a crisis like a gas leak, fire, flooding, or storms might require that you evacuate quickly.  You want to be able to grab-n-go: get those most important things to take with you on a moment’s notice. Having a list of those things, or better yet, having all those things in once place, will make your evacuation easier.


10. List of Emergency Contact Information Posted in Plain Sight and to Carry with You

When a crisis arises, it’s hard to think straight, so having a list of emergency contact information posted somewhere obvious in your house is important. Having that vital information available with you while you’re out of your home is important as well, as you can never be sure when you might need it.

These are just a few of the things that you will find helpful to have if you ever need them. When you don't have them is probably when you'll need them. The hope is that you will never have to use them, but it’s always better to be prepared, just in case. 


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    • sweetmummy profile image

      Raylene Wall 6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I think I heard of #9 from the FlyLady. You never know when you'll have to evacuate at a moment's notice.

    • happyturtle profile image

      happyturtle 6 years ago from UK

      This list is really helpful. I hadn't thought of #9 before.

    • profile image

      Tarasview 6 years ago

      great list!!

    • lilibees profile image

      lilibees 6 years ago

      Great, great advice and great theory, wish no one ever needed these products as well!