I visited the FEMA website to get some ideas for our kit, then I headed to the store and dove right in!
First things first, water! The FEMA website says that you need one gallon of water, per person, per day. There's no way of knowing how many days you're emergency will last so just grab a bunch of water from your local grocery store and hope for the best.
I picked up four gallons of water to keep with our emergency kit. We always have lots of bottled water, sodas, and sports drinks at our house so most likely we'll be able to use those too. Did you know that water has an expiration date?!
Hmmm. My plan is to replace everything when the canned food expires. So we may just end up having to drink expired water, I think we'll live.
Max is here with a friendly Public Service Announcement:
Speaking of pets, don't forget to pack some food for them! Our dogs normally eat dry dog food, but it was easier to store and keep canned dog food. I grabbed a few cans of their dog food and also picked up a bowl for them to use at the Dollar Store! I was able to buy a lot of our supplies at the Dollar Store, which is nice because I didn't want to spend a lot of money on things I was hoping to never use!
I realize that three cans of dog food is not the equivalent to the seven days of food that FEMA recommends, but again, I'm just packing the bare minimum in our emergency kit. In the case of a loss of power for a week at a time, we have other food that the dogs can eat. The canned dog food would only be if we had to grab our emergency kit and leave our home to evacuate for some reason.
Okay, now that we've gotten the dogs taken care of, let's talk about human food. Things like ravioli, fruit, and vegetables are easy things that don't need to be cooked in order to be
Along with all the canned food, you're going to want to have a can opener and utensils on hand, unless you want to do it cave man style and try to bust open cans of ravioli with a rock...no fun! I found my can opener at the Dollar Store and threw in a couple plastic cutlery sets that we've collected along the way. Things like garbage bags and wet wipes may come in handy too!
The FEMA website suggests having a whistle to alert rescuers in a case where you are buried under a pile of ruble. I couldn't find a real whistle but thought that this one (which sounds like a duck) would work just fine. Let's just hope we never have to open up our emergency kit because I can just see my husband's face when we pull this out. Ha!
Last but not least, you want to have plenty of candles and flashlights on hand! These went into the kit last, so they would be easy to grab in the dark if necessary.
I bought quite a few candles and flashlights (not all pictured) because I don't think you can ever have too much light in a case where you've lost power. Make sure to have extra batteries and lighters on hand too. If you choose regular matches you should put them in a Ziploc baggy to make sure they stay dry.
I have a few more things to get for our kit, like a weather radio, a couple pairs of cheap rubber flip flops, and a first aid kit. You may also want to throw a bottle of this in your kit:
Kidding. Kind of. You may need a bottle of something for entertainment or to work as a disinfectant too! Ha!
So I piled everything into an old Rubbermaid bin that I had and made sure to put the flashlights on top! I shoved the whole kit in the back of our closet where hopefully it will remain, untouched, until I need to replace the food because it's all expired.
You should also put copies of important paperwork into your kit. Things like birth certificates, marriage certificates, social security cards, etc. We have all of these important documents in a fire/water/kid proof safe that sits right next to our emergency kit in the closet.
I hope that this helps you and your family to at least think about getting prepared for an emergency. It is overwhelming to think of all of the things that could go into an emergency kit. But the fact of the matter is, you'll be better off if you even have the bare minimum put away in case of an emergency than if you let the task overwhelm you and never get around to it.
Have a wonderful Tuesday!