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The Top 14 Emergency Essentials to keep in handy at all times

The Top 14 Emergency Essentials to keep in handy at all times

Last updated: 12/24/2016

We should get ourself well prepared with essential resources that we might need to keep ourself safe and equipped to face the challenges during the times of emergency. One might think that they may have enough time to run to the grocery store, but stores quickly sell out of important supplies following emergency warnings. After a large disaster, stores may be closed for several weeks in your area and roads may be unsafe to drive out of your area. If a disaster strikes in your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for several days or even weeks. It could even happen that the stores are closed for several weeks; roads may be unsafe to drive as well. Statistically speaking, roughly half of the population in the United States do not have the resources and plans in place for a possible emergency. Preparing emergency kits for your family is an important step in keeping them safe and healthy during a disaster.

FEMA's Ready initiative states - "Through its Ready Campaign, the Federal Emergency Management Agency educates and empowers Americans to take some simple steps to prepare for and respond to potential emergencies, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Ready asks individuals to do three key things: get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan, and be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses. All Americans should have some basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs. Following is a listing of some basic items that every emergency supply kit should include. However, it is important that individuals review this list and consider where they live and the unique needs of their family in order to create an emergency supply kit that will meet these needs. Individuals should also consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home and smaller portable kits in their workplace, vehicle or other places they spend time."

Listing

1

First-Aid Kit

Minor injuries like accidental falls or slips, small cuts or wounds, stings from bees, allergic reactions, poisoning, etc -- and other similar minor accidents can happen anytime indoors or outdoors. A good and nicely stocked first aid kit comes in really handy in such occasions. It is important to place all the supplies in a small container and then keep it in an easily accessible and permanent place - but out of reach by small children. Medicine cabinet is the best place. An extra emergency first aid kit with essential supplies should also be placed in your car trunk.

We found the AAA 121-Piece Road Trip First Aid Kit to be one among the best.

Where to get it?
Shop for first aid kits by Amazon.com
Shop for first aid kits by Amazon.com

Major items:

1 Gauze pads (at least 4 x 4 inches).
2 Two large gauze pads (at least 8 x 10 inches).
3 Box adhesive bandages (band-aids).
4 One package gauze roller bandage at least 2 inches wide.
5 Two triangular bandages.
6 Wound cleaning agent such as sealed moistened towelettes.
7 Scissors.
8 At least one blanket.
9 Tweezers.
10 Adhesive tape.
11 Latex gloves.
12 Resuscitation equipment such as resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask.
13 Two elastic wraps.
14 Splint.
15 Directions for requesting emergency assistance.
2

Cell phone charger

A lot of people take it for granted that their cell phones will always be there whenever they need it.

Where to get it?
product image product image Anker PowerCore+ mini 3350mAh Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger by Amazon.com
3

Flashlights

During really strong storms and typhoons, power outages are common. This is why having a flashlight ready is important. Plus, huddling in the dark with a flashlight can be a great way to pass the time. Kids love this.

Flashlights come in various sizes and also differ based on the purpose. The flashlights for emergency purposes come with useful options such as USB ports, tasers, a blindingly bright light setting, and can even be used as billy bulbs. Some even come with a full fledged 2 pin power outlets. Our favorite is the one that American Red cross provides; it even has a hand crank. When you Crank for one minute it produces enough power for 10 minutes of light, It does not need any batteries. Crank again and use a standard USB port to charge your smartphone. Great asset for long trip as well and any other emergency.

If you are old-school, keep several long life flashlights and extra batteries. Since power can go out for days on end, sometimes even weeks, it's a good idea to have a flashlight for every member of the family along with extra batteries. Flashlight lanterns are a much safer choice than candles for common areas in a home. Get these and extra batteries and keep them stored in a place where they're easy to find when needed.

Where to get it?
product image product image American Red Cross Emergency Light by Amazon.com
product image product image Vizeri LED Tactical Flashlight by Amazon
4

Water

Clean drinking water is essential especially during emergency situations. As a rule of thumb you should have at least 1 gallon of water per person per day. Half a gallon is used for drinking and the other half is used for hygiene. However, you should also consider stocking up water for other needs like cooking, taking a bath, cleaning utensils and others. It is best stored in airtight containers so it will not be contaminated.

Ready.gov states - "Water is an essential element to survival and a necessary item in an emergency supplies kit. Following a disaster, clean drinking water may not be available. Your regular water source could be cut-off or compromised through contamination. Prepare yourself by building a supply of water that will meet your family's needs during an emergency."

Pre-packaged bottled water is the safest option for your emergency water supply.

Get myths of water storage debunked by visiting http://beprepared.com

CDC recommends steps for ensuing water supply during emergency. For details visit - https://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/water/.

Consider also keeping water filter. The simplest solution is to keep LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, which could filter up to 1000 liters of contaminated water. But it does not work on water contaminated with iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals. It comes in a sealed bag, perfect for storing for emergencies.

Where to get it?
product image product image 320 Gallon Capacity Emergency Water Storage Tanks by Amazon.com
product image product image Emergency Water Storage System - Stackable Boxes by Amazon.com
product image product image SteriPEN Emergency Handheld UV Water Purifier by Amazon
product image product image 145 Gallon Horizontal Emergency Water Storage Tank by PrepperWaterStorage.com
product image product image DATREX Emergency Water Pouch by Amazon
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter by Amazon
5

Emergency Food Supplies

After a large disaster, stores may be closed for several weeks in your area and roads may be unsafe to drive out of your area. That is why you must have a supply of emergency food Several days' worth of food, water and medicine. Be certain to have food that's nonperishable on hand along with items that don't require electricity to cook. If possible, also have an alternative means of cooking, such as an outdoor grill. Do not cook outside during the height of the storm and do not bring the grill indoors.

Fueling your body during an emergency is very different from your everyday diet. Because you’ll probably expend more energy than you normally would, you should eat high-energy, high-protein foods. And because you'll have a limited supply, the higher-quality foods you eat—and the less of them—the better. "In a disaster or an emergency you want those calories,” says Barry Swanson, a food scientist at Washington State University. “You want some nutrients and some fiber—something to keep your diet normal."

"In an emergency, generally you tend to think of meeting more basic needs than preferences and flavors" says Elizabeth Andress, professor and food safety specialist at the University of Georgia. "But if you plan right, you can have a great variety of foods and nutrients."

Some of the items to stock include:

For more information visit: https://www.ready.gov/food/

Where to get it?
product image product image Granola & Nutrition Bars (Clif Kid Zbar 191805 Organic Energy Bar) by Amazon.com
product image product image Portable Outdoor Camping Butane Gas Stove by Amazon.com
6

Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Can opener comes in handy if you have canned food in stock for food supplies in emergency basket as mentioned above. It is important that a separate piece is kept separately for the purpose and not to rely on the existing can opener you already have in kitchen drawer. From our experience, some of the every day stuff suddenly become difficult to trace at worst times.

7

Extra Batteries

Batteries for flashlights, clocks, radios, even wireless bluetooth speakers are quite essential. The batteries come in various sizes. Get AA and AAA batteries at least one pack each. Some flashlights may specifically need a 123 battery type, so make sure you have a pack of that too (depending on what kind of devices you have for flashlight, radio etc). Some of them might need 9 Volt kind.

Where to get it?
Duracell MN1604 9 Volt by Amazon.com
Duracell Duracell Coppertop Alkaline AA by Amazon.com
Duracell Duracell Coppertop Alkaline AAA by Amazon.com
8

Emergency Sanitation Supplies

It's not a pleasant thought, but plumbing will likely be unavailable after a major disaster. You also must remember that you may have to stay outdoors with several other people and neighbors in close proximity. For proper health and sanitation conditions, your emergency preparedness kit should include emergency sanitation supplies. The 5 gallon container of our home survival kits is designed to be used as a portable toilet. Each home survival kit comes with toilet bags, toilet chemicals, and tissue packs. The additional toilet seat cover and lid is an optional upgrade to the kit but is recommended.

Where to get it?
Portable 5 Gallon Toilet by Amazon.com
Toilet bag by Amazon.com
Tissue pack by Amazon.com
9

Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper

When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners. - https://www.fema.gov

Where to get it?
Chlorine Bleach by Amazon.com
Medicine Dropper by Amazon.com
10

Multipurpose tool (that can act as a knife, file, pliers, and screwdriver)

Buy one that is really sturdy and compact. A good quality multipurpose knife will for sure save your day. In addition, the small amount of storage space will not make up for the overall inferior build quality. -- http://www.thebugoutbagguide.com has some useful info on considerations you must place before buying a survival knife. Check it out at http://www.thebugoutbagguide.com . Buy one that includes screwdrivers, wire cutters, bottle openers, saws, pliers. That way you can save a lot overall by eliminating needing individual items for your emergency kit. Also, you won't waste time finding one when you need it. Old timers best outdoor camping tool was a swiss knife and so it is even today.

Where to get it?
Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool by Amazon.com
Swiss Army Knife by Amazon.com
Leatherman - Rebar Multi-Tool, Black with Molle Sheath by Amazon.com
11

Personal Safety and Survival apps (for iPhones and Androids)

It is always better to be prepared in advance to face any kind of natural or other kind of unforeseen disaster. Although, we tend to not think of such a possibility, but to try and find means to protect ourselves during such times of emergency, is very difficult. Sometimes, you might not have good signal or even your battery may be dying out - finding, reviewing and then downloading an app is going to cause a lot of frustration in your already dire situation. Listen to us, and get yourself packed with below apps to protect yourself and your family at all times.

A word of caution - in dire need of help contact 911!

Survival Apps

1 American Red Cross

American Red Cross has dozens of apps that you can download and keep with you for general information as well as to get help during natural disaster. The apps are downloadable for both iOS and Android and can be accessed by clicking - Red Cross Apps and following the directions. The apps include Tornado, Hurricane, Earthquake, Wildfire, Flood and even an app for general Emergency.
2 ICE (In Case of Emergency)

ICE Standard ER with Smart911™ is one of the leading emergency medical contact information app. ICE Standard ER lets one put their health information and emergency medical contacts on thier phone's lock screen wallpaper, so if one meets an accident, EMTs and first responders can find health information as soon as they turn on the phone. EMTs and first responders can view 3 color coded medical status by viewing the top of the app or the wallpaper to gain an at-a-glance insight into ones well-being. The color auto-populates based on what information one preloads into the app or the ICE Standard Personal card.

Download ICE Standard iOS app or ICE Standard android app.

3 wikiHow

The wikiHow app gives you over 150,000 how-to guides. Also in the wikiHow app you’ll find the Survival Kit, a collection of emergency situation guides every person should have stored on their devices. Emergency guides to do CPR, provide first aid, or perform the Heimlich maneuver could save a life. The app even contains guides to land an airplane in an emergency or escape from a bear. All Survival Kit articles are stored for offline use so you won’t need internet service to access them.

Download wikiHow iOS app or wikiHow android app.

4 Red Panic Button

Whenever in trouble just press the Red Panic Button! One needs to set a panic number or mail address and the phone will send a message which contains address and location, determined using the fine GPS based or coarse GSM based coordinates.Some of the key features include Sending Panic SMS (works only on iPhone and iPad 3G), sending Panic email, facebook and twitter integration etc. Do remember that some of the features like “Emergency Call and Panic Voice messages are not available for free.

Download Red Panic Button iOS app or Red Panic Button android app.

5 Guardly

Guardly Mobile is for security professions, but you can have it too! The app helps enterprise employees, staff, workers, guards and other users looking to take advantage of improved safety and security policies, alerts and communications. Guardly is many a times used in tandem with another Guardly app called Guardly Command, which is used by security operators and dispatchers in command centers, security desks or third-party monitoring centers, Guardly Mobile enables one to receive alerts as well as send Emergency and Operational alerts to your company’s security team for processing and response.

Download Guardly android app here.

6 Family Locator - by Life360

Family Locator by Life360 is a great location-sharing app; it is used to stay connected to family, friends, and everyone in between. This app is really a must keep for everyone, and it might come in really handly in case of emergency. The app lets you Create discreet Circles for the important people in your life, Share your location with who you want, when you want, Get automatic notifications when friends and family arrive at favorite Places, and Communicate one-to-one or to an entire group with free in-app messaging.

Download Family Locator iOS app or Family Locator android app.

7 Bugle

Bugle is a notification service app, available for free. It is very useful for the active people in order to confirm their safety and to alert or notify the emergency response, in case if needed -- without any action on the part of the person involved! The app lets ones' emergency contacts know if they don't check in when expected to. Before one goes somewhere, they could enter their activity details, select emergency contacts, and select a check-in time. As long as they return safely and check in by the time they selected, nothing happens. But if they don't check in on time, emergency contacts are notified automatically by e-mail and SMS that they may need help. Bugle comes in handly when going out for outdoor/wild adventure or camping or even for parents to keep their young adults under watchful eye in big cities.

Download Bugle iOS app.

12

Bedding, sleeping bag and extra clothing

Keep bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate. Also keep a complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate. 'Diggin Bear Hug My First Ready Bed' is good for children less than 3 years of age.

Where to get it?
Coleman Extreme Weather Sleeping Bag by Amazon.com
Diggin Bear Hug My First Ready Bed by Amazon.com
Space All Weather Blanket by Amazon.com
Emergency Survival Mylar Sleeping Blanket by Amazon.com
13

N95 or surgical masks

Sometimes during a tornado or hurricane, we might be needing to stay outdoor for extended period of time. A dust and fluid resistant surgical mask becomes really useful.

Where to get it?
3M 8511 Particulate N95 Respirator with Valve by Amazon.com
3M 1860 Medical Mask by Amazon.com