Emergency Kits: A 2012 New Year’s Resolution for Home Safety

Earthquake Survival KitOne New Year’s resolution for 2012 all homeowners should consider is to create or update their home emergency kits. The safety and well-being of your family could depend on whether or not you have the proper emergency equipment. Be it a storm, earthquake or flood, there are many scenarios in which an emergency kit will come in handy. So get out that LED flashlight and head up to the attic (or down to the basement), and start assembling your 2012 emergency kit.

For starters, pick a large, sturdy, preferably water- and fire-resistant container that can hold your emergency kit. Make sure it has a solid lid and ample room for larger items such as a backup emergency LED lantern. Next, decide where you will store your kit and make sure there is enough room for everything to fit before you go about filling it.

Next, review the following list of key items you should store in your emergency kit:

LED flashlight. There are several obvious reasons for storing an LED flashlight or LED headlamp in your home emergency kit, the most obvious being a power outage that could leave you in the dark, or an emergency that requires you to check something in a dark, hard-to-reach part of your home.

Batteries. You will need extra batteries for your LED flashlight, lantern or LED headlamp. If there is room, you could also consider keeping an additional phone battery in your kit.

First aid kit. Keep a small first aid kit – with bandages, dressings, gloves, sterilization soaps and so on – stored snugly inside your home emergency kit. Types of first aid kits vary; do some research online and determine what’s best for your needs.

Food. Store only non-perishable, protein-rich canned foods, boxed dinners and powder mixes that will stay good for at least 2-3 years. Make sure to include some cooking utensils and silverware.

Water. One of the more essential items to you and your family’s survival in an emergency is access to fresh water. Keep at least 2 gallons of fresh water stored with your emergency kit at all times.

Cell phone. These days – considering that land lines are going extinct – it helps to keep an old cell phone, fully charged, in your emergency kit. That way, even if it is not an active phone, you can make emergency calls with it.

Radio. Even though we live in an internet age, having a wind-up radio or battery-powered radio on hand is helpful for receiving emergency alerts. If you are low on batteries, you can always use the batteries in your LED flashlight or lantern.

Fire starters. Be sure to include a box of matches or a few lighters in your emergency kit. You never know when you might need to start a fire in order to stay warm during an emergency.

LED lantern. For larger parties, it helps to have an LED lantern on hand. An LED lantern illuminates a larger area of light than a traditional LED flashlight or headlamp. This is helpful when you need light not for the entire room, such as for preparing and eating meals. A larger area of light can also provide some sense of comfort in scary situations.

Clothing. Every household member should have an extra set of winter clothing in the emergency kit. Old clothing works fine; just make sure it will keep you warm. Throw in blankets, pocket raincoats and extra socks, as well.

This list is not exhaustive, of course. Depending on where you live and what kind of emergency situations you may be facing, you might need to adjust your home emergency kit accordingly. Just make sure you consider home preparedness and possible future emergencies among your New Year’s Resolutions this year. It’s always better to be safe than sorry; start things off on the right foot by preparing your home emergency kit.

[ Photo by: Global X, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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