Being prepared for almost any emergency that comes your way can be a real challenge. In my posts over the years, I’ve always stressed the need to acquire, store, and know how to use those critical items that will ensure your safety and comfort when an unexpected emergency happens to you and your family. I’ve put together the best emergency supply checklist so you can get started on your own preparedness journey.
A reliable checklist should include those preparedness items that will really make a difference when an emergency happens. That being said, the checklist could prove to be intimidating if you are just getting started, and it could also be so long that you wonder where to start.
My approach today is to start simple and compile a checklist that will hopefully get you and your family through the first few days when a natural disaster turns your life upside down. It isn’t designed to address the long-term needs of your family if a significant emergency event is what you’re facing.
The best preparedness supply checklist we discuss today could be used when you face a power outage, accidents in the home, severe weather conditions, and a range of natural disasters that may frequent where you live.
The Best Emergency Supply Checklist
This list isn’t compiled with any particular priority sequence, although I did put a few of what I consider the most critical items at the top of the list. Let’s get started.
Every Emergency Inventory Should Include Food and Water
The key to surviving any emergency is to have the basic items that keep us alive every day. That would certainly include food and water. Maintaining the energy you need to perform any tasks at hand requires you to stay sufficiently fed.
It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, just so it provides the nutrients and protein to sustain your daily activities.
We can actually go without food for a longer period than water. Water and proper hydration are critical to survival in any situation.
As you plan your preparedness inventory, remember that all those dehydrated foods you bring home for storage and use will need water for their consumption.
Freeze-dried foods are easier to eat without water being added, but if you want your body to function as needed, all your bodily systems will need water.
A First Aid Kit Will Help You Face Emergencies with Confidence
Hopefully, your family will face an emergency that doesn’t necessarily pose significant bodily harm. If it is a major disaster, there could be times you’ll need to transport a family member to professionals for treatment, if you can safely get there.
In most cases, having a fully stocked first aid kit will be sufficient to deal with cuts, burns, scratches, and maybe even a broken bone until the event passes on and you can get help if needed.
It is also important to have sufficient training so you know when first aid is needed and how best to administer it.
Light and Power Sources Keep You Safer and Informed
I recently wrote a post about how to best deal with a power outage. Often during an emergency, thousands of homes lose power. It’s important to be able to see and get around.
If your flashlights need batteries, have extra, just in case. I like solar flashlights and lanterns so I don’t have to worry if my batteries are fresh.
If you have a backup power source, whether it’s a generator or solar power unit, you can run radios, TVs, CPAP’s and other things that will make your home more functional and safe.
Another item to help you stay informed is a hand-crank radio. I bought one of these that also is a weather radio. I have a peaceful feeling every time I see this radio on the shelf since I know I can “crank” it up and listen to weather and other news reports.
I like knowing what’s going on outside my home, in the neighborhood, and throughout the area. Many radios come equipped with lights and USB ports too.
I don’t usually suggest people rely on candles during an emergency due to the possible fire danger. I’ve recently learned that if you put your candles in a thick mason jar or on a wide-based plate, as long as you keep them away from flammable things like curtains, you should be ok.
They also put out a little warmth for your hands and feet, it needed.
I’ve also heard that some people swear by their use of glow sticks. They feel the glow sticks have proven to be long-lasting, and they appreciate that they are battery-free and safer than candles.
You May Need to Make Noise to Get Other’s Attention
During an emergency how quickly you respond to the situation could be critical to survival. Having a whistle or horn to wake up family members in a timely fashion could make a real difference.
Also, you may need to alert others outside your home that you are inside and need help. There could be the situation that you are trying to find a family member or neighbor and using a whistle or horn would prompt them to yell out in response. I have several sets of these, Emergency Whistles
Having Various Types of Gloves Could Prove Helpful
Emergency situations can take lots of forms. Your house could be flooded and you’ll need to bail out the water and shovel the mud. Picture how your hands will feel after that effort if you didn’t wear quality work gloves.
You could also face a terrific snowstorm and need to clear your driveway, porch, or roof. Without warm winter gloves, those tasks would not only be miserable but also unsafe as frostbite could set in.
Another handy item to have in your supply is hand warmers. Again, it is important to protect your hands and fingers from damage caused by cold.
Have Supplies that Provide Some Sanitation Coverage
Over the past couple of years, we’ve all learned the value of wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Early on, there was a shortage of these things as hordes of people charged to Costco and other stores to get products that provided some protection.
Besides keeping various parts of our body cleaner, wet wipes can be used to clean countertops, sinks, and other areas of our bathroom and kitchen.
If the water is shut off, we still need to keep our hands as clean as possible. Hand sanitizer has been shown to be effective when used consistently and often. You may want to add adult diapers or adult disposable underwear to your stash, someone in your family may need it.
Tissues Are for More Than Blowing Your Nose
We are all used to reaching for a soft tissue when we feel a cough or sneeze coming. They have been everyone’s favorites for years.
Sometimes we forget that they can also be used to wipe up small spills, used like gauze to stop bleeding, wadded up in a small ball to stuff in our ears when they ache or we need to dampen sound, and much more.
It’s great that they come in box form that makes them easy to stack and store. The box also helps to keep them more sanitary, even after they’ve been opened.
Who Doesn’t Love Duct Tape?
One of our daughters had a father-in-law who swore by duct tape. He used it to fix so many broken or damaged items.
Our family has always had duct tape around the house, but we haven’t become that attached. It is a handy tool to fix various things around the house for a temporary period, but I wouldn’t use it as a “permanent” solution. Duct Tape
Extra Blankets are a Must-Have Supply Item
We’ve found having extra blankets available to be a wise decision in many situations. They not only help keep you warm when the weather turns cold each year, but they can be used to cover windows, act as insulation under doorways, help raise your feet and legs if they get injured, help support your neck or back, and much more.
Some people have found that emergency blankets with their heat-reflecting foil are a Godsend. You’ve seen these on the news being put to use in shelters. I don’t own any, but I need to check them out. I have these, Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets
Masks of all Types are Must-Haves
The wearing of masks in both indoor and outdoor environments has become commonplace. They can certainly help contain the spread of diseases. During an emergency, we face the additional concern of dust and smoke in the air.
Not all masks help in these situations, particularly with the smoke. Do your research, but my feeling is we should all have an inventory of N95 masks which seem to be the most efficient at a reasonable cost.
Having the Right Tools Available is Critical
Mark has had a large tool chest in the garage for years. It’s his go-to support item due to the inventory of screwdrivers, pliers, hammers, drills, and bits, etc. In an emergency, a functional item called a multi-tool would sure be a handy thing to have.
Good ones are almost like having a well-stocked toolbox all in one. They are so small you can put them in with your other supply items and not feel guilty taking up space.
You may also want to have an all-purpose bag close by. It could be like a duffle bag, gym bag, diaper bag, or another style as long as it has strong handles and is able to carry a fair amount of weight.
You can use the bag to carry most, if not all, of the items we’ve discussed today. Store it where it will be handy to grab and go if you need to evacuate in a big hurry.
I’ve tried to be of help by discussing the best preparedness supply checklist for you. We all can use some help to get organized, but having the right supply of needed items when an emergency comes up is particularly important.
You may have other items you feel should be included, so please share those with my readers in the comments below. We all can help assist others as we work together to make the world a safe and well-prepared place. May God bless this world. Linda
Copyright Images: N95 Masks Depositphotos_362371406_S