While we shouldn’t spend our lives worrying about every little thing that could go wrong, it is important to be prepared just in case. And you don’t have to do a lot to get prepared. You don’t have to own enough supplies to stock a grocery store or take a first aid course. That’s all well and good, but there are simple things that you can do so that you and your family can stay safe in any kind of disaster.
Here are seven must-have items that the everyday prepper needs to own. These items will ensure you’re not scrambling the day before a terrible hurricane or blizzard is supposed to hit. Being prepared is about having peace-of-mind when it comes to yourself and your loved ones.
Buy a Small Radio
It may seem old-fashioned. In the past few years, we mostly listen to the radio on our phones or in our cars, but during any kind of disaster, you probably won’t have a Wi-Fi connection or electricity, so a battery-powered radio is necessary. You’ll need to hear news and weather reports. Staying updated is important. If you know the duration and severity of the storm, you can ration your supplies if need be and decide if it’s safe to venture out to the store or gas station. It can get nerve-wracking when you feel kept out of the loop. Besides, if you get bored, you’ll be glad to have some music!
Prepare a First Aid Kit
In an emergency, there’s no way you’ll be getting to the emergency room unless you live next door. If someone gets hurt, you’ll have to take care of the injuries on your own. Investing in a first aid kit is necessary, not just for a disaster, but also for the everyday injury. You’ll want to include band-aids, bandages, scissors, tweezers, cleansing wipes (alcohol free), and pain killers. For a full list, check out the American Red Cross website.
Let there be light! When the power goes out, you’ll need a light source. Flashlights and lanterns are great, but relying on battery-power alone isn’t always a great solution. Candles are great in accompaniment. You should keep some in various sizes. Make sure you have tall slow-burning candles and even thin ones. For whatever reason, I seem to have quite the collection of tealights, So I always light a bunch of them when I lose power. They burn for a long time and they don’t make a lot of mess. Remember to always watch your candles. Only keep one room lit at a time, so you don’t have to run about in the dark to make sure they haven’t gone wild.
If you don’t have electricity, you’ll need batteries to power your flashlight, lantern, and radio. Make sure you have batteries off all different kinds. There’s nothing worse than not having the right batteries when you need them. Keep them organized and stashed away from the plundering hands of your family. It’s best to have some batteries for everyday use and another secret stash for emergencies.
Gasoline is essential in any emergency. If you know a big storm is coming up, you’ll want to be sure that the car tank is filled up. Aside from that, you should always have a little extra for a refill. A car is great to have in an emergency, even if you can’t leave the house. If you have a converter, you can charge your cell phones with your vehicle’s electricity. In a pinch, you can also use the car heater to warm up. It’s also necessary to have gasoline in case you and your family has to evacuate due to a hurricane, tornado, or flash flooding.
You can survive without candles lighting the house, but water is absolutely pivotal to your survival. Make sure you have a case or two in your basement just in case. If you’ve ever been to the store right before a big storm, then you’ve seen people loading up their shopping carts with case upon case of bottled water like it’s Doomsday. Don’t be that guy. Being prepared beforehand will assure that you’re not caught with your pants down, as they say.
During one of these recent snowstorms that left my region in shambles for a week, we lost power and inevitably, the food in the freezer began to thaw. The only option was to put it into a cooler and stash it into the snowdrifts. Despite the cold, it didn’t last.
And so it is—nothing lasts forever, except for canned foods. They have an incredibly long shelf-life. While they’re not always the most appetizing dinner solution, they might just be your best bet in an unpleasant situation. Not every night is a Chicken Milanese night. Some nights you’ll have to suck it up and eat your spam. Do try to go for some variety, though. So you’re not eating sopping green beans every night, try to get beans, soups, and fruits. Just make sure you have a gas range or a fireplace if you need to cook anything.
While you shouldn’t nervously anticipate a disaster at every turn, it’s good to be prepared just in case. You’ll be glad you prepared beforehand so that you can protect your family and yourself. But you don’t have to become obsessive with preparation. These simple items are the basics that the everyday prepper needs in a time of crisis so they can feel safe. So, don’t be disorganized any longer. Get prepared before the next storm warning!