I was doing some spring-cleaning in the summer-almost fall time, and I ran across our first aid kit. It is nestled next to some dust masks and our crank radio. Last summer in August, we had a hurricane here in NYC. Granted, it was a very odd occurrence for here, but it is common in other parts of the country and world - as are tornadoes and other natural disasters. We've had the radio for about 11 years now, as well as the first aid kit, but when news hit that the hurricane was heading our way, we didn't have batteries or candles or even matches. It got me thinking about what I should stock up on to have at the ready. A few hours now can truly make a difference later.
I did some research and here's a list - long, but probably by no means complete - of what we should all have, tucked away in a corner of a closet, in a waterproof, durable duffle bag or two. Start small, keep this list in your purse and cross it off as you collect the items when you are out and about.
Rechargeable, waterproof flashlight
LED Lantern Light (battery-powered and/or solar-powered)
Mini radio, preferably hand cranked
First aid kit
Map of your area and an Atlas
Ponchos for everyone
Water purification tablets
Contact info written out (such as people, bank, doctors, hospitals, airports, trains stations)
A decent amount of cash
Plastic garbage bags
Copies of vital information in a plastic Ziploc bag (Insurance documents, birth and marriage certificates, Social security documents, bank information)
Essential medications and eyewear for everyone in your family
Non-perishable food (think canned goods, protein bars, and the like)
Hand-held can opener
2-3 changes of clothing for members of the family
The experts recommend you go through it every six months and switch out what may not fit members and to up date anything. Not fun to think about, I know, but let's be safe.
Do you have a stash of things ready for emergencies? What do you need to get?