5 must-haves for your emergency kit in Northern California
It’s summer — time to get outdoors and enjoy the sun. With so much fun to be had, no one wants to think about anything bad happening, right?
Of course not. But emergency situations can happen at any time, and being ready can make all the difference. Taking a little time now to prepare for the unexpected means you can enjoy the season with total peace of mind.
Plan ahead so you know what to do
Before starting your emergency kit, do some basic research to learn about natural disasters common to your area. Examples include floods, earthquakes, wildfires, or tornadoes. Look online for information from local government and environmental resources.
With that knowledge, create a home emergency plan. Store important phone numbers and documents in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. Learn how to shut off your utilities, and put together a home emergency kit.
5 must-haves for your emergency kit
Having an emergency kit is a great way to be prepared — as long as it contains the right things and you keep it up to date. Here are 5 items that belong in every home emergency kit:
- Food and water — Include enough for 3 days for each member of your family. Choose foods that won’t spoil, such as peanut butter and canned tuna. Don’t forget a can opener.
- Radio and flashlight — OK, these might be 2 separate items. But some manufacturers have combined these tools into one device. Whether you buy them separately or as part of a specialized emergency tool, you’ll have your choice of hand-crank or battery power. If you go with batteries, be sure to keep extras on hand.
- First aid kit — Buy one ready-made or find out how to assemble your own. Make sure to include hand sanitizer and garbage bags.
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape — These items can be handy for patching a broken window, stopping a leaky roof, making a hammock…the possibilities are endless.
- Whistle — When you need to signal for help and you can’t be easily seen, a whistle will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
Once you’ve gathered your kit, store it somewhere easy to find. We hope you won’t need to use it, but it definitely can’t help you if you don’t know where it is. And if it’s ever needed, you’ll be glad you took the time to get it ready.