Emergencies are a fact of life. Whether it is a relatively minor concern that just needs immediate attention or an actual disaster that needs to be weathered through, being prepared is the best way to protect your family and home. The amount of preparation needed depends largely on the area you live in. If you are in an area prone to hurricanes or heavy snow fall, then you need more substantial preparations than an area where the most likely issue is a bad thunderstorm knocking out a transformer for 12 hours.
1. First Aid Kit
This is an incredibly obvious choice that is always mentioned. Why? Because most homes still do not have a reasonably stocked first aid kit. In event of any type of storm or disaster, help can be slow in arriving and for many smaller injuries trying to go to help is far more dangerous than treating minor injuries yourself and waiting until safer. If the first aid kit you have has been borrowed from for years then the bandages are likely gone as well as scissors and band aids. Restock it.
The most immediate need in any disaster is potable water. It takes little effort to fill 10 1 gallon jugs and stow them. Simply change the water every month or two and it will always be there if needed. In case of warning of bad weather, fill the bathtub and as many additional containers as possible.
3. Duct Tape and Rolled Plastic
Having half dozen large rolls of duct tape and a couple rolls of heavy plastic will prove invaluable in many emergencies. The tape can be used for many minor temporary repairs and even for splints for injuries. In major wind storms applying several strips of tape over windows in occupied rooms can save a life from flying broken glass. The plastic can be used to cover windows or doors and conserve heat and to make ponchos or other emergency shelters. Both are easily carried if need to evacuate.
4. Radio and Batteries
Many people do not own a battery powered radio anymore. Get one and keep a good supply of batteries on hand. Remember to check the batteries every few months or get rechargeable and charge every few weeks so they are ready when needed. A flashlight is also a must with this. Information is going to be the key to getting to safety in a disaster and that will come first from the radio.
5. Power Supply
A back up power supply such as a generator, deployable solar panel, or industrial batteries will make life much safer and more comfortable. If you are stranded in an area the help will go to the places they can see first and lights on at night will aid in them finding you. Click here for a source of critical power supplies.