Ten Important Items to Have on Hand for Emergency and Why

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Items you should stockpile right now, whether you think there's going to be some kind of an economic meltdown or not, because the fact of the matter is that nature doesn't care who is in control of the government or anything else. Take for instance the occurrence of Hurricane Sandy, which came along and caught many people unprepared. Several weeks passed and there were still people without food, water and electricity so it is wise to be ready for any circumstance like that.

In order to be better prepared for future surprises, there are some items that you should have on hand.

  1. Food and water
  2. Flashlight and batteries
  3. Candles and matches
  4. Clothes and blankets
  5. Portable stove
  6. Alternate heat source
  7. Liquor, coffee, cigarettes (bartering items, commodities)
  8. Guns and ammo
  9. Medical kit
  10. Tools (survival knife, Swiss army knife, crow bar, duct tape, hammer, rope, screwdriver, nails, screws)

Other items that would be ideal to have:

  • Toiletries
  • Books
  • Storage bags

Water – Water is the number one thing you should have in an emergency because it is so important. Be sure to have containers filled with water that you can drink in an emergency. Some options would be 1-5 gallon jugs, which are available in most stores. In addition to actually storing water you also need to have a filter system. There are a variety of these on the market ranging from ones equipped with a sports bottle, the LifeStraw which has the filtration system built into the straw and still others that filter large amounts of water, such as the Berkey system used with 5 gallon buckets. The importance of these is their ability to filter out many contaminants, which unfortunately in the event of a disaster is not only likely but also virtually unavoidable. The ones designed for individual use are ideal for carrying with you so your equipped to take advantage of water in a pond, creek or lake. Other options are able to filter larger amounts of water faster such as the Berkey system, which filters several gallons of water a day.

Food – Nonperishable food is the second item (canned meats, beans, soups). In regards to stocking nonperishable food items, things that don’t require cooking or heating are always good options. For instance, canned meats, soups, vegetables and beans can be safely eaten straight from the can in the absence of no heat or electricity. There’s also the option of dried goods and dehydrated foods, which are great as long as you have water (and heat) for preparing them. Be sure to have flavoring items on hand such as beef bouillon, canned broth, and spices, to make things more palatable and change up the flavors some.

Flashlights and Batteries – If there is no electricity, you’ll be glad you have these items. As far as batteries go, it is a good idea to keep the battery sizes the same so it will be easier to stock up and quicker to find when needed. Less popular battery-sizes may be hard to come by, thus it wouldn’t be a top choice for your emergency stock.

Candles, Matches, Lighters and a Striker – Candles burn a long time, even the small tea light candles have a 4-hour life span. You’ll need a way to light the candles, so be sure to stock up on matches. Matches are so cheap to purchase, but if they get wet are useless. Be sure to have an abundant supply of matches as well as alternate ways of lighting things such as a lighter and a striker. Candles are quite handy for lighting up an entire room. While it isn’t a bright light, it will provide just enough to allow you to see where you’re going without tripping over things. And if you sit by the candle it will provide enough light for reading.

Clothes and Blankets – Have clothes that fit and are appropriate for the situation you’re dealing with in your own climate. Sure everyone has spare clothes but pack things that will be useful such as gloves, hat, shoes, underwear, socks, and layers of outer garments. It’s also a good idea to pack them in an area where they won’t get wet, or better yet, a waterproof storage system. Along with clothes, be sure to have a good supply of wool blankets. These are usually fairly cheap and easy to come by at thrift stores. Wool blankets will still keep you warm even if they get wet.

Portable Stove – a stove is going to provide heat and a means to cook. While standard camping ovens are okay for occasional use, it is ideal to have something to use such as a solo camp stove, and plenty of wood to build a fire

Alternate heat source – whether it is a space heater, a kerosene heater , a small propane heater, fireplace or a wood stove. Having multiple options is great so you’ll have a backup depending on the situation you’re in

Liquor, Cigarettes, Coffee – These items are great for bartering. Have them on hand and any other commodity you can think of that people would trade useful items for. No matter how tough things get, if people are accustomed to having these things, they will be desperate for them. So, even if you don’t personally use these items, purchase them, store brand or discount varieties are absolutely fine.

As for the liquor, a cheap alternative such as Everclear can be used as a disinfectant or for making tinctures. Basically any combination of these items will serve well if you find yourself needing something.

Guns and Ammo – A good start would be at least a 22 rifle and a 45 caliber semiautomatic handgun is a good choice. Be sure to have plenty of ammo for your guns.

Medical Kit – These can be purchased online, which is great because they are marked as First Aid, have their own carrying case and you can always enhance them and add to them to personalize the needs of your family. At the very least, be sure you have a suture kit, prescription medication, if needed, bandages of various shapes and sizes. Pain medicines should be in your kit to help relieve pain as well.

Tip: If you are on prescription medication, have a talk with your doctor and ask him for a prescription to fill and have on hand for emergency. Depending on your doctor, he may or may not do this. And if he does, then most likely insurance will not cover extras of prescription medications. If your doctor won’t work with you, then find another doctor; build a relationship so they will know your intention is not to abuse the drugs.

Tools – Have a tool kit set aside for emergency use only. If you have tools scattered around, it will be very difficult to gather them in a rush. At the very least make sure your tool kit has a hammer, Swiss army knife, survival knife, rope, screwdriver, handsaw, duct tape, nails and screws.

Additional items to acquire would include:

-Toilet paper – you’ll be glad you have this

– Books (informational and leisure books) to alleviate boredom and stress and even survival books in the event you need to leave your home

-Plastic storage bags – have a variety of these ranging from the boxed sandwich and storage zipper bags to plastic bags from the grocery store. These bags can easily be balled up and placed in your pants pocket. They are also ideal for carrying and collecting items, keeping your hands free and also in protecting them from dampness.

So while the list of items to have on hand is always growing, the items we’ve listed here will be helpful in an emergency.



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