Natural disasters can strike at any time, and waiting for them to be on our doorsteps before stocking up on essential supplies is seldomly a good idea. Here are six things you should never be without in case of a natural disaster that can help to make a very stressful situation more manageable.
Item one: Water
Water is an absolute necessity, and while you can go without food for quite some time, you can’t be without water. We recommend having a week’s worth of water at the minimum. Having 4 liters per person in the household is ideal. This can help with cleaning and washing if you need it. If you’re not prepared with enough clean drinking water, you can try boiling water and holding a cold surface near the steam. This now condensed water can be used to drink.
Another is to have a water filter on hand, either a portable one or a built-in version. If the water is contaminated, the filter can help to clean the water and make it drinkable.
Item two: Food
While it’s good to have a fully stocked freezer and fridge, if you lose power and are trapped at your home, this food will spoil. Always keep long-life foods in the pantry to tide you over. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by the natural disaster, but your local area has, you may find that some supermarkets are closed, and the ones that are open are stripped bare. Not knowing how you are going to feed your family for an indefinite time can be extremely stressful. Here are some handy options:
- Long-life milk;
- Tinned fruits and dried fruits;
- Canned meats, vegetables, and soups;
- Shelf juices;
- Protein bars;
- Premade meal sauces.
Item three: First aid kit
Having a first aid kit on hand is always smart and it can be useful when natural disasters strike. If you can’t leave your home or medical help isn’t accessible, your first aid kit can be a savior. It’s important that your kit is fully stocked and replenished as soon as items are used to ensure you have everything you need when you need it. Here are some items that should be in your first aid kit:
- First Aid Bandages;
- Anti-septic solution/cream;
- Hand sanitizer, the more of these the better, especially if you don’t have access to clean water to wash your hands;
- Instant cold packs;
- Instant warm packs;
- Pain relief;
- Back up stock of prescription medications and scripts.
Item four: Portable gas cooker
When natural disasters strike, disruptions to utility services are common and this can mean no hot water or power to cook anything. By having a portable gas cooker, you can cook your family a hot meal until help arrives or power comes back on. You can also use it to boil water if you don’t have any sanitary water to drink, and it can be used to fill a bathtub with enough water to give the kids or yourself a quick washdown. Always make sure the water has had sufficient time to cool and test it before getting in.
Item five: Sources of light
Not being able to see at all in the dark of night can be daunting, especially for children. You should have sources of light on hand such as torches, candles, battery-run lights etc. Make sure you have plenty of batteries that are compatible with the lighting sources that you have. There’s no point in having sources of light that you can’t use. Ample matches and lighters are also a must-have. A radio can also come in handy too.
Item six: Emergency kit ready to go
If you have to leave quickly, you’ll want to have some of your most important items ready to go. Copies of your ID, passport, bank details, and any other documents that you need. A first aid kit, a map, a Swiss army knife, a thermal blanket, fire starters, sleeping bags and a tent can all come in handy if you get displaced from your home, and you can’t seek shelter straight away. Water should be in your emergency kit, along with some high protein’s snacks.
Having the right supplies can make the biggest difference, and in serious situations, could potentially save your life!
Natural disasters can be testing times for many, especially for those who’ve lost a loved one, animals, their livelihood or their home to the event. One thing for sure though, here in Australia, we have a spirit that is unbreakable and everyone rallies together to help those in need during these tough times which can help restore faith in humanity that some people may have thought has been lost. Remember, if you have been advised to evacuate by authorities, for the safety and yourself and your family, it’s always best to follow current advice. While we do place great importance on our belongings, many can be replaced. You cannot.