As a resident of the southeast, you can often be surprised with what Mother Nature has around the corner. Many of us learned that lesson the hard way with the tornado super outbreak of April of 2011. A lot of people including myself were caught off guard with the power outages that lasted for weeks in some areas. With Hurricane Irma making landfall in Florida and eventually making her way north to my home near Huntsville, I decided to spend Sunday checking my emergency kit.
A lot of times people over think an emergency kit and suddenly the list of 20 items turns into 100 items. That overkill often leads to people not even preparing the kit. The idea is to think through a potential emergency and the key supplies you will need. I designed my original kit off the list off of the Basic Disaster Kit listed on Ready.Gov. It gives you a great start to make a custom kit for your family.
A few unique items that I’ve added to my kit based on past experience include the following:
- Paper Map (I always grab a few at the state visitor center each year)
- USB Cables For Phones/Tablets (Occasionally I spot them on sale so I have grabbed a few)
- Backup Battery Powered USB Charger (I have 3 of these KMASHI Power Banks and when fully charged they provide multiple charges)
- Ambient Compact Solar / Hand Crank / AM-FM-WX Radio with Flashlight. (I actually carry this is in my everyday backpack especially when I travel.
- Allpowers Foldable Solar Panel. (Also in my everyday backpack, an amazing tool that gets you charging with just sunlight. Wish I had this in April of 2011)
- Flashlights are always a must but don’t forget spare batteries. Pay attention the expiration dates.
- After major holidays stock up on paper plates and utensils. I have a unique selection of Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Fourth of July plates that I purchased for like nothing over the past few years.
- Make a paper list of important phone numbers in the event you have to use someone else’s phone or a landline (gasp!)
- Bleach. In extreme emergencies, you may be advised to use household bleach to treat water.
These are just a few of my suggestions. Head over to our forum via the link below to give us an idea of what you have your kit!