The year 2020 was a devastating year of natural disaster events. The United States experienced 22 billion-dollar disasters in 2020, totaling approximately $93 billion in damages. California recorded 5 of its 6 worst wildfires, with 10.3 million acres burning across the country. There were 12 tropical storms that made landfall in the U.S., along with several tornado outbreaks and severe storms. All the while, the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the world at an unprecedented speed, costing the lives and safety of many.
2020 taught us a lot. Even now, the importance of being prepared is engrained in us all. Thinking ahead about a possible disaster is unnerving, and it can be difficult to know where to start when getting supplies, but it is crucial in the event of an emergency. For some disasters you will need to evacuate with little to no notice, while others can require you and your loved ones to stay put and wait things out. You should be prepared for either eventuality, and have the right supplies ready for each situation. Our guide will break down what to pack in a to-go bag when you have to leave at a moment’s notice, and how to supply a stay-box, in the event that you need to shelter at home.
We have outlined some of the most important items to include in your kits, but only you know what is most vital to you. Every household is different. Attached below are two checklists you can download and use to help you put together your own emergency kits.
What to pack in your To-Go Bag:
Making copies of important documents and packing them ahead of time will mean one less thing to worry about when evacuating. Along with this, make sure to scan and store such documentation securely online. Important documents can include any of the following:
Save up some cash to use in an emergency. This is in case of a large-scale power outage or blackout. Having cash on hand will make it easier for you to get any supplies you need. Don’t worry about what you have in the bank, your deposits are insured by the FDIC. This precaution is just so you have the ability to make any quick and necessary purchases.
On your way out the door, grab any necessary electronics and cables such as your phone, laptop, and a charger. You can purchase a Solar Charger Battery Bank that comes with a built-in flashlight and can charge your devices on the go!
First Aid Kit:
You can purchase a ready-to-use First Aid Kit that suits your needs from the American Red Cross, or from a variety of other retailers. Make sure to check the expiration dates of certain products, and restock when able. This portable kit should include at least the following basic supplies:
What To Pack In A Stay-Box:
Food and Water:
In the event of an emergency where it is safer for you to stay inside, you may end up in an uncomfortable situation for a few hours or several days without running water or electricity.
You may end up without running water to bathe and dispose of waste.
With the possibility of not having electricity available for an extended period of time, it is important to have a light source available to keep your space illuminated. We recommend a solar light so you don’t have to worry about batteries.
Tools and Supplies:
Ultimately, you know what you need to best keep you and your loved ones safe in the event of a disaster. With the above items we’ve listed, have a conversation about what else you think is most essential to include in your Stay-Box. Some additional items to consider are:
Consider the needs of your household. An infant, elderly person or person with disabilities will need extra accommodations. Plan ahead for these needs by packing formula, diapers, medications, prescriptions, and whatever else your group needs in the event of an emergency.