10 Essential items you’ll need for an Emergency Kit

Jan 28, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Northridge Earthquake

The recent earthquake disaster in Haiti, should be a giant wake up call and reminder that, we too, face the same kind of Force Majeure, aka “Act of Nature.”

Living in California is dangerous. We live in an earthquake prone state, where a huge earthquake, aka “The Big One,” is predicted to occur in the next hundred years—at any time!

So never knowing when or where the next big one is going to strike, is a critical reason why you need to be prepared for the worst.

If you need assistance for you Emergency Kit, Travelin’ Local has helped prepare this list and primer:

10 Essential Items for an Emergency Kit

1. Water: To be safe, a 3 day water supply is recommended. WaterBut, how much do you need? The experts say about 1 gallon per person per day. I’ll let you do the math. If you have pets, don’t forget to include them in your calculations.

2. Food: Just like the water supply mentioned above, a 3 day supply of food–non-perishable varieties– is necessary. Because most non-perishable foods are canned, and many emergency situations lack electricity, a manual can opener should be included in your Emergency Kit. Again don’t forget those pets!

3. Cash & Important Documents: MoneyEveryone should have some type of fireproof, heavy duty box that will hold irreplaceable documents, such as birth certificates, insurance papers, deeds, wills, medical cards, etc. You never know how bad an emergency situation will be so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4. Clothes: Even if you like to walk around naked, make sure to include a pair of sturdy shoes.

Flashlight5. Flashlight and extra batteries: During our recent rainy spell, West LA experienced one night of very high winds, which caused my electricity to temporarily go out. Of course, just when I needed it, I couldn’t find my flashlight, which is actually one of those cool ones you don’t need batteries for—it has a wind-up device that creates power. Anyway, about two days before, I had moved it while looking under the bed for something and dropped it in a place that I couldn’t remember, so I didn’t have access to it. So when the lights went out, I used a small candle I have for light. In short, I was unprepared. My plan is to not let that happen again.

Bandage6. First Aid Kit: Unless you’re a medical expert, make sure you include a helpful first aid manual for your Emergency Kit. Almost everyone knows how to apply a bandage, but do you know what to do if someone breaks their arm, or is bleeding profusely?

7. Medicine: Of course, prescription medicine is a given, but have you thought about keeping a stock of the over the counter medicine for such an event? We tend to take for granted simple items such as aspirin, cough medicine, and pain relievers, to name a few.

Battery 8. Radio: These days, every gadget we use seems to be rechargeable, but if there’s no electricity, foreget about it. For emergencies, you’ll need a non-electric radio and extra batteries also.

Toilet Paper9. Toiletries: Do you have a baby? Diapers are a necessity. What about toilet paper, tampons, paper towels, and even soap? Everyone should have a small container ready to go at a moment’s notice, filled with these hygiene and bath essentials to avoid making a potentially bad situation even worse. Anyway, why endure an emergency being stinky?

10. Tools: It might not be high on everyone’s list, but a wrench, screwdriver, fire extinguisher, and even a whistle (Remember Titanic?), can come in handy during an emergency.

There’s never much time to think when a real disaster strikes, so planning is critical.

If you’d like more details on Emergency Preparedness, be sure to take a look at the County of Los Angeles Public Health website, which is where this list came from.

In conclusion, when Travelin’ Local in Los Angeles and Southern California, it never hurts to be prepared for the unexpected. It literally can save lives. Especially those of your loved ones.

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