With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, it’s time for the storms to start rolling in. Literally. With them these storms bring flooding, power outages, and other dangerous situations that could leave you stranded in your house without the basic necessities we’ve become so accustomed to. It’s important to have some basic preparations at home in order to keep yourself and your family safe in the event of a flood, hurricane, or tornado. By having a storm kit on hand, you’re preparing for the worst in the best possible way. Disclaimer: I am not a prepping expert. I would still consider myself a beginner. I merely intend to share my experiences and [limited] knowledge in order to help others prep on a budget.
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I’ve mentioned a few times before, I’m no stranger to natural disasters. Growing up in Virginia and Michigan, I’ve experienced large scale flooding, land slides, tornadoes, and snow storms. I’ve been stuck in a hotel for several days after a flood literally washed away my route home, and I’ve ran to a tornado shelter when a tornado touched down 500 feet from me. After a massive flood that caused millions in damage in my city two years ago, I jumped on the preparedness band wagon.
Having a storm kit is a great option for everyone regardless of family size. Please note this storm kit is meant to be a short term kit for 1-2 days during a power outage or large storm. This kit can be altered to fit your needs based on family size, medical needs, and personal preference. We’ll be talking later in the series about a 72 hour emergency kit.
Keep your kit in a proportionately-sized container with a water-tight locking lid. Sterilite clip box containers are my favorite as they’re sturdy, close tight, and travel well. I recommend marking your kit with glow in the dark tape for easy location in low light conditions. Store your container somewhere it’s easy to access and out of harm’s way if flooding occurs. Store larger items (gallon water,
Stick with simple, no prep items that have some nutritional value and will give you steady energy. Things like beefy jerky, pouch meats, trail mix, and protein bars are great options. MRE (Meals Ready-to-Eat) are another option that are easy to find at your local outdoor store or online. They’re made to last years, and while they don’t always taste great, they’re lightweight and have good nutritional value.
Water is essential for survival, and an easy addition to any kit. Bottled and gallon water is easily accessible, inexpensive, and last a long time if kept in a cool, dark place. You can also purchase emergency water packets, which are made specifically for this use and are readily available on sites like Amazon.
One of the first things I worry about during a storm is power outages. Keep ample lighting options in and around your storm kit. I’ve made it a practice to never leave any room without a flashlight. You can buy reflective or glow surface flashlights for easy retrieval in low light, and I suggest always keeping at least one in your kit. Emergency candles are also easy to find and relatively inexpensive. These 115 Hour Plus Emergency Candles are my favorite, I actually just ordered a second set! You can also find camping lanterns and headlamps at most stores. Having multiple options is recommended.
A good first aid kit is essential to any and every home. I recommend having a much more extensive one stored in your home, but it’s also a great idea to have a smaller one tucked away with any emergency kits you maintain. You can always find pre-made options online or in store, and I recommend adding anything specific to your needs, like medications. Ensure you have a good supply of gauze, medical tape, pain medication, band-aids, antibiotic ointment, and disinfecting wipes.
Other recommended items include:
Hand-crank emergency radio – Essential for knowing what’s going on in the outside world. These radios are crank-powered and connect to many emergency frequencies. I found a really nice one for around $60 that also has 2 USB ports for charging small electronics.
Emergency phone charger – While we’re on the topic of small electronics, you’ll need somewhere to charge your phone in case of emergency. Mophie’s are the best! They come in a variety of sizes and are relatively inexpensive. Plus they hold a charge for 6 months, so you can charge one and leave it with your kit if necessary.
Rescue whistle – I’ve heard so many stories of people being trapped in the aftermath of a storm and not having the energy to call out for help, or calling out and no one can hear them. Even with a minimal amount of air, these babies are LOUD. I carry one around with me while hiking and camping, and you can hear it from nearly a mile away. I found them for $6 at REI and bought them for all of my friends and family.
Duct tape – This should probably be highlighted, bolded, italicized, and underlined at the top of this post, because this my friends, is my #1 item for emergencies. You can do almost anything with duct tape; make a splint, make a sling, repair gear, close a wound, catch fish and small animals. They made a raft out of duct tape on Myth Busters! It’s versatile and so so useful. I buy the big rolls and roll into smaller rolls for easy storage.
Pocket knife – A small, multi-use knife is a must-have for any kit. You can use it for anything and everything. Enough said.
Bic lighter – Bics are my favorite because they’re far more reliable than most cheap lighters you’ll find at the store. They’re long-lasting and consistent. I recommend keeping a couple in your kit and around the house for emergencies.
I can’t stress enough, a storm kit is so important, and so easy to put together! With some customization to fit your needs, these kits are inexpensive, useful, and take a lot of the stress off you when it comes to storm season.
Next week we’ll be covering emergency car kits to keep yourself safe while out on the road.
What is your number one takeaway from this post? What additions did you make or do you plan on making to your own storm kit? Let me know in the comments below!
Did you miss a post? Check out the other posts in the Practical Preparedness series