What Every Home Should Have in an Emergency Kit ...

Whether you’re worried about a zombie apocalypse or the more likely flood or hurricane, having your home stocked for an emergency is pretty important. In fact, you should have a kit made up in an easy to reach place that you maintain and restock as needed. That way, should an emergency occur, you are safe and prepared to stay alive until help can arrive. Here are your top choices for getting ready.

1. Canned Food with a Working Can Opener

Nothing stinks worse than having a bunch of food you can’t open. Make sure your kit contains some well-rounded meals in a can with a can opener. In fact, buy a separate one so you don’t have to worry about remembering to grab it if you need to take cover during a storm. Choose foods you like so you will be able to eat them and make sure you find items that are nutritious in case you have to wait days for rescue. You’ll need to keep your strength up.

2. A Gallon of Water for Each Person in Your House

Each gallon can be made to last for about three days without compromising your health. When Hurricane Katrina hit, many people were without clean water for days and days. If you stock some clean, unopened water, you will be a lot better off. Rotate the supply as the bottles expire.

3. A Couple Packets of Matches

Should you need to sanitize water, having some matches on hand is a definite plus. Being able to start a fire is also handy for staying warm and for alerting rescue personnel as to your exact location. Use caution with the matches and consider storing them in a zip top plastic bag so they don’t get wet. Matches are a better idea than a lighter because they are easier to use and you won’t have to worry about the fluid drying up and being worthless.

4. A Basic First Aid Kit with Medical Advice

In the event of a big storm or other disaster, someone is bound to get hurt. Luckily, most injuries will be pretty minor and you can treat them yourself, even if you have no access to the hospital. A basic first aid kit should contain antiseptic wipes, bandages, disinfectant ointment, latex gloves and a care manual for injuries. Prepare this first aid kit and leave it in your emergency box so that you never have to worry that it’s out of supplies when needed.

5. A Battery Operated Radio with Extra Batteries

In the case of a weather ordeal, you will be glad to have something to monitor the situation with. You’ll need to know if more weather is coming and the emergency alerts are handy for giving you additional advice regarding how to stay safe until you can be rescued. Make sure you keep extra batteries on hand in case you need them.

6. Dust or Gas Masks

Talk to your local police station about which type they recommend for your area. These masks can keep you safe if buildings collapse, if there is a lot of standing water around you, if a health epidemic occurs or if your area happens to be the target of a weapons strike. This way you can keep your body safe, if needed.

7. Blankets or Warm Clothes for Everyone in the House

If you suffer a power outage during a blizzard, chances are your house is going to get very cold. Make sure you stock your emergency kit with blankets and extra clothes. If someone gets wet, they can change. If things get really icy, you can wrap up in the blankets for warmth.

Ideally, your emergency kit should contain enough of each of these items to last for 72 hours. What’s in your kit? Other things you might think about include diapers, baby formula, games or books for entertainment, a fire extinguisher and a basic set of dishes. What other items would you add to this list?