Every household should prepare in advance for emergencies. Recent surveys show that fewer than 20 percent of Americans feel they are “very prepared” should a natural disaster or emergency strike. Yet 67 percent of Americans acknowledge the importance of being prepared.
An emergency can be as simple as the electricity going out, or something so catastrophic that you need to board up your home and evacuate until the emergency is over. The experts stress having a family emergency plan. Fortunately, sample plans are easy to find on the Internet. You also need to have the right supplies and tools on hand at all times.
You’ll need food and water to last your family at least three days as well as medications and a first-aid kit. Other emergency supplies include a battery-operated radio, blankets and extra clothes. Everyone in the family should have a flashlight with extra batteries.
There is a wide variety of flashlights available. The experts at manufacturers such as Vector and Husky say flashlight-radio combinations can be a good choice, as are flashlights with clips or cords so they can hang from a belt or loop.
Hand tools and fasteners are also important. Quality hand tools such as those made by Stanley and Husky should be part of your kit, as should a box of nails and screws. You should have wrenches and pliers to shut off utilities, hammers and saws to board up windows and a crowbar to take down the boards. Many manufacturers make all-in-one tool sets that are easy to carry and include most of the tools you’ll need.
Another good set of tools to have on hand is a cordless combo kit. Typical kits can include a drill, a circular saw, a reciprocating saw and a flashlight. Because these tools are cordless, they’ll keep running even if your power goes out. Also consider a portable AC/DC power system, which can run corded tools and battery chargers; jump-start a car; inflate a tire; power a TV or radio; and recharge your cell phone. Plus, the kids can plug their games into it for hours of entertainment while you wait for the lights to come back on.
Before an emergency strikes, it pays to make a plan, practice that plan and stock up on the right supplies.
To be prepared in case of emergency, everyone in your household should have a flashlight and extra batteries.