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About a year and a half ago, right after Hurricane Sandy, I decided that I wanted to start purchasing some emergency supplies for our house.
I consider us to be really lucky where we live. Besides a couple of few-second power “surges,” we’ve never lost power in our house. And our area has seen some really nasty weather in recent years (Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, Hurricane Irene, The Derecho, the DC earthquake, and Hurricane Sandy. During the Derecho, nearly 2.7 million homes in the DC Metropolitan area lost power, some for up to an entire week, during a time period of record breaking heat. And our townhome stayed powered up the entire time, no problem.
But, that’s not to say we shouldn’t be prepared for emergencies just because we’re more likely to keep our power than other homes in the area. And after seeing the hell that people in New Jersey went through in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I decided it was time to get some Emergency Supplies.
I quickly realized that the cost of creating an emergency supplies kit could quickly add up, so I decided I would create a kit incrementally, just buying a few things every month.
But of course, I bought a few things that month after Hurricane Sandy, and then forgot all about keeping up with it.
I did some searching online for emergency supplies checklists (and holy crap, some lists are 150+ items long), and created my own list, based on those I found online, in a spreadsheet.
I marked down which supplies I’d want to have for a home emergency kit, a car emergency kit, and a work emergency kit. Since I work in downtown DC, I can definitely foresee some situation that would have me stuck at work for days on end.
Some items on my lists are pretty obvious (water, can opener, etc.). But others I would have never thought of without the help of other lists I found online. For instance, pictures of your loved ones in case you are trying to locate them in an emergency. And blue tarps to keep dry.
So, I’m going to renew my pledge to create emergency kits for home, both our cars, and both our offices.
This is what I purchased right after Hurricane Sandy (in no particular order of importance, I was just trying to intersperse some much cheaper items with a few of the more expensive ones).
- Emergency Fire Starter
- Whistles (3)
- Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Radio, Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger
- Duct Tape
- Heavy Duty Cord
- Plastic Sheeting (similar to this, but I bought it cheaper and a slightly smaller amount from Home Depot)
- SAS Survival Guide
- Rechargeable Crank Flashlight
- Potable Water Treatment
- N-95 Dust Respirator Masks
And that was it. Sure, it was a random mish-mash of stuff, but at least it was a start. I’ll figure out what I want to buy next and then keep you posted on my Emergency Supplies kit progress!
Do you have an emergency kit? What do you keep in them?