Imagine that you’re sitting at home one night, watching TV, and suddenly you see a natural disaster warning scrolling across the screen. A severe weather system will hit your town in less than four hours.
Are you prepared to survive three days or more without electricity or running water? Do you have enough life-saving medication on hand to make it through a disaster scenario?
If you’re wondering how to get through a natural disaster, this article’s for you. We’ll give you an essential survival supply list—and some peace of mind.
1. Solar-Powered Devices
The first item on any survival supply list has to be a lantern. While you can opt for a headlamp or stand-alone lantern, you should make sure it’s hand-cranked or solar-powered.
In addition to several lanterns, you should have a solar-powered phone charger and a weather radio. The National Weather Service broadcasts every day but will switch to an emergency channel if severe weather occurs.
If you have a large family, you might also want to invest in a set of long-range walkie-talkies. That way, one person can go out and assess the damage while keeping the rest of the family informed via radio.
Just make sure that you test your devices every six months to make sure they are in good working order.
2. Prescription Medication
There are two scenarios for a natural disaster. You would either have to evacuate the area or “shelter in place” at home.
If you need to evacuate, you should fill a small bag with
- a list of your current prescriptions
- seven to 10 days’ worth of medications
- aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen
- anti-bacterial wipes
- an extra pair of glasses
If you have young children, prepare a backpack with diapers, wipes, antidiarrheal medication, and a few stuffed animals. Each child should also have an emergency blanket and some high-energy snacks like breakfast bars or dried fruit.
3. First-Aid Kit
As you create a family emergency plan, make sure that you have first-aid supplies at the top of your emergency kit list.
A good first-aid kit contains more than just bandages. It has water purification tablets, ointment, and hand sanitizer. It also has an emergency blanket, a thermometer, and tweezers.
In general, try to find a first-aid kit that weighs less than three pounds. That way, even a child can carry it if necessary.
If you have a large family, you might want to invest in multiple first-aid kits. Keep one in each car, one at home, and one in every emergency backpack along with a flashlight and extra pair of heavy socks.
4. Food and Water
If you lose power during a disaster and shelter at home, you might be stuck eating out of cans for a few days to a week.
Surviving a disaster at home requires that you have two weeks’ worth of food for each person in the home. Canned fruit, granola bars, and cereal are all good stock-up options. Just check the dates on your stash every few months.
In an evacuation scenario, the general rule is to take three days’ worth of food for each person. Dehydrated food is ideal because it’s lighter and easier to carry in a pack.
As far as water is concerned, one person typically uses one gallon each day. Just make sure you store water bottles in a dark place so that the sunlight doesn’t degrade the plastic.
One way to keep morale high during a natural disaster is to have flavored drink packets and instant coffee on hand.
5. Pen and Paper
As you assemble your survival kit, stationery supplies are probably last on your list. It’s a good idea to pack a few pens and markers, however, in each person’s go-bag.
First, you can keep a list of emergency contacts and addresses. You can also take handwritten notes or start a fire with a few sheets of paper.
If you’re trapped in your home after a natural disaster, you can use permanent markers or even spray paint on your roof and front door.
If you can write “HELP” on your roof, rescue workers will have an easier time finding you and helping you evacuate.
Pens and markers are also good for kids during a natural disaster. Instead of panicking, they can color and draw. It’s a familiar activity that can help them cope with a frightening situation.
6. Pet Supplies
While you might have an emergency plan for your family, do you have one for your pets?
In general, you should have a cat carrier and a week’s worth of dry and wet food. If you’re sheltering at home, keep at least two bags of litter handy. You might want to keep a bag or two in your car as well.
The good thing about dogs is that they can carry some supplies. There are doggie vests that have pockets. While your pup might not be able to carry much, you’ll have a place to stash a heavy-duty leash and vet records.
Another thing to keep in a pet emergency kit is a favorite toy or blanket.
More Items for Your Survival Supply List
Whether you stay at home or evacuate, you might want to keep a stash of cash on hand, too. Aim for about $1,000 in small bills like 10s and 20s.
If you plan to keep emergency cash at home, leave it in your safe until you need to use it. Carry it in an inside pocket of your backpack or in a money belt around your waist.
Now that you know more about surviving a natural disaster, check out our other blogs. We have the inside scoop on everything from decluttering to DIY crafts you can do with your kids!