Let’s take a few minutes to learn What You Need in Your Disaster Preparedness Emergency Kit. It might save your life!

Pack These in Your Disaster Preparedness Kit Immediately | Pretty Handy GirlWhat You Need in Your Disaster Preparedness Emergency Kit

Intense weather patterns are becoming much more common. Sadly it’s becoming a new normal. Are you ready in case of a disaster? What are the dangerous weather formations in your area? Are you at risk from a tornado, a flood, earthquake, mudslide, avalanche, hurricane, or other natural disasters? Regardless of where you live, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. You want to be prepared for anything Mother Nature dishes out plus a man-made disaster.

Our town has been hit by a few hurricanes, ice storms and a tornado over the past few years. Several of these events left us without power for several days. When we first moved to North Carolina, we had no idea that we needed a Disaster Preparedness Kit. Then 9/11 happened and I found myself taking a class at the Red Cross on how to prepare for a disaster. Now that we’ve lived through it, our family has an emergency kit made up in case disaster strikes. We keep it under the stairs in a closet (which is the ideal place for us to go in case of hurricane or tornados.

Emergencies can strike at any time. Chances are you may be away from home when they do strike, so having an emergency kit in your car is important.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Car Emergency Kit:

You can order a pre-made auto emergency kit, but be forewarned that there are many additional items you should include.

Car Emergency Kit | Pretty Handy Girl

Disaster Preparedness Kit Necessities:

If you want to save yourself the time of putting together a home kit, you could purchase a pre-made emergency kit, like this one:

Pack These in Your Disaster Preparedness Kit Immediately | Pretty Handy Girl

This will provide you with the bare necessities, but I encourage you to read further because there are a lot of items that are not included in a pre-packaged kit.

Good Additional Items:

  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Tarp – good for emergency roof repair or shelter
  • Sand bags (if in flood zone)
  • Extra Prescription Medications and Medical supplies (i.e. hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Sleeping Bag(s)
  • Change of Clothes
  • Sturdy Pair of Shoes
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Local Road Maps
  • Tea light candles
  • Soap
  • Feminine Hygiene products
  • Mess Kit (Add utensils if not included. Make sure the items are metal for cooking over fire if needed.)
  • Paper & Pencil
  • Activities: Books, Games, Deck of Cards
  • Copies of: ID, Insurance Policies, Bank Account Records
  • Empty Gas Can
  • Axe
  • Chlorine Bleach with eye dropper (Use 1 part bleach : 9 parts H20 as a disinfectant. Use 16 drops bleach : 1 gallon of H20 for emergency drinking water.)
  • Aqua purification tablets or LifeStraw
  • Extra set of house and car keys
  • Towels
  • Work Gloves

For Babies:

  • Baby Wipes
  • Diapers (for infants)
  • Formula (for infants)
  • Bottles

For Your Pets:

Cover All Your Bases:

Now that you know what to store in your Emergency Preparedness Kit, I recommend taking some time to compile the items. If purchasing all of them at once is too expensive, purchase a few items over the course of a year.

Annual checks:

Be sure to check your kit once a year and restock any items you used or that have expired.

How to Safely Use and Store a Generator | Pretty Handy Girl

If you purchase a generator, learn how to use it safely and store it properly. It’s also a good idea to start it up once or twice a year to make sure it is in good condition.

Make sure your kit is stored where it will stay clean, dry and ready for an emergency.

Where to store your emergency kit?

You should determine a good place to store your kit. Ideally this is the spot you will be sheltering in place. For us, tornados and hurricanes are the major threat. We don’t have a basement, so an interior room away from windows is the ideal shelter. Under our stairway is a closet where we go in case of extreme weather. Our Disaster Kit is stored in a waterproof storage bin like this one. But honestly you can buy one for less after the holidays when retailers are competing your your dollars as you try to store all the Christmas loot and decorations. Just make sure to buy one with a lid. A flat top bin will allow you to store additional blankets and supplies on top.

Prepare Your Family:

Talk to your family members about the emergency kits and where they are located. Urge kids not to play or eat the contents.

Take time at least once a year to discuss plans in case of fire, storms, or if you are separated. Have a designated meeting place if you have to leave the house in case of fire or other disaster. Our kids know we have a meeting tree away from the house. We practice going there during our own little fire drill. We also talk to them about where to go if there is a “bad storm” outside. Know where the safe shelter spots in your home are. A basement, cellar or crawlspace are ideal. If you don’t have those, in interior room with no windows like a bathroom or under the stairs is a good alternative. A bathtub on the ground floor with a mattress on top is another option.

Finally, if you have to evacuate your neighborhood or town, do you have a designated meeting place to meet your spouse or other family members? We know to go to our friend’s house that lives in another county.

I hope you never have to use your Disaster Preparedness Kit, but if you do I’ll be glad you were prepared. Have a safe year!

I am stepping up on my soapbox today. So, be prepared to listen!

Yesterday was a scary day here in Raleigh. We were hit by a large storm that had intense winds, hail and TORNADOES! North Carolina is not prone to tornadoes, but yesterday was a day that proved that twisters can hit anywhere and at anytime. The graph below shows the path of all the tornadoes yesterday.

Sadly, there were several fatalities and lots of damage.

I do have one very valuable contraption to thank for an advanced warning. This is it:

It is a Public Alert Radio with weather and emergency alerts! And it cost under $40. Whenever there is a severe storm or hazard in our immediate area, an alarm will sound. Then it is followed by a message from the National Weather Service. Pretty Handsome Guy programmed our weather radio to only go off for severe watches and warnings and only for our county. This really helps eliminate any false alarms for other counties.

Had I not had our Public Alert Radio, I would not have known how much danger we were in. But because the alarm went off, well ahead of time, I had time to call my in-laws to alert them and gather some pillows, Buddy, some munchies and most importantly my cell phone (complete with twitter app, camera, and accuweather app.) Then we crawled into the closet and waited out the storm. (I think Buddy liked laying in my lap for 20 minutes.)

My youngest was at my in-laws and they had fun sipping “pinkalicious” smoothies while hiding in their bathroom. Pretty Handsome Guy and my oldest son were away at camp and they weathered the storm in “hurricane-rated” cabins near the coast.

Thankfully we made it through the storm without any damage or injuries. I am saddened for those that were not as lucky.

After the experience I want to urge you to purchase a good Weather Alert Radio. Don’t buy one that can’t be programmed to eliminate other counties and certain warnings that might not pertain to you (i.e. flash floods.) We have several friends who turned their alert radios off because “it is too annoying when it goes off all the time.”

Another way to be prepared in case of severe weather or an emergency is to have a Disaster Preparedness Kit. Several years ago, I took a disaster preparedness class from the Red Cross. It was just an afternoon, but I came away with loads of information about how and what you need to be prepared for any disaster. Most of the information from the class can be found on the Red Cross Website, HERE.

We now have a kit that I keep in the same closet we were hiding in. As a mother of two young ones, having this kit makes me feel a little better knowing that we are prepared.

I urge you to look into a Public Alert Radio and put together a Preparedness Kit. It might save your life!