There are several emergency items I keep in our 72-hour kits and supplies. In an effort to lighten the weight of our kits, I keep these items small. The only item I keep near the packs and not in the packs in our emergency closet is the radio, but if you have a small family you could keep the radio in Dad or Mom’s pack. A radio can be useful for a stay-at-home power outage especially when we want to hear radio news reports.
You can certainly buy expensive items, but if finances are tight start with something you already own or an item that is less expensive. You can always upgrade later. Keep it simple so you will get the job done.
Step 8: Emergency Items
- Radio – As much as I love my iPhone, keeping it charged is not always possible during a power outage. And during an emergency, everyone wants to know what is going on in the outside world. So I like to have a portable radio on hand. I’ve always had an inexpensive one, but it’s time to upgrade, so I will be looking for a battery operated radio with a hand crank that can also charge my cell phone. This item is near the kits and not in the kits.
- Flashlight & Batteries – As much as I like flashlights, I really like our running headlamps and keep them in our emergency closet. There is a small battery operated flashlight in each pack as well. My family uses the running headlamps for running at night. I like them because they are bright, have various levels of lights and you have the option to wear them if needed. If I knew these headlamps would stay in our 72-hour backpacks, I would keep them there all the time. But knowing my family they tend to “run away,” so I keep them in a baggie on the shelf near our batteries. A good place to find these is at Home Depot. We also have emergency reflective vests in the closet, but they are not in our packs.
- Emergency Whistle – I keep one in every pack.
- Work gloves – These are handy to protect your hands from broken glass, dirt or other dangers I keep one pair in our emergency bucket, but you could easily put a pair in your pack. A good place to buy these is at a hardware store like Home Depot or Ace Hardware. They come on sale regularly.
- Hand/Foot Warmers – We use these every year for skiing, but they are useful to keep your hands and feet warm during any cold weather. So they are good to have in your kit. You can find them at Wal-Mart or on Amazon.com.
- Mini First Aid Kit – Every pack should have a mini first aid kit. I also keep a larger kit in our emergency bucket. Adapt for the needs of your family members.
- Needles and Thread – These can be useful to repair clothing. The scissors are included in the multi-use tool which is listed on Step 7: Food Prep.
- Trash Bags – Keep a few extra for sanitation or weather protection.