For the past few decades, there has been some crisis or the other in the world. Should you prepare for such eventualities ? Well it doesn’t hurt to be in a state of preparedness for any emergencies. We have been doing so in a very casual way since more than 2 decades. These are my my top 15 tips to prepare for any emergencies. In view of the latest world events and developments these tips could be a life saver for your family and loved ones.
Why to prepare for emergencies
With recent economic and pandemic developments in the world, we are put in a state of panic from the media and social media. Personally, there is no need to panic if we are always prepared for any kind of emergencies. It doesn’t have be a world wide pandemic, but sometimes even personal emergencies need to be addressed like loss of employment, long term illness even. This preparation will help us to go about our business despite what is happening around us. I have put together top 15 time tested tactics and tips to prepare for any emergencies. These are just my tips, feel free to share yours in the comments below. Lets jump into the top 15 tips to prepare for any emergencies you may encounter in your lifetime.
List of top 15 tips to prepare for any emergencies
1. Store food
The above picture was taken about a couple of weeks back in my local super market. This is a scenario you will face when you go shopping at the last minute in the event of a crisis.
Store canned goods that need no cooking. Always stockpile extra tinned food, beans and dry goods like rice, pasta and spices. Dried food like rice, beans and pasta if stored properly will easily last a couple of years. It is always good to store at least 3 months of food in your home. Since we live in a cold country, we are accustomed to canning and storing extra food for the long winter. Most houses have a basement and this is where I store some extra staples.
I personally hate to shop for food every week, so I buy food staples like rice, pasta, beans, oil, spices on the bulk. This also gives me an extra blanket of security. I store them in my pantry in air tight Tupperware containers to make the food last longer. You can read my reasons for storing in these containers in my post on Pantry Organization . Since I store the bulk of my staples in these containers. I have had no problem in running short of anything. I am able to replace the food easily whenever I run low.
Take care to get extra pet food if you have pets.
2. Store water and invest in a good water filtration system
You can survive a couple of days without food, but water is something we cannot do without. You will dehydrate very quickly within a few hours, therefore, its good to store drinking water to last at least a week. In case of a pandemic staying hydrated is the key to getting healthier quickly. Therefore, investing in a good water filter will pay off in the long run. We recently took the leap in investing in a Berkey Water Filter. Granted the filter cost us a little above 600 Euros, but I consider it an investment for the long run. A few years back, we got a traveling Katadyn Hiker Water Filter too. This is very handy and easily fits into your rucksack. Since we travel a lot, we thought this would be wiser to carry and filter water as needed instead of carrying water bottles.
3. Store extra fuel
Storing extra fuel in your garage to tide of emergencies is vital. I remember from my childhood, we usually had a full gas cylinder on spare for cooking. Since these are highly inflammable, follow instructions on how to store them safely. Keeping extra fuel in your automobile is also advisable, in case you get stranded somewhere for lack of fuel.
4. Extra medical supplies
If you are a mother you know from experience when your kid would fall sick without warning. I am always prepared for such eventualities. I always stock up on homeopathy and herbal remedies in addition to some regular pharmaceutical supplies. If you are on a prescription, its good to stock pile at least 3 months of prescription. Its good to have extras like- flu medicines, pain killers etc. These medicines usually have a long shelf life so store them in a cool and dark place. Sometimes, it may take as long as a month before regular services resume. I also buy vitamins to stock up mainly because they often run out of stock during the flu season. And shipment is expensive with the added red tape of customs duty if I have to order vitamins out of Switzerland. Therefore, I always buy a 3 month supply.
5. Hygiene items
This should be your priority. You could live without showering for a couple of days but not without basic toiletries. Your mouth will start to smell just after a night’s sleep. I usually like to store extra tooth brushes, tooth pastes, shower gels, sanitary pads, toilet rolls etc. If you have infants, store on disposable diapers, wipes etc. because you may not have the facility for washing.
6. Alternate sources for lighting & cooking
Stock extra candles, batteries and torches. We recently bought a special torch when my daughter was attending her school camp. Re-chargables may sound very ecological and feel good about being sustainable. But will be useless in case of power cuts if you cannot charge them in the event of long term power cuts and grid failure. Extra big candles are useful if power cuts persists. I have heard of stories with power grid failure which lasted up to 3 weeks or more. Having back ups like travel gas stoves is worthwhile in case you are cooking on electric stoves.
7. Extra warm clothes
If you are living in a cold climate like me, its worthwhile to have a few extra layers of clothing. This is in the event of your heating system breaking down due to storms, flooding etc. You may not be able to get technicians on call to fix your heating problems immediately. Most of our modern heating systems rely to a large extent on electricity. If things collapse, public utilities will also get affected. You will be glad to have extra winter clothes to keep you and your family warm. Minimalism is for good times not for such emergencies. Best keep a couple of extra warm sets. Good warm shoes are a must in your storage.
8. Keep your most important essentials within easy reach
One should not rule out events like floods, fires etc. You may have to leave your home in case of an evacuation. Its best to keep your important documents in a safe and easily accessible place to take with you when you leave. Important items like jewelry could be quickly worn too, you never know when they come handy. Things to keep ready – House documents, passport, credit cards, health insurance cards, wallet and cash. You know best what is important. If needed keep them in water proof or fire proof boxes.
9. First Aid Kit
This is a must for any home even for normal days. But having a little extras in the form of antiseptics, gloves and masks won’t go to waste. In Europe, its compulsory to have a First Aid Kit in your cars. In case you don’t have your kit together, its easy to buy one in the Supermarkets. They are not very expensive.
10. Laundry & Cleaning Supplies
This is part of our cleaning and staying hygiene routine. We need to stay clean in order to be healthy, avoid infection and illness. In case of a pandemic you will need to be extra vigilant. Extra soaps and disinfectants are a must to store. Laundry also needs to be done and you may need disinfectants in case of illness in the family. Bar soaps have a really long shelf life. So its good to stock up whenever they are on offer.
11. Extra Bedding, Linen and Towels
As with the extra warm clothing, its good to have extra bedding too. You may be unable to do your laundry due to power cuts. And in order to maintain proper hygiene fresh bedding is a must. Every night we spend 8 -10 hours in our beds and sweating goes with it. Therefore, regularly changing our sheets is key to preventing infections. In the event of a flu you will also be sweating to get the fever down and a change of extra beddings will be handy to have.
12. Water Storage
Apart from drinking water, you will also need water for your daily ablutions. If there is no electricity, you may need to fetch water from a well. Its good to have some spare buckets and bigger storage cans for water. Growing up in India, we are faced with water shortage often, and this extra storage was crucial even in our day to day living. My mom and dad used to invest in bigger barrels to store water for emergencies in case our house supply tanks were empty.
13. Keep Cash Ready
At times of crisis, cash is king and you may not be able to get to an ATM easily. ATM machines will not function in case of power failure, thereby rendering our plastics useless. Despite the push for a cashless society, cash will be valued at the times of emergencies. Its good not to put all your eggs in one basket. Store cash in a couple of different places but keep track of it and remember where you stored them. You may need to just grab cash and run out.
14. Emergency Contact List on Paper
Its good to have a small diary with emergency phone numbers and addresses. In case of power failure, you may not be able to charge your computer or phone and a physical hard copy list will be very useful. Most communities in Switzerland, usually send out a list of emergency numbers on an yearly basis. This list contains the numbers for police, ambulance, hospitals, doctors etc. I usually keep it pinned in my kitchen. Keep also numbers of your friends and family in the list in case you will need it.
15. Keep yourself informed
As usual do your research. Keep abreast of the latest developments that is happening around you and in the world. Stay ahead of the game and don’t wait until the last minute. Find out what other things you can do to reduce the stress for you and your family in times of emergencies.
Also keeping yourself informed during the emergency is vital to take appropriate action.
Your feedback is valuable
I hope my Top 15 Tips to prepare for any emergencies was useful to you. Do have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
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