Your just-in-case emergency supplies list (without getting too post-apocalyptic about it)

Emergency preparedness list
Zombie Repellent Soap from saplingnaturals

The world is pretty rough for some of us with natural disasters, flooding, hurricanes, and the incoming zombie apocalypse. Strike that last one. It's worrisome in certain areas (and we know that even U.S. citizens don't always get the help they need in their own country), and it never hurts to be prepared. But you don't have to get all paranoid survivalist about it. Just a few extra supplies on hand can give you a little peace of mind.

I scoured the CDC website to see what they recommend for emergency supplies to have on hand. Here are the most important…

A first aid kit

Emergency supplies
First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Essentials Kit

Having a comprehensive first aid kit on hand can cover most, if not all, of the medications and health supplies you could need in case of an emergency. Plus, having it in a portable case means you can grab it and go.

Make sure it has hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, alcohol swabs, OTC pain killers, diarrhea medicine, eye drops, and current versions and dosages of your prescription medications. For injuries, you'll want bandages, Ace bandages, rolled gauze, cotton swabs, an adhesive tape roll, and feminine hygiene supplies.

Backup glasses

Emergency supplies list
Happy Store CN65 Vintage Inspired Glasses

If you wear glasses or contacts, you probably have had that thought: what if The Walking Dead was real and I was caught outside with broken or missing glasses. I'm ultra blind so I'd be screwed. So when you next get a new pair of glasses for fashion or prescription reasons, toss that old pair into your kit so you can have a backup pair just in case.

Non-perishable food and water

Emergency supplies list
RXBARS

The CDC recommends keeping 72 hours worth (or more) of food and water for emergency purposes.

Think about foods that are non-perishable and don't require refrigeration like protein bars, granola bars, canned foods (with a can opener), dried fruit, and nuts. Water purification tablets are useful, too. Don't forget baby food or pet food, too, if applicable to you.

Work gloves

Emergency supplies list
CLC 125M Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves

Unlike losing your glasses to a zombie apocalypse, it's actually far more likely that you might be called upon to move debris or similar labor. Work gloves will save your ass. I mean your hands.

Lanterns or flashlights

Emergency supplies list
Etekcity 4 Pack Portable LED Camping Lantern

Candles are great, but nothing beats a fire-safe, long-lasting camping lantern or good flashlights. You can also rechargable lanterns in case batteries are an issue.

Tactical backpack

Emergency supplies list
Orca Tactical SALISH 40L MOLLE Large Backpack

A tactical pack might sound like overkill, but it will be waterproof and heavy duty for carrying everything with you.

Waterproof tarp

Emergency supplies list
A Tarp!

It's a tent! It's insulation! It'll protect your stuff! It's a tarp!. Tarps are just useful and folds up small.

Stepping up your game in this area might also include getting a super portable tent like these.

A great waterproof blanket

Emergency supplies list
Outdoor Stadium Rainproof Blanket

One of these bad boys folds down, protects from the weather, and is super warm. Plus, it's great for picnics, sporting events, and camping in the meantime.

Lighter

Emergency preparedness list
Long Reach Rechargeable Flameless Lighter

For lighting candles, starting campfires, or emergency light, a lighter is pro.

Waterproof sunscreen

Emergency preparedness list
Waterproof sunscreen

Even if you're just helping out in a crisis situation, you need to look out for your skin with some high SPF, waterproof sunscreen. Actually all the time. Are you wearing some now? Is there a sliver of light coming into your window? Put on sunscreen stat.

  1. We live in an area where natural disasters are very rare (but of course not impossible). The most likely (though still very unlikely) scenario is a bad localized storm where we'd be without power for a few days or more and would have to stay at a hotel or with family in a nearby town. My husband and I figure we could make do for ourselves but we have an emergency kit for our cat – we keep collapsible dishes, a collar with an ID & rabies tag, and copies of her medical records in an old carrier and we always have at least two weeks of food in the house.

    5 agree
    • Ooh, yes, thank you for calling out emergency supplies for your pets! So many lists forget this step.

      4 agree
  2. Your list is a good start! If I may, I'd like to augment it. 🙂

    If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, or you move into such an area, a FANTASTIC website to peruse is Listening to Katrina: http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/howto.html

    You don't have to read the whole blog – and I don't recommend it unless you have a LOT of time and a very strong constitution, as it's about the aftermath of the hurricane in New Orleans – but the projects are fantastic. I'm old hat at both sheltering in place and having to bug out, and this gave me a lot of ideas I hadn't considered.

    Also, if you have pets, MAKE SURE you have a plan for them. Don't leave them behind if you have to bug out. For us, we've had drills where we snag the dog and cat, the cat carrier, the essential tools and items for both. I keep their food in cleaned cat litter buckets with hinged lids, and taped to the underside of the lids are ziplock bags with essential info for each animal. When either of them goes to the vet, the itemized receipt goes in the bag so their records are up to date. I have drilled getting their crap together and staged by the door to ensure we can locate and place everything in a very short period of time.

    I know thinking about this might seem like paranoia, but it might mean the difference between getting out safely and getting out with nothing but the clothes on your back. The former will make life a lot more comfortable, particularly if you cannot get back home for an extended period of time.

    (Other thing to consider – a "get home" bag, to get you from work back to your house if, for some reason, you cannot gain access to transportation home. Mine has gloves, a hoodie, extra shoes and socks, a headlamp, some food, a water bottle with a Berkey filter in it, and a few other essentials.)

    4 agree
  3. One thing a prepper taught me is that mental comfort can be just as necessary as physical comfort.
    Yes, pack protein bars. If you're starving, you'll eat them. But don't pack the crappy ones that you bought and hated but can't convince yourself to throw out; pack stuff you LIKE.
    If having a small stuffed animal or a pretty blanket helps you keep calm, pack it. Give major side-eye to anyone who mocks your teddy bear.
    If you're stuck without power, you're going to get bored. Fast. Pack a deck of cards or a ball. Jacks. Pick up sticks. A book. Something to at least attempt to entertain you.
    All of this stuff will add weight to a bug-out bag, so be careful about how much comfort stuff you pack, but don't try to convince yourself that in a highly stressful and scary situation, you'll be just fine coping without your usual coping mechanisms.

    8 agree
    • I cannot agree more about the mental comfort side. Being in the midst of a long natural disaster (not just a few days, but weeks to months), you can get so stressed out from the change in routine that you put your health at risk. a book and a deck of cards can do wonders (also, paper and a couple of pens). There's options for things like a powerless, hand-crank emergency handheld radio, too.

      Also, if you stock water for emergencies, remember to change it out every year to discourage possible parasite growth. We use ours to water the plants in the summer, and refill our jugs for the next year at that time.

      3 agree
  4. Ziploc bags are your friends! I had to walk out through flood waters and in the rain. Even though I had spare clothes with me, everything in my backpack was damp from the rain. 🙁

    We did put our car's key fobs in a couple of ziplocs so they were dry (although the cars were flooded, so it didn't matter. C'est la vie!)

    3 agree

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