Everyone Should Know How to Make a Home Disaster Kit | 22 Words

Now that everyone is hoarding toilet paper thanks to coronavirus, it's become incredibly clear that most of us are woefully unprepared for an emergency situation. Not just a self-quarantine: no most of us would be in serious trouble in all kinds of situations: earthquakes, tornadoes, floods. You name it, we're not ready for it.

If you're one of the people who's quickly realizing that your house could use some disaster preparation, look no further: we've built you the perfect guide to building a disaster kit for any situation. Next time it's the end of the world you will be 100% ready (maybe, it will be the end of the world after all).

It's time for us all to channel our inner doomsday prepper and get ready for the next disaster. Don't worry – we'll walk you through every step. But maybe hold off on going out to buy all the supplies until after we're done with social distancing.

A general disaster kit is a challenging thing to put together.

Different disasters require different responses, so an overall kit should have some resources for all kinds of scenarios. Here's what you need to keep you safe in most common disasters.

There are two questions to ask yourself before you start building your own emergency kit.

Who is this kit for? The number of people/animals will help you determine your needs. What kinds of emergencies could affect me? A kit for California will look different from a kit for Minnesota. What are common emergencies in your area?

The first thing that you'll want in your kit no matter what is water.

You want to aim for 1 gallon per person per day. You'll probably also want a solid water filter.

And what good is water without food?

You want non-perishable items that are stored in the kit (not in your cupboards). You do want to replace those items every six months.

If you have canned goods make sure you include a can opener.

It sounds stupid, but can you imagine only having canned foods and not being able to get to them? No thanks.

Beyond food and water you want to make sure you don't get completely cut off in a disaster.

Keeping a weather radio with batteries on hand will let you stay up to date on what's happening in an emergency.

And of course you want to be prepared for all the electricity to go out.

So get yourself a solid flashlight, or even a battery operated lamp.

Now that we've made it through the basics, let's get into the deeper contents of your kit: your First Aid kit.

A First Aid kit probably contains more than you'd expect. Of course you'll have the basics like bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, and pain medications.

But in addition to those basics you may want to put some additional supplies in.

You should stock burn cream, elastic bandages, allergy medicine, and tourniquets.

Plus you'll want to personalize it for your family.

Does anyone take medications regularly? Are there particular conditions you should prepare for? Make sure those are included in the kit too.

Now it's time to get personal.

Personal clothing that is. You'll want to have one extra set of clothes for each person in your house, plus an emergency blanket for each.

You definitely want to tailor those clothes to where you live.

For my Midwestern friends that means jackets and scarves and other warm gear.

This is where you'll need to think about common disasters in your area.

If you think you'll have to leave your home, you may want a tarp or a tent.

And to make sure that your home (or tarp or tent) is well taken care of, have some hygiene items.

We're talking baby wipes, personal hygiene items (your toothpaste, your deodorant), and garbage bags, plus anything else that might be handy.

If you're going to be without water, you probably don't want to be doing dishes.

So have some paper plates and plastic utensils so you can eat without worrying.

A lot of the items in an emergency kit are practical.

But you also want to think about mental health. Make sure you have at least a couple of things to keep your spirits up: a deck of cards, a book, a favorite stuffed animal.

And with that break from the intense, boring stuff...

We're back with a vengeance because you'll also want a clear place for important documents like your Passport, Social Security card, birth certificates and so on.

Don't forget to have some cash on hand.

When the Apocalypse comes it seems unlikely that ATMs will be working, so you'll want that sweet, sweet green.

Let me propose to you two things: a multi-tool and duct tape.

Are they for an emergency kit or some kind of heinous crime? The world may never know.

But in all seriousness, you'll also want a pad of paper and a pencil.

Sure, you could use your phone, but you don't want to rely on technology if you have to remember things, make plans, take notes, or so on.

Don't forget to make sure you can sanitize things as necessary.

A good container of bleach goes a long way, but remember to dilute it. Straight bleach is not what you want on any of your possessions.

One item you most likely don't have on hand is a dust mask.

But it's a good idea to include one in your kit in case you have to deal with air problems. In a pinch a cotton shirt will work.

If you're going to be leaving your house, make sure all of your family members are prepared.

That means pets too: they'll need their food and dishes, leash/collar, litter and a disposable litter tray, plus a way to transport the animal.

And if you have little ones make sure they're ready too.

You'll want to have baby formula and diapers if you've got a kiddo that needs those supplies.

And you might think it's overkill but it wouldn't hurt to have some navigational tools.

Yeah, a map and a compass, not Google Maps. Make sure you remember how to read them though.

Now that you've got your shopping list, it's time to put it all together.

Store your kit in a waterproof container. It's good to have something you can put in your car or bring with you if you need to leave your home.

Don't forget to put it somewhere you can access.

Ideally you'll want it in the place you go first in an emergency (so if you're in a flood zone it does not go in the basement). Try to keep it somewhere with no extreme temperatures.

Then TALK.

Make sure the whole family knows where it is, what's in it, and what the plan is for an emergency. If the kit doesn't get used, it's absolutely pointless.

And while you're talking, don't forget to make plans for your mental health too.

Talk to your family members about how you'll support each other. You're in this together after all.

Then sit back and stop overthinking.

This kit isn't for panicking it's for preparing. Don't let the preparation drive you into anxiety. You're doing all you can.