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Pack an emergency kit for peace of mind

When severe weather strikes, it pays to have an emergency kit ready and waiting. That way, a weather emergency is … well, less of an emergency.

Even better, a kit doesn’t have to be super complicated. Most of the items you already have around the house. So, let’s get started.

Begin with some airtight plastic bags and one or two containers or totes. Make sure the totes are easy to carry in case you have to move locations during an emergency.

What to include in your emergency kit:

  • Flashlight — If you lose power, a flashlight is a must. No one wants to be in the dark. You could also throw in a few candles, but don’t forget the matches.
  • Batteries — That flashlight will need batteries, so make sure to have extras in your kit.
  • Radio — Pack a hand crank or battery-operated radio for weather updates and emergency notifications.
  • Portable phone charger — In an emergency, your cell phone can be a lifesaver. But a phone with a dead battery won’t be much help. Pack a portable phone charger in your winter safety kit and check it periodically to ensure it’s still charged and ready.
  • First-aid kit — Include the basics in your emergency preparedness kit, from wound cleaning supplies and band-aids to pain relievers.
  • Water — Don’t forget to pack water in your winter survival kit. Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but better safe than sorry.
  • Food — It’s a good idea to have non-perishable foods in your kit just in case. You know, things like peaches, beans and peanut butter. Don’t forget a can opener.
  • Baby food/formula — If you have a baby in the family, be sure to pack baby food and/or formula.
  • Medications/glasses — If possible, include in your kit any medications you need on a daily basis. If you can’t pack prescription medicines, include a note in your kit as a reminder to pack them in the event of an evacuation. If you wear glasses, it’s a great idea to pack an old pair in your kit. Contact wearers will want to throw a few extra pairs in their kit, and don’t forget contact solution.
  • Blankets/sleeping bags — If you lose power during a winter weather emergency, things can get cold really fast. And if you have to evacuate, you’ll be glad your winter emergency kit includes warm clothing.
  • Hand sanitizer — If water becomes an issue, you’ll be glad you packed hand sanitizer. You might also include disinfectant wipes.
  • Pet food — Did you know that about 70% of U.S. households have pets? Do you? In the case of a weather emergency, you’ll want to make sure you have extra food for your pet in your emergency kit.
  • Important papers — Pack copies of your insurance information, identification, banking information and other important documents. Make sure these go into the airtight bags.
  • Emergency kit for car — Even though you’ve made your emergency kit portable, you’ll still want to make sure your vehicles are prepared for winter weather emergencies as well. Pack an emergency kit for your car with extra hats, gloves and coats, boots, jumper cables, a LED flashlight, a snow scrapper for windows and a shovel.

Now that you have your emergency survival kit packed and ready, you can sleep well knowing that you are prepared for almost anything. Doesn’t that feel good?

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