Almost anywhere you go in the U.S. except the Southwestern desert, the local population will say, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a bit, it’ll change!” Hot to cold or dry to wet doesn’t matter much, but if the wind kicks up and takes down trees that affect power lines, or if a tropical depression turns into a hurricane, well, things can get dicey.
That’s where preparation can be your friend, and the good news is that many of the items you’d need for such an emergency are also useful when on road trips, camping, hiking, or just hanging out at the house.
When putting together an emergency list, many people think of surviving extended periods of time with no power, which leads them to canned goods. That’s great, but packaged foods such as energy bars are also useful and can double up as a snack during outdoor activities. Don’t forget dried fruit, nuts, and canned juice, all of which have decent shelf lives and don’t have special storage needs.
For medical supplies, there’s a long list of useful items, including bandages, tweezers, gauze, tape, a thermometer, etc. It’s best to buy a pre-made kit so you don’t forget anything. And you might as well buy two and keep one in the car; that way you won’t forget it when traveling or even just out on day trips.
There are all sorts of other items that can be useful, including batteries, mess kits (plates, cups, utensils, etc.), knives, the all-important can opener, bug spray, fire starter, and, of course, a fire extinguisher. The key is to take an hour, sit down, plan what’s appropriate for your area and your family, and then assemble the kit.
And keep the items current. Use the food you’ve earmarked for such emergencies, and replace it as you go. The same with the batteries.
Finally, know where everything is. That might sound silly, but how many times has the power gone out and you’ve thought, “Now where is that flashlight?” Which brings up another point: put a flashlight on your list.
Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice. Do not take action based solely on this article and always consult with an appropriate healthcare professional. This article is purely for informational purposes.