1. Water — There are lots of ways to store water, and while bottled is the least efficient, it’s the most convenient to keep in your car.
For larger volumes of water, to keep at home for instance, water cooler jugs are great because they can be recapped and often refilled at the store from which you’ve purchased them.
Freezing water in milk jugs has several benefits. It cannot be drank, but it can be used as wash water, water to flush your toilet (your toilet will flush if there is water in it), it will keep food colder longer in the freezer if the power goes out, and because it takes up a large space, it will save on energy costs because there’s less space in your freezer to keep cool.
Bleach or food grade hydrogen peroxide can disinfect bottled water. It will give the water an unpleasant taste but the tiniest amount of bleach is safe to drink and will kill any living organisms.
If you’ve been given warning ahead of an emergency, fill up your tub! If you don’t keep your tub sparkling clean, there are bladders you can buy that fit in your tub and attach to your spout.
2. Food — Store things that you eat normally, that way you’re constantly rotating your food storage supply. Store away some comfort food, even if that means hiding it. A sense of normality and comfort can go a long way in an otherwise hectic situation.
MREs are good source of ‘back-up’ food once your primary sources are low, as are freeze-dried foods, but both can cause an unbalanced diet and upset stomach, so be sure to save them for last.
3. Medicine/ First aid — Keep a supply of pain relievers and over-the-counter medicines with anti-inflammation capabilities in a cool, dark storage area.
If you have prescriptions, talk to your doctor about getting extra to put some of it aside. While prescriptions can become less effective over time, very few actually go bad.
Store tourniquets, Soft T bandages, splints, and quick clot.
4. Light — Led flashlights are more beneficial than alkaline lights because they’ll outlive them and will ward off bugs.
Kerosene lamps are a great investment and can often be found for cheap at garage sales. (But make sure you know how to use them correctly and replace the mantel).
Putting a single lit candle in front of a mirror can light an entire room.
5. Firearms — If you’re going to keep firearms in the house, you need to make sure it’s something your spouse can use, and is comfortable shooting, and of course keep it in a securely locked safe.
6. Cash — In the even that you have to buy supplies and banks and ATMs are closed, it’s a good idea to have a place to safely and securely store cash.
7. Electronics – A battery-powered or hand-crank radio is a good last resource for communication. Your cell phone can also come in handy — even if making calls is out of the question. Today’s smartphones can double as light sources, and cameras. (A phone charger is more likely to come in handy than a wall charger, too).
8. A makeshift bathroom — Products like the Luggable Loo are great for emergencies. It’s a bucket with a snap-on lid that you line with a trash bag. Lining it with kitty litter can cut down on odor and prevent the need to empty it after each use.