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Home Care Library

Maintaining Your Emergency Supplies

When your power goes out, you'll be glad that you have your emergency supplies available at your fingertips. But to ensure they're ready to go, your emergency supplies need routine maintenance.

During a power outage, you really don't want to be hunting around, possibly in the dark, looking for emergency supplies. That's why it can be important to assemble all of your necessary emergency supplies into one place. This can be a fancy kit that you purchased, or to be as simple as a cardboard box placed in a cupboard or closet.

Basic Supplies

The basic supplies that you want to have in your emergency kit include: flashlights (enough for every member of the family); candles and holders; extra batteries that are the correct size for your flashlight, lanterns, and radio; a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio; matches; pocketknife; and a first aid kit. When you store your flashlights and radios, remember to remove the batteries from them, so if the batteries leak over time, they won't ruin them and prevent them from operating when you need them. Also, something handy to have for power outages, is a camping-style LED flashlight that you can wear on your head. The LED light lasts a very long time, and with it mounted on a headband, you can keep your hands free (see types, costs, and reviews of: flashlights; first aid kits; pocket knives; emergency radios).

Deluxe Supplies

If you want to create a more elaborate emergency supply kit, then you will also want to include: jugs of water (enough for at least three days for every member of your family); canned foods; water purification tablets; and a portable electricity generator (see types, costs, and reviews of: water purification tablets; generators). These are great supplies to have on hand for a more severe, extended power outages.

Routine Maintenance for Your Emergency Supplies

Creating an emergency supply kit is good, but like other household features, it requires some routine maintenance. To be sure that your supplies are available when you need them, certain items in your emergency kit will need to be replaced from time-to-time. For example batteries lose their power over time, and water and food need to be rotated with fresh supplies. The other reason to check your emergency supplies from time-to-time, is to make sure that none of the items have been “pirated” by a family member who needed a flashlight, radio, matches, candles, etc. You definitely don't want to discover an item is missing in the middle of the night, in the dark, during a thunderstorm.

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