What's in your emergency kit?

We’re coming up on the middle of October, and in the Chicagoland area that means cold weather. It seems like when we are approaching a new season we look forward to certain things, and dread others. Summer makes us think about things like the beach, family vacations and backyard barbeques. Conversely, winter makes us think about cold weather, snow storms and shorter days.

Typically, we prepare for the change of seasons by adjusting our wardrobe, making sure the furnace or air conditioner is working and get our seasonal tools ready. These things are routine for most of us - like changing your smoke detector batteries when you change your clock (check out Energizer's post about that).

But, how often do you think about updating your emergency kit? You do have an emergency kit, don’t you?

If you don’t have an emergency kit you’re in luck because I’m going to give you some suggestions to start creating yours.  

  • Daily necessities

    • Medication, spare glasses, contacts and solution, etc.

  • Personal hygiene items

    • Soap, shampoo, garbage bags, feminine products etc.

  • Water and nonperishable food

    • Enough for three days for each person

    • Manual can opener

  • Flashlight with spare batteries

  • Weather radio

  • Blankets

  • Hand warmers

  • First aid kit

  • List of important contact information

    • Work, family, schools etc.

  • Whistles (to signal for help)

  • Tool kit

    • Adjustable wrench, 4-in-1 screwdriver, hammer etc.

  • Local maps

  • Important documents

    • Birth certificates, marriage certificate, passport, insurance policies etc.

  • Non-electronic entertainment for kids

This list isn’t meant to be set in stone. I want you to think about what your specific needs are and build your kit accordingly.

Let’s not forget about our furry family members. Here is a list of things that you might want to pack for them too.

  • Medication

  • Leash

  • Food and water

  • Potty pads

  • Toys

  • Treats

That sure seems like a lot to keep on hand, but remember that it doesn’t all have to be kept together. You may want to keep things like medication, food and water, and hygiene items in a kit at home - keep in mind that food and medication need to be properly stored. It would be a good idea to keep blankets, whistles and maps in your car’s emergency kit.

Items should also be kept on hand at work like a first aid kit, important contact information and flashlights. If your employer doesn’t have an emergency kit, or an emergency plan, available you should encourage them to come up with something. 

To get started with your own emergency plan click below.

Comment below to share what’s in your kit.