Whether you’re facing Armageddon or just a power cut, it’s always best to be prepared. So, once your cupboards are full of non-perishables, make sure you have this lot in the house too:
1. Matches and candles – if the lights go out, be prepared with a batch of candles and a box (or three) of matches. A camping stove wouldn’t go amiss either, just as a back up.
2. First aid kit – all homes should have a first aid kit in case of minor cuts and scrapes. Make sure you have bandages, gauze, antiseptic cream, pain relief tablets and a pair of scissors at the very least.
3. Medication – if someone in your household is dependent on medication, it is recommended that you have copies of prescriptions and enough of the medication you need stored to cover you for at least seven days.
4. Duct tape – from sealing draughts and covering up broken windows to waterproofing fabric and securing doors, duct tape is ingenious stuff – never be without a reel or two.
5. Torch and batteries – candles aren’t always practical (and can be unsafe if you don’t watch them properly), so a stash of torches and spare batteries is always advisable too.
6. Empty water bottles – save up a few big water bottles in case there’s a problem with the water supply. Half gallon types, like the bottles used in standard office water coolers, would be ideal.
7. Tin opener – if the end of the world is nigh, you can guarantee we’ll be living off food in tins. Don’t make things harder for yourself by not having a tin opener to hand!
8. Basic tool kit – a wrench, a hammer and a screwdriver could make all the difference in an emergency (think about what sort of temporary DIY you’d need to carry out in the event of a break-in or storm). A multipurpose tool would cover all bases.
9. Phone charger – a wind-up or battery powered phone charger is worth having in case you need to contact someone in a hurry and the power’s out or your phone’s internal battery has died. You always need a plan B.
10. Whistle – remember Rose in Titanic using her whistle after Jack had sunk into the watery depths? Same principle. If you’re in trouble or need to attract attention quickly, a whistle is the best way to do it.
11. Bin bags/plastic sheeting – in case of flooding or water damage, or if you just need to keep warm/carry things around, bin bags could just be your new best friends. Store an extra couple of reels just in case.
12. Bucket – for collecting and carrying water, acting as a substitute toilet (yuck, but helpful!), for upturning and using as a makeshift stool, the bucket is an incredibly useful piece of kit in a dire situation.
13. Warm spare blankets – if the power goes out during wintry weather, or the bathroom leaks and your bedrooms get damp, it’s always handy to have a stash of warm, dry blankets and/or sleeping bags to make sure everyone stays nice and toasty.
14. Copies of personal documents – driver’s licence, passport, proof of address, prescriptions, birth certificate; make copies and keep them to hand in a waterproof folder. You never know when you might need them.
15. Emergency contact information – you can’t always rely on your mobile phone for addresses and contact numbers, sometimes good old pen and paper is the most reliable option.
What emergency items do you always make sure you keep around the house? Let us know in the Comments section.