Mid-last year I updated our home and car first aid kits and want to share some ideas today for how you can ensure your family is prepared for emergencies.

If you’ve been watching the news recently, you will have seen the unprecedented weather events that unfolded in Texas this month, in which many thousands of homes were without power and water for days. In addition, because of the enormous amount of snow that’s fallen, many families simply couldn’t leave their homes for days to access basic necessities such as food or medical care.

In some cases – bushfire and flooding, for example – a natural disaster will force you to leave your home, but in the event of a natural disaster that keeps you at home with no way out, a first aid kit and some emergency supplies will be absolutely vital. Heck, maybe it’s not even a natural disaster – maybe you just don’t have access to a car. And even if you aren’t staring down a looming natural disaster, it’s important to consider how prepared you are for minor emergencies that crop up in the course of life with kids, because it makes a difference to your headspace to know that you’re prepared.

Even things like a decent cut that doesn’t quite need stitches but will be well-served with alcohol wipes and steri-strips; a sprained ankle that needs an ice pack and a compression bandage; a water outage that would be easily lived through with a few spare bottles of water at the bottom of the pantry. Simple but important things to consider.

Mid-last year I updated our home and car first aid kits and want to share some ideas today for how you can ensure your family is prepared for emergencies. These are by no means exhaustive lists – be sure to leave a comment with anything I’ve missed!

Home First Aid Kit

  • Bandaids
  • Variety of bandages
  • Matches
  • Torch
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Paracetamol
  • Variety of gauze
  • Steri-strips
  • Triangular bandage
  • Tourniquet (learn how to use this)
  • Hydrolite capsules/sachets

For a car first aid kit, you could also add (in addition to the above):

  • Water purifiers
  • Instant ice pack
  • Needle and thread
  • Compass
  • Small mirror
  • Permanent marker
  • Space/thermal blanket
  • Poncho
  • Scissors
  • Glow stick
  • Whistle
  • Oil rollers (itchy, ouch, chest, sleep, head tension, tummy) – recipes can be found HERE
  • Medication required by family members

Things you should have in your car anyway (space permitting):

  • Water bottles
  • Solar powered phone charger
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Nappies and personal hygiene products (if applicable to your family)
  • Wipes
  • Umbrella

Go Bag (also known as a Bug Out Bag)

These are bags which will hold the essentials for you to grab and go in an emergency. Backpacks seem to be best as they’re easy to carry if you’re on foot. Some families only have them ready at certain times of the year (for example, bushfire season), others keep them ready year-round. It really depends on where you live and how prone your area is to natural disasters. Some items you’ll want in your go bag:

  • Complete first aid kit (as above)
  • Toiletries
  • Non-perishable food items for several days
  • Water for several days
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Can opener (if your food items require this, but it is best to have packeted/sachet food as that’s generally lighter)
  • Emergency radio
  • Extra set of clothes (per person)
  • High visibility vests
  • Nappies and personal hygiene products (if applicable to your family)
  • Face masks (particularly for bushfire season)
  • Copies of important papers in a snap-lock bag*
  • Rope
  • Sunscreen

*Passport/driver’s license, birth certificates, marriage certificates, marriage certificate, titles to any properties you own, anything else that is generally considered important on paper and that you don’t have a digital copy of – extra step: get these papers scanned and into the cloud, but if the cloud fails, you’ve still got the hard copies.

Some other simple things you can do to mitigate the fall-out in an emergency:

  • Add an extra can or other non-perishable food item to your grocery shop each week and store it in the garage or a box under the bed
  • Have your main contacts written out on paper in case your phone dies and you need to use a landline
  • Invest in a jerry can that you can keep extra fuel in (where space permits)
  • Educate yourself: jump on YouTube and learn how to deal with a snake bite (in addition to calling emergency services), what to do in the event of a bushfire, how to stabilise a break, etc
  • Take a first aid course if at all possible
  • If you have children still in nappies, here is a post about nappying in an emergency

I would love to hear from you! Let’s continue the conversation in the comments – let me know what I’ve missed and what your family is doing to mitigate disaster.

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