First Aid Kits and Emergency Lighting


First Aid Kits

Listed below are basic components of a first aid kit suggested by the American Red Cross. The link below takes you to the Red Cross site where you can read more information regarding types of first aid kits. The video included above also lists important components for a first aid kit.


Emergency Lighting

During a power outage, emergency lighting will become indispensable. Consider the following emergency as part of your emergency preparedness plan and kit.

Although lovely, candles are a poor choice in disasters due to fire and explosion hazards. The Red Cross recommends against the use of candles during blackouts because they are a major source of fires during outages. It’s better to rely on alternative forms of lighting than to risk creating an emergency on top of another emergency.

However, some people will use candles because it’s all they have, or because they run out of batteries for flashlights.  If you do use candles, use ones in a sturdy jar with a lid because they are less prone to being knocked over.  Be sure they are carefully supervised and never leave the room if a candle is burning! Don’t put them close to anything burnable (like blowing curtains), and place them on a non-burnable surface just in case they get bumped.  Don’t forget the need for a dependable way to light them (matches or lighters, stored out of the reach of children), and have a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case something does catch.

Kerosene and oil lamps are another option prone to accidents.  The flame is contained within the lantern so it’s a little safer than a candle’s open flame, and the amount of light provided is better than a single candle.  On the other hand, kerosene and lamp oil are highly poisonous, must be stored out of the reach of children, tend to get very hot, and need to be stored away from accidental ignition sources.  [We store ours in an insulated and latched picnic cooler, which helps protect them from ignition sources and contains any mess if they are broken in an earthquake.]

Propane lamps are another option, but like other liquid fuel lamps, are not recommended for indoor use because of the risk of carbon monoxide build-up.  They also need a good reserve of fuel if they are your choice for an emergency.

On the whole, LED battery-operated lanterns or flashlights are the safest choices for emergencies. Flashlights are better for finding your way around in the dark, while battery-operated lanterns are best for ambient room light.   The best models have both options built into one light.  There are expensive models, but there are also very reasonable models if budget is an issue.

Many stores also offer battery-operated candles that look like a regular candle but are safer.  These can be a great way to provide ambient low-level lighting for eating, family games, or a trip to the loo.  A mirror, aluminum foil, or a jug of water near a candle or lantern can amplify the light source without extra fuel consumption.

Headlamps are a great way to be able to provide focused, hands-free task lighting.  Most people don’t have these, but this is probably the best bed-side emergency lighting you can have.  That way, if a fire, earthquake or tornado happens, you have two free hands to crawl, move debris, administer first aid, or pick up your child as needed.

However, if flashlights, headlamps or lanterns are your plan for lighting without power, don’t forget to have plenty of extra batteries (of the right type!) on hand. You probably have enough for the short-term, but would you have enough for a longer outage?  Stores run out of batteries quickly in an emergency, so it’s best to have a decent stock at home beforehand, just in case.

Another great product is a nightlight/emergency light that is constantly charged by plugging into your hall’s electrical outlet.  These provide a nice low nightlight for everyday use, but automatically light up brightly if the power goes out.  Many models also have a flashlight option, making it even more useful in an emergency.  Think how hard it would be to escape the house in pitch black darkness after a disaster and how valuable automatic emergency lighting would be!

In a similar vein, there are lanterns and flashlights that you plug into the wall to keep charged.  Like the nightlight/emergency light, they are then are ready for use if the power goes out.

You can also purchase lights that are operated by crank or by shaking; they work by kinetic energy so you are not dependent on batteries.  These are great.

It’s good to have a combination of both battery-operated and hand-crank lights for maximum versatility.



Home Safety

Review the video below with your family


Red Cross Suggestions:

The Red Cross information below can be found at

Create Your Emergency Plan in Just 3 Steps

  1. With your family or household members, discuss how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.
  2. Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and how you will work together as a team.
  3. Practice as many elements of your plan as possible.

Include Common Emergency Scenarios When You Plan

Plan for the emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live
Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency
Plan what to do if you have to evacuate
Plan for everyone in your home
Plan to let loved ones know you’re safe
emergency app icon

Find our Emergency App in the Apple Store or Google Play

Aplicación de Emergencias – ahora disponible en español también!



More Preparedness Resourses


Preparing for a Home Fire


The 7 Ways to Prepare for a Home Fire

  1. Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  2. Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  3. Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
  4. Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
  5. Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
  6. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  7. Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
Kids fill out a home fire escape plan
Home Fire Escape Plans

Unsure where to start? Use these guides to help begin your escape plan:


Develop Fire-Safe Habits

If you do nothing else:
  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside; choose fire-safe cigarettes; never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen.
  • Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.
Protect your home
Reduce fire risks in your home
Cook more safely

Helpful Information Providing Details and Information on Water Storage


Ever wondered to yourself why water storage is such a big deal? What’s so important about having a water filter on hand?

Read over the information below to get a helpful overview of water storage and purification, including essential gear you’ll need to prepare your own supply of water in case of an emergency.

  • When it comes to basic survival, water will keep you alive longer than food will.
  • You can survive without food for 14+ days, but only about 3 days without water.
  • An active adult needs a minimum of one gallon of drinking water per day.
  • You need a way to store enough clean water for you and your family long-term.
  • You should have 2+ methods to purify and/or filter water in case your supply becomes contaminated.
  • You need water you can carry with you, should you need to evacuate.

Take a look at the list below. You can see how water storage quickly becomes about more than just clean drinking water! Prepare a good supply in advance to meet your most essential needs in a disaster. In order of importance, you’ll need water to:

  1. 1. Drink
  2. 2. Prepare meals
  3. 3. Clean hands and cookware
  4. 4. Flush the toilet(s)
  5. 5. Bathe
  6. 6. Wash clothes

FEMA and The Red Cross recommend that you store a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day, which will only cover your most basic needs: drinking, some cooking, and minimal hygiene (think sponge bath). For anything beyond that, you’ll need to store additional water. And don’t forget water for your pets!

Store as much water as possible; aim for two weeks of stored water. Start small-enough for just one day-then build up to three days, one week, etc.

Good water storage options include food-grade emergency water barrels (or other containers like water tanks or jugs), boxed water kits you fill yourself, and pre-packaged water like emergency drinking water pouches or small, pre-filled water boxes. If you are an urban prepper or live in a hurricane-prone area, consider a temporary bathtub water storage system like the AquaPod.


Invest in a couple of different methods to purify and filter water, especially if you can’t have permanent water storage because of limited space.

  • water filter: microfilters are the best for removing as many microorganisms as possible from the water (a Katadyn water filter, like the Katadyn Pocket or Vario, is a great investment for your preparedness gear).
  • Chemical water purification/treatment options like the Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide treatment (for killing microorganisms that are too small for microfilters to catch).
  • A way to boil water (an alternative to chemical treatment)- a portable stove is a great option for this.
  • UV light treatment (disrupts the DNA of microorganisms, making it impossible for them to multiply in your digestive system).
Preparedness Pantry blog (Emergency Essentials’ official Blog): Water Storage posts. Or learn more with our Emergency Essentials’ Prep School PDF: Water Storage 101.

Emergency Preparedness Tips of the Month 2017

This year we will be looking at the specific information , supplies, plans, etc. that you will need as a family and individual to prepare for major emergencies and disaster should they occur. Our most basic goal is to be prepared as a family or individual to take care of all our needs for a 72 hour period should our lives be disrupted and basic services not be available.  This website provides comprehensive instruction in preparing for such a disaster. Using the links on the sidebar on each page you can find areas of preparation you may be lacking and use the information to take action in becoming prepared. FEMA suggests that the very basic minimum of preparedness per individual are as listed below:

Emergency Preparedness Supplies – Minimum Per Person

Water – 1 Gallon per person per day

Food – 3 day supply nonperishable food

Radio – Battery power or hand crank, extra batteries

Flashlight – Extra batteries

First Aid Kit

Shelter in Place – Dust mask, plastic sheeting, duct tape

Sanitation – Moist towelettes, garbage bags ties

Wrench – turn of utilities

Cell phone – solar charger, maps of area.

Emergency Preparedness Plan

In addition to supplies each family should develop an evacuation plan and communication plan that would be utilized during a major disaster. Information for creating these plans can be accessed on this website at the following links.