Give the Gift of Preparedness
This holiday season, you can help family and friends prepare for an emergency or disaster by giving them emergency-preparedness gifts. Having these necessary items during an emergency lowers stress and anxiety, and increases their safety:
- Emergency Preparedness Kits – When disaster strikes, electricity, gas, and/or water can be cut off for days or even weeks. A friend or family member may be stuck in his/her home. Or, he/she may be evacuated at a moment's notice. All of these situations make a fully stocked emergency preparedness kit a necessity. At a minimum, every household should have a kit that contains food, water, a first aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, clothing, and a blanket.
You can give a preparedness kit for a vehicle for emergencies that occur while traveling. A kit should include nonperishable, high-energy foods such as granola bars, canned nuts and trail mix, as well as a blanket.
A variation for vehicles in cold-weather areas is a winter car kit that includes a shovel, ice scraper, emergency flares, fluorescent distress flags, and jumper cables.
Lastly, for animal lovers, a pet disaster kit with emergency food, bottled water, toys, and a leash makes a great gift.
A preparedness kit can be made or purchased online for as little as $30.
- Water Filtration Bottle – A water filtration bottle that removes particles and bacteria is a perfect stocking stuffer. It can be used in an emergency to provide clean drinking water or during routine outdoor recreational activities. Prices range from $20 to $40 and can be bought online or at outdoor recreation stores.
- Mobile Phone Battery Charger (Preferably Solar) – When electricity goes out, a mobile phone cannot be charged. A mobile phone battery charger solves this problem. Some models can even charge multiple electronic devices at once. Prices range from $5 to $80.
- Hand-Crank Lantern – During a power outage, an emergency hand-crank lantern can provide a light source with just 60 seconds of cranking. Most emergency hand-crank lanterns also have the option to run power from a battery source or utilize solar power. Prices range from $10 to $30 at hardware stores and online retailers.
Other preparedness gifts are battery-powered or hand-crank radio; books, coloring books, crayons, and board games for kids, in case the power goes out; personal hygiene comfort kit, including shampoo, body wash, wash cloth, hairbrush, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant; or a waterproof pouch or backpack that contains a rain poncho, moist towelettes, work gloves, batteries, duct tape, whistle, food bars, etc.
Remember, the gift of preparedness might just save the life of a friend or family member during an emergency or disaster.