Emergencies can strike any time. Having an emergency kit with all the essential items is not only convenient, but can save your life or the lives of loved ones. Include these five emergency must-haves in your kit.

Non-Perishable Food

Many emergencies can leave you cut off from a food source, so you want to have at least three days worth of food per person in your kit. The food should be ready to eat and not require any cooking or refrigeration. Consider foods such as granola, canned goods, beef jerky and chocolate bars. You can also get dehydrated food where all you have to do is add water.

Potable Water Device

Water is one of the most important items in your kit, and you should be well-stocked with this vital resource. While you should have plenty of bottled water, the store might eventually run out, so you should also have a potable water purification device that can filter untreated water, which may be contaminated.

First Aid Kit

When you or a loved one is injured or sick, you want to ensure you have the right medical supplies to provide basic treatment, such as stemming blood from a wound, preventing infection and medicating a fever. Consider these essentials for your first aid kit:

  • Band-Aids and bandages
  • Gauze
  • Medical tape
  • Surgical gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Medical scissors
  • Medication to reduce pain and fever, such as aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Suture thread with needle kit
  • Potassium iodide
  • Thermometer
  • Tourniquet kit
  • First aid instruction booklet, with directions for CPR and other life-saving information

If you take prescription medication, it’s also a good idea to have an emergency supply available.

Space Blanket and Extra Clothes

Keeping warm and dry in an emergency is of paramount importance. A space blanket won’t be as good as your own bed, but it helps you keep insulated and dry in the case of an emergency. You should also have a backpack with warm clothing, extra-thick socks and some waterproof gear.

Hand-Crank Equipment

Many emergencies can lead to a power loss. Your radio can provide vital information about where to find shelter, roads to avoid and regular status updates. To avoid running out of power, purchase a hand-cranking radio, which enables you to generate the power to run a radio.

You should also purchase a hand-cranking LED flashlight, which is the only way to be sure you’ll have a source of light when batteries go dead.

Hopefully, you will never experience an emergency situation, but with this kit, you’ll be prepared.