Easy home emergency kit

10 May 2019

Did you know that it’s a government recommendation that every home has an emergency kit with food and water to last 3 days? Being prepared by having the right resources on-hand could eliminate a great deal of stress if there is an emergency.

While there are pre-assembled emergency kits you can purchase, you can also put your own together.

Sometimes it’s not always practical to keep these items aside in a kit, especially when we run out of toothpaste. Remember, these are the items you might need in an emergency if you can’t access your home or need to leave in a hurry. If you can’t keep them in a kit, try to keep them all together in the same place.


Emergency kit


These are some of the basics you might need if you can’t access your home in an emergency. You might find you don’t need to keep all of these separate or that there are essentials you need in addition to the below, but these should help you make a start:


  • Walking shoes, warm clothes, a raincoat and a hat
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Torch (with spare batteries)
  • Radio (with spare batteries)
  • First aid kit
  • Essential medicines
  • Toilet paper and large rubbish bags 
  • Toiletries – towel, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary items
  • Face and dust masks 
  • Food (non-perishable) and drinking water for at least three days, don’t forget food suitable for babies and children if applicable
  • Water for cleaning and cooking
  • A can opener
  • Something to cook with (such as a gas BBQ)


Sanity savers


By sorting these out now, you’ll thank yourself later. Here’s a quick list of a few items that will save your sanity in an emergency:

  • Head lamp
  • Baby wipes
  • Ear plugs
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Lip balm
  • Mobile phone, charger and power bank
  • Identification (originals or copies of any birth and marriage certificates, driver’s licences and passports)
  • Financial documents (e.g. insurance policies and mortgage information)
  • Precious family photos (or you could tackle the task of getting these all stored online)


Don’t forget your pets


When preparing for a disaster, we can often forget about what our furry friends will need. Here’s a quick list of a few basics to include with your emergency kit:

  • Food (non-perishable) and water for at least three days
  • Medication
  • Vet records
  • Photo and description of your pet
  • First aid kit – your vet may be able to help with supplies
  • Blanket/bedding, crate and a favourite toy
  • Leash, collar/harness
  • Cleaning supplies for accidents (paper towels, poo bags, disinfectant, gloves)


Final Tips


Planning for an emergency can be a daunting task. Try some of these tips to ensure you’re prepared:

  • If you can't buy everything at once, add an item or two to your grocery list each week to start building up your emergency kit gradually.
  • Keep a laminated copy of your checklist with your kit. Use a whiteboard marker to keep track of the items.
  • Keep your emergency kit in an easy to access place, you never know when you might need to leave in a hurry.
  • You might find it easier to sort items into individual backpacks for everyone in your home.
  • Check your batteries and power bank every three months.
  • Check and replace food and water every twelve months.
  • Ensure your food and water supplies include supplies for pets and children.
  • Have you thought about or discussed an emergency plan for your household? Having one in place can be a great help so everyone knows what to do, no matter where you are.

For more information, check out the emergency survival information on getthru.govt.nz

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