The coronavirus caught many people off guard. When thousands of Americans rushed out to buy paper goods and supplies, it was clear that most of us (individuals, schools, and businesses) were not prepared for a pandemic.
And it’s not just viruses that are cause for concern. As wild weather continues to be the norm across much of the country, learning to respond to more disasters requires significant resources and continued coordination among local authorities, emergency response teams, and disaster relief organizations.
In a recent analysis of the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, ValuePenguin Insurance found “40% of the population doesn’t have three days’ worth of water set aside.” They also write, “Most people are somewhat prepared for short emergencies, but extended disruptions to reliable institutions or evacuations could spell trouble for many Americans.”
Disasters of this magnitude don’t just impact one or two families, but entire communities. Not only is it important to be prepared personally, it’s also important to provide whatever assistance and help you can to your neighbors. When people pool resources, they can better meet the needs of everyone.
When a disaster strikes, it’s difficult to think clearly. It can seem silly or futile to plan for something that may not even occur but leaving preparation to the last minute or not having a clear plan in place, can mean the difference between life and death.
Ready.gov, the US government’s official organization in charge of disaster relief recommends every family and business create both a detailed plan and has a supply of disaster relief essentials so that they can help themselves and community members who may be more comprised. Here are 6 emergency relief essentials:
First Aid Kit
Whether it’s a bad storm, fire, flood, or earthquake, there is increased potential for people to get hurt or need medical attention. Having a well-stocked first aid kit available at all times is invaluable.
You’ll need some kind of disinfectant, bandages, tape, and gauze. Some other items recommended by the Red Cross include a supply of ibuprofen and aspirin, a cold compress, non-latex gloves, as well as any personal medications and personal physician contact information.
First aid kits are easy to donate and can help to save hundreds when the need arises. DollarDays is committed to helping businesses and organizations prepare for the worst to help as many people as possible when the time comes.
Hygiene kits may not be the first supplies that come to mind as disaster relief essentials, but for extended periods without water or power, these will become increasingly important. Items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, and soap are easy to keep on hand and won’t take up too much space in a larger emergency supply kit.
We love this one with enough of the basics to keep you feeling fresh. Because this kit is available in bulk at great prices, consider a donation to a local shelter or non-profit organization that works with community leaders.
Flashlights are critical in most weather-related emergencies. Because powerful storms like hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards disrupt power, flashlights are essential. They’re also important in search and rescue missions.
Don’t be left in the dark. These portable, battery-operated flashlights will help keep everyone calm while you take care of practical matters in an emergency.
Blankets are another essential emergency relief item recommended by the Red Cross. Fleece blankets will help keep you warm and they dry out quickly. If they get wet, simply ring them out and they’ll dry in no time. They are a cheap and easy way to keep warm during an emergency — without being overly bulky.
If you have children, a fleece blanket is your best option as they are soft and won’t irritate their skin. They are also lightweight and easy to pack.PrimalSurvivor.net writes, “If you have small children, then the fleece is probably the better option [than wool] for a survival blanket.
Like fleece blankets, ponchos are cheap, easy to pack and store, and are incredibly useful. Ponchos are designed to keep you dry but they can also help keep body heat in. They can quickly be thrown over people, pets, or valuables during violent wet weather.
These bright yellow ponchos will help loved ones remain visible and can be used in a variety of situations. As BePrepared.com points out, there are a number of uses for ponchos in an emergency. They can be used to create a small waterproof shelter, as a bag, and even to collect rainwater to drink. Ponchos are also good as a ground tarp and can be fashioned into a rope or wound wrap if necessary. They are definitely a must-have in any emergency preparedness kit.
They’re great for small businesses to keep on hand as they don’t take up much space and can be passed out quickly to large groups of people.
There are lots of different ways you can pack your emergency essentials but a backpack will always be a good bet. They are large enough to carry all the items above but small enough that they won’t get too heavy.
Keep your backpack stocked and ready to go in a safe and convenient place so when the time comes, you can just grab it and go. Backpacks allow you to go hands-free and with different compartments, you can easily find exactly what you need (like those flashlights!).
DollarDays stocks sturdy Forward backpacks in a variety of colors and sizes. You can pack different backpacks for different emergencies or perhaps make a kit for your home and your car.
If you run a small business or organization, it’s important to have enough supplies for everyone in your community. Backpacks are a great way to divide what you have so all are prepared.
Emergency preparedness kits are an easy way to bring peace of mind to yourself and your loved ones. DollarDays is proud to work with organizations around to country to make sure people have exactly what they need in a time of crisis.