Disasters can strike at any time, anywhere. It doesn't matter if you live in a luxury penthouse or in a shanty by the river, you can still find yourself at the mercy of the elements. When a disaster strikes, will you be prepared? Most governments advise that you have enough supplies on hand in your emergency kit to support yourself for 72 hours, after which you can expect relief from civilian or military organizations. If you're thinking it would be a good idea to put a kit together, here's what you should put in it.

In its most basic incarnation, your kit should be portable enough to take with you if you have to abandon your home. Therefore a suitcase or tote box would be ideal for storing your essentials. Make sure you have two litres of water per person per day, enough dried or canned food for a few days, a can opener, a flashlight with extra batteries, a battery or wind up radio, a first aid kit, spare keys for the house and car, cash, medication, and emergency contact numbers.

If you want to upgrade your kit in to a version which will stay in your home and help keep you more comfortable than a basic survival kit, add the following items to your basic kit: two more litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning, candles and something to light them with, extra clothes, sleeping bags or blankets, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and toiletries, trash bags, utensils, bleach or water purification tablets, tools, a camp stove, a whistle, and duct tape.

Your car should also contain a roadside emergency kit for those "just in case" instances. Keep some food and water in your trunk as well as a blanket, some extra clothes, a first aid kit, a shovel, a snow scraper, a wind up flashlight, a whistle, maps, and copies of your documents (such as the deed to your property and driver's license). You'll also want some sand, antifreeze, a tow rope, jumper cables, a fire extinguisher, and a warning light.

In each case, your first aid kit (which can be kept in the bathroom or basement) should contain wound cleaning towelettes, sterile dressings, band aids of varying sizes, gauze, medical tape, triangular bandages, safety pins, scissors, tweezers, antibacterial ointment, q-tips, a CPR mask, gloves, and an instruction booklet.

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