As some of us may be living on our own for the first time, either for school or in our first place, buying and storing emergency items and preparing for potential emergencies may not be the first thing on our mind. However, as current events have shown us, natural and man-made disasters can happen at any time and it’s smart to try to prepare ourselves in light of this. So as you make your way through the aisles of Ikea to make your home fit for a Clutchette, here are some items, supplies and tips you should keep in mind as well:

Store Food: Have you ever gone to the supermarket right before a big storm? Many times people are rushing to get food and supplies at the last minute to last through the storm, thus many items can go out of stock fast. This is why it’s is good to store food items such as…

1. Water – The body can go days without food but needs water constantly so stocking up on this is not only smart, but essential.

2. Canned Goods – You may not be able to get to a store during an emergency, however canned goods can make for a quick and easy meal. Fruit, beans, fish and soup are among the many items you can buy canned
3. Powdered Goods – Things like powered milk, potatoes, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, etc. also make for quick and easy meals that can be stored for long periods of time.

4. Protein/Energy Bars – Small yet filling with a long shelf life, protein or energy bars are good to keep in storage for snacks.

5. Just Add Water – Those Ramen noodles that got you through college can come in handy once again. In fact generally items that only require water to prepare are good to keep in stock.

Emergency Supplies: We should have at least a basic first aid kit in our homes, along with a working fire alarm and extinguisher. In addition, what would you do in the event of a power outage? How would you cook? Invest in flashlights, candles, matches, wood (if you have a fireplace) and heating devices for food such as a portable propane stove and/or Sternos. Keeping blankets, food and water stored in the trunk of your car in case you get stuck somewhere is a good idea. Keeping your gas tank at half-full helps in the event you need to evacuate on short notice.

Plan Ahead: What would you do during a fire? Where would you meet if you were separated from family and friends during an emergency? Who would you contact and how? These are all things to ponder while being proactive and planning ahead for such scenarios. Designating a place to meet family or friend in the event of an emergency or having a ‘Go Bag’ filled with important items made up in the event you have to immediately leave your home without time to gather much belongings are some options to consider.

Note: While this list is just a start, with a quick Google search you can find much more extensive tips and resources.

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