Maybe it's because I was a Girl Scout, or maybe it's because I'm a mom, but I believe in being prepared. I think it's a good idea to imagine extreme scenarios, make lists, and shop for necessities. That way, if things go wrong--and you know they will eventually--I'll be able to take care of my family.
In addition to storing nonperishable food and plenty of water, it's smart to consider other products you'll need in case of an emergency. These affordable items will give you peace of mind at home and on the go. I've even included some recommendations of emergency products to keep in your car, as well as supplies to have on hand for pets.
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A Big Bottle of Medicine for Pain and Fever
I don't ever want to be caught unprepared for illness or injury, so I keep a big bottle of Acetaminophen in my first aid supplies. This is Amazon's house brand for Tylenol, and it works just as well at a fraction of the price.
A Collapsible Water Storage Cube
I'm convinced that NONE of us are storing enough water for emergencies. These water storage cubes can help. Each cube arrives flat, ready to be filled with 5.3 gallons of water. It's a one-piece design with no seams to leak and has a built-in handle and spigot.
A Battery-Free Flashlight You Power by Cranking
I consider this Battery-Free Flashlight to be a double-winner because it's a fun gift for kids *and* useful for emergencies! Six minutes of hand-cranking gives it enough power to stay lit for an hour, and customers appreciate the built-in carabiner clip.
A P.M. Medication to Relieve Pain and Help You Sleep
Another smart addition to your medicine cabinet and emergency supplies! This bottle of Acetaminophen PM is a low-cost version of Tylenol PM, with one ingredient to relieve pain and fever and another to help you sleep.
A Roll of All-Weather Duct Tape
I always keep an extra roll of duct tape handy--it's the sort of thing that when you need it, nothing else will do. I especially appreciate this All-Weather Duct Tape because it can be used for waterproof patching and lasts longer when exposed to the elements.
A Bug Bite Gadget That Instantly Relieves Pain and Itching
Every parent needs a Bug Bite Thing! It instantly suctions out the venom or saliva from insect bites, which stops the body's reaction that leads to itching and swelling.
A Bottle of Cough Syrup That Controls Coughs for 12 Hours
When viruses or allergies are causing an annoying cough, a bottle of cough suppressant syrup is an absolute must. This formula is another great value from Amazon's Basic Care line, which lets me buy basic medications at a reduced price compared to name brands.
An Emergency Blanket That Fits in a Little Pouch
Perfect for camping, hiking, or tossing in with your basic emergency supplies, this four-pack of thermal mylar blankets is a great value. Each blanket measures 5 by 7 feet and comes stuffed in a small pouch with a carabiner clip.
A TravelJohn Because When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go
Call me weird, but I'm actually impressed with the ingenuity behind the TravelJohn! It's designed to work for both men and women, and the pouch includes a polymer substance that instantly absorbs liquid and turns it into a non-sticky gel.
A Bunch of Instant Coffee Packets
I definitely consider coffee a life-saver, so I include instant coffee packets in my emergency supplies. And because I don't want to drink bad coffee even in an emergency, I'm opting for these high-quality, freeze-dried packets by Waka Coffee that earn high ratings from customers.
Always Have Extra Toilet Paper
If the spring of 2020 taught us anything, it's that you can never have enough toilet paper. I learned my lesson and set up a Subscribe & Save order for Amazon's house brand of toilet paper, which is a good value and nice quality, too.
A Bottle of Allergy Medicine
For me, it's olive trees. When they bloom, I'm miserable unless I take a daily allergy med! A low-cost dupe for Zyrtec, these Antihistamine Capsules are a must-have for anyone afflicted by indoor or outdoor allergies.
A Bestselling Tactical Flashlight
I bought a two-pack of these Bestselling Tactical Flashlights a couple of years ago, and they still work great and come in handy all the time. They run on three AAA batteries and feature an adjustable, super-bright beam.
A Pack of No-Rinse Bathing Wipes
These Bathing Wipes are kinda brilliant. Add a splash of water to the dry wipe, and it produces a lightly-scented lather you can use to wash up. Best of all, no rinsing needed! It leaves skin clean and refreshed, with no residue.
An Emergency Backpack With 3 Days' Worth of Supplies
If you want to save time and trouble, purchase this one-and-done Emergency Backpack for instant peace of mind. The backpack comes stocked with three days' worth of supplies for two people: food, water, first aid, and more.
A 4-Pack of Blanket-Ponchos
Be prepared with a four-pack of these Blanket-Ponchos, which double as warm blankets and rain-protecting ponchos. When folded, each blanket-poncho is small enough to fit in a pocket.
A Case of Boxed Water
Probably the single most important emergency supply is water. I'm stocking up on a few cases of Boxed Water, which comes in recyclable, sustainable paper packaging. This water is shelf-stable for two years.
A Bottle of Children's Allergy Medicine
My youngest kiddo suffers from seasonal allergies, so I always keep a bottle of Children's Allergy Relief on hand. This is the same formula as Children's Zyrtec but sold at a lower price. My kids like the bubblegum flavor!
A Collapsible LED Lantern With Batteries Included
This Collapsible LED Lantern is bright--140 lumens--and you can control the brightness by adjusting how far the lantern is extended. When fully closed, it's quite compact for storage. Customers also appreciate that it comes with batteries included!
A Complete First Aid Kit for Your Teeth
I must admit, it never occurred to me to have a first aid kit solely devoted to teeth! But now that I've found the Dental Medic pack, I'll be prepared for various dental accidents and emergencies.
An Electrolyte Drink for Hydration
If you've ever sat up with a sick kid wishing you could make them feel better, you know it's smart to have a few bottles of Electrolyte Solution in the house. This dupe for Pedialyte comes in two flavors, blue raspberry or cherry punch, and earns great customer reviews.
An Emergency Sleeping Bag That Fits in the Palm of Your Hand
Amazon / Gsdnorthtexas
You hope you'll never need it, but a Life Bivy Emergency Sleeping Bag could literally save your life. If you're lost or stranded in the cold, this bag can keep you warm and dry even in extreme conditions.
A Hand-Crank/Solar-Powered NOAA Weather Radio
If you only buy one gadget from this list, this radio is the one I recommend. If the power and internet aren't working, you'll need a radio so you can hear reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This radio can be powered by the sun or turning the crank and also works as a flashlight and phone charger.
A LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Serious hikers and backpackers already know about the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, but it's also a smart addition to your emergency supplies. Use it to filter out most chemicals, bacteria, parasites, and micro-plastics.
I have a supply of canned soup, beans, and other comfort foods in case of emergencies, and I've added this Manual Can Opener to my emergency kit, too. This one is a bestseller on Amazon with over 21,000 ratings.
A Pair of Motorola Talkabout Radios
If mobile phones aren't working, you'll be relieved to know these Motorola Talkabout Radios can reach each other from up to 16 miles away. They earn high ratings, with one Amazon customer praising them for: "Good sound quality, easy to use."
In an emergency, your dog or cat might need help. Be prepared with this Pet First Aid Kit, which contains a variety of bandages, tick remover, collapsible water bowl, flashing LED collar, and other essentials.
A Window Sticker to Let Emergency Services Know About Your Pets
Here's a way to protect your pets that you can complete in just a few seconds! This pack of four Window Stickers will let neighbors or emergency services know how many pets need to be found in emergencies.
This Portable Butane Stove would be great for camping but also a smart addition to emergency supplies. If electricity isn't working and gas is turned off, a little stove like this will mean you can heat necessities like coffee and canned food!
A Roadside Emergency Kit for Your Car
Every car needs a Roadside Emergency Kit! This value-priced set includes an impressive array of tools and materials that will make you feel thoroughly prepared for vehicle breakdowns and accidents.
A Solar Power Bank for Your Phone
A couple of years ago, my town had a severe windstorm that knocked out power for days. One item I was especially grateful to own was this Solar Power Bank, which kept my phone working the whole time.
A Pack of Stormproof Matches You Can Strike in Any Weather
Amazon / Amazon Customer
Be ready to light a fire or stove in any conditions with this container of Stormproof Matches. The 25 matches are specially designed to light even in wind or rain, and they come in a waterproof case with a built-in striker.
A Classic Swiss Army Knife
Priced under $20, this classic Swiss Army Knife is a necessity you'll always be glad to have handy. It's earned a rare 4.8 out of 5-star average rating on Amazon, with one customer writing, "This is the most useful key fob I have ever owned."
A Welly Human Repair Kit for Life's Boo-Boos
There are a zillion first aid kits to choose from, but I'm a fan of this Welly Human Repair Kit. Not only does it have personality, but it will prepare you to take care of basic injuries. I especially appreciate the single-use ointment packets!
A Trauma Pak That Stops Bleeding Fast
If you want to be prepared for serious accidents, this Trauma Pak is a good idea. The pack includes bandages, gauze, and an anti-clotting agent that stops bleeding fast.
A Wool Fire-Retardant Blanket That Provides Serious Warmth
This U.S. military-style Wool Fire-Retardant Blanket provides soft, lightweight warmth. Toss one in your car to be ready for emergencies! It's earning high ratings on Amazon, with one customer calling it "the best wool blanket for the price."
A Yeti 5-Gallon Bucket for Storing Emergency Supplies
While researching this article, one of the smartest ideas I came across is to use a 5-Gallon Bucket for storing emergency supplies. It's waterproof, durable, and easy to transport.