As recent news of hurricanes Harvey and Irma demonstrates, emergencies can strike at any time, often with very little warning. The key to staying safe in an emergency is to be prepared for it ahead of time, knowing what you need and what to do in order to safeguard yourself and the people close to you.

These three tips give you some basic preparedness guidelines:

Create a Preparedness Kit

To be sure that you're prepared for any emergencies, it's important to have a kit of some essential supplies. The key to a good kit is that it be assembled and ready to go, so that you're not scrambling to put it all together when the emergency is at hand.

A preparedness kit should include the following things:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable and easy to prepare food
  • A Flashlight
  • A battery powered or hand crank radio
  • Extra batteries
  • A first aid kit
  • Medications and medical items
  • A multipurpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Cell phones with chargers
  • Extra cash
  • An Emergency blanket
  • Maps of the surrounding area

This may seem like a lot of stuff, but being prepared in an emergency means having all the tools on hand to deal with situations that may arise and keep you and your loved ones safe.

Create a Plan for Emergencies

Many people find themselves unsure of what to do when an emergency occurs, and as a result either do nothing or panic and make mistakes. Plan ahead of time with your family and close friends for what to do in the case of various emergencies, and if an emergency should occur you'll have already considered your options.

To create a good emergency plan, you should think of the area in which you live and what types of emergency may occur. In those emergencies, identify responsibilities for individual friends and family members, and how you'll work as a team. The goal should be potentially evacuating your area of necessary, and for informing distant loved ones that you're safe. If you can, practice elements of that plan.

Get a Water Purification System

Aside from breathable air, water is the resource we most urgently need to survive. While we take it for granted that we've got plentiful access to clean water, in an emergency this is often not the case, as water can easily become contaminated in the aftermath of many natural disasters and related emergencies.

A variety of options exist for emergency water filtration systems. With a water filtration system, you'll be able to transform contaminated or unsafe water into drinkable water, ensuring that you've got that vital resource at your disposal in an emergency.