It may not be practical to carry a fully stocked emergency kit everywhere you go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for an unexpected scenario. Carrying five simple items with you can help you be ready for emergencies and other unexpected situations.
Consider carrying the following items in a purse or your car’s glove box, or attaching the tools to your key chain so you can easily access them when needed.
1. Small Flashlight
A flashlight is among the must-have items for emergencies, according to Ready.gov. In addition to using it to guide your way during a power outage, you’ll also be glad to have it for everyday situations such as finding your key in the dark, spotting your car in a dark parking lot or locating your seat in a darkened movie theater.
2. Pen and Paper
A pen and a piece of paper may come in handy in emergency situations, such as writing down important information after a car accident or leaving a note about your whereabouts in case of an evacuation. Short notes can also a good way to communicate with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, according to the nonprofit Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre.
Of course, carrying your own pen is also useful in everyday situations, such as jotting down to-do tasks as they arise.
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3. Bottled Water
The human body needs to stay hydrated in order to function properly, according to Mayo Clinic. That’s why it is important to always have access to water, not just for emergencies but for daily needs. By carrying a reusable water bottle, you’ll ensure you can hydrate throughout the day, and refill it as needed. You’ll also be ready in case you are delayed or stranded in an emergency. As an added benefit, you’ll save money by not buying bottled beverages.
Besides being a means to call 911, your smartphone can be a powerful emergency survival tool.
The FEMA app can give you real-time alerts from the National Weather Service, provide emergency safety tips about hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes and other disasters, as well as help you locate emergency shelters and disaster recovery services in your area.
Your phone can also be a resource for first aid. The American Red Cross, for instance, provides an app that includes tips on how to handle common first aid needs. The Red Cross also offers an app for pet emergencies.
FEMA recommends you create an emergency group list in your phone contacts you can instantly send text messages to key people in the event of a disaster. You should also create contacts in your phone for your utility providers, such as electricity and water, so you can quickly reach them to report outages.
To help ensure your smartphone has battery power when you need it, keep it charged and consider keeping a portable charger handy.
5. Multipurpose Tool
Key chain multipurpose tools are so versatile, you’ll likely find yourself using one on a regular basis. At a minimum, most multi-tools include a blade, can/bottle opener and flathead screwdriver. Some also include scissors, pliers, a corkscrew and other features. Use components of your multi-tool to cut rope or string, pry something open or tighten a loose screw in your eyeglasses.
Unexpected scenarios can catch you off guard, but they don’t have to catch you unprepared. By carrying a few key items with you wherever you go, you may find you’re better able to handle a crisis along the way.