Watching the destruction unfold this week as Hurricane Sandy pounded the east coast got us thinking about preparedness. We’d like to say we stocked up on water and batteries before the storm hit…but, yes, that was us waiting in a 100-yard line at Home Depot the morning of. Smart gals know better! Here are 7 must-haves to keep around the house for a “rainy day” (literally).
1. Radio: It’s hard to imagine a world without television, online news, and Twitter — but in the event that you lose power, you’ll be without all of those things. Keep a small battery-powered radio in your cupboard (we like this crank-powered one from L.L.Bean that doubles as a flashlight.). The news stations will keep you up to date with weather advisories and news from the outside world, while the tunes will help to pass the time. Hurricane dance party, anyone??
2. Phone battery pack: Of course you’ll want to call to find out more information in the event of an emergency, but here’s another fact: friends and family will worry about you. Constantly. Don’t leave them hanging with a dead phone battery! In lieu of plugging into the wall, we love these portable battery packs from Mophie. They give your smartphone up to two times its full battery life and are small enough to keep in your kitchen drawer. Bonus: they’re perfect to keep in your work or going-out bag for a full charge through the day and night, even in good weather.
3. Flashlight and batteries: This one is a no-brainer. Stash flashlights around your crib in places where you’ll be most likely to need them if the power suddenly goes out; for example, in your nightstand or the bathroom medicine cabinet. Make sure they have full batteries inside, and then stash some extra batteries in several sizes in case you run out.
4. Candles: We don’t mean those yummy gardenia-scented soy candles you have on your coffee table, as much as we love ‘em. We’re talking maximum lighting. Stock a few large pillars and a bag of tea lights in your closet. No need for cute votive-holders (unless you want them!) — just lay out some plates, mason jars, or wax paper and burn baby burn. And remember to set them up away from curtains, plants, and other fire hazards. We also love the flameless candles making their way onto store shelves right now. They don’t throw as much light but are a good safe alternative to make a dark space more cozy.
5. Bottled water: Unless your water runs from a well, you will most likely be without it when the power goes out. Keep a few jugs of distilled water under the sink in case of emergency. Not only will it keep you hydrated, but you can also use it for brushing your teeth, manually flushing the toilet, and even cooking if you have a gas stove.
6. Non-perishable food and drink: No power means no microwavable dinners (and likely no take-out for you city gals). Keep a few basic non-perishable foods in your pantry like granola bars, canned soup, and dried fruit. Along with the water under your sink, stash a few bottles of Gatorade…and hey, maybe a few bottles of wine while you’re at it. You never know what (or who) the storm might bring!
7. Clean clothes and “shower” products: A natural disaster is the last time you want to realize that you haven’t done laundry in a month. Set aside 2-3 pairs of clean socks and underwear as well as a few warm layers in an extra drawer so you’re sure to have fresh clothes until the power comes back on. Remember: no water equals no shower…so babywipes and dry shampoo are also a welcome additions to your emergency arsenal so you can freshen up without bathing.