Something I learned during the Ice Storm of 2013 is that I need a proper survival kit-- that means one that doesn't just include a bottle of water, coffee mug and lip gloss. Like many of you, I lost power during the storm. As it turned out, my only flashlight needed a new battery. Urgh!

The Ready.gov website makes a good point that one should have a kit well in advance of an emergency. After all, you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and have essentials ready to go.

Here's what encompasses a proper "disaster supplies kit," according to Ready.gov:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger