16 Cheap Emergency Essentials You Don't Want To Be Without
With hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, earthquakes, and even strong thunderstorms, there's always the possibility of a natural disaster causing evacuation or the long-term disruption of essential services. It's easy to go overboard on storm prep, especially in last-minute panic mode, but a few simple steps taken in advance make emergency preparation affordable even on a tight budget. The American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency recommend two weeks' worth of emergency supplies for sheltering in place and a three-day supply for evacuating to a safe zone.
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Minimum recommendations call for a gallon of water per person per day, although people who live in hot climates or are prone to excessive perspiration need more. Empty plastic soda or juice bottles can be washed and re-used to store tap water. Do not use milk jugs or dairy containers for this purpose, because it's impossible to know for sure that washing has removed all traces of milk proteins.
Water alone is sufficient to prevent dehydration and maintain good health, but drinking nothing but lukewarm water gets monotonous after a while. Consider stocking powdered drink mix and shelf-stable liquids, including single-serve milk and juice boxes. Choose drinks sold in cardboard boxes or plastic bottles rather than breakable glass. (There are also many foods that help you stay hydrated.)