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After seeing the horrific images (here’s an NBC News video) of people being stuck in their cars after a massive winter storm stopped traffic along I-95 in Virginia, I realized I needed to update this post.
“Thousands of drivers were stuck on the East Coast’s busiest highway for more than 20 hours with some of them forced to leave their cars behind.” You wouldn’t think in this could happen with today’s modern technology but obviously, it can.
Here in Southern California, there’s always the threat of earthquakes, wildfires and mudslides. It’s not really fun to think about these things but I think it’s better to be prepared so you don’t have to think about them. It will give you some peace of mind and you’ll hopefully feel calmer in the event of an emergency. Here are 10 items I have in case there’s an emergency, whether I’m traveling or at home.
Emergency Kit for the Car
I’ve always kept a basic emergency kit in my car, just in case I’m driving and there’s a massive earthquake or my car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. This 2-person, 3-day backpack comes with food, water, emergency blankets, a first-aid kit and two safety light sticks. As part of my car’s emergency safety kit, I also have Fix-A-Flat to quickly repair flat tires.
Car Safety Hammer Emergency Escape Tool with Seat Belt Cutter
I also keep this small but useful life-saving device in the side compartment of my car door. It allows you to break the car window and cut the seatbelt if, God forbid, you get trapped inside your car or somehow submerged under water.
It’s always smart to carry a LifeStraw water filter since it filters up to 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) of contaminated water without iodine, chlorine or other chemicals. It doesn’t require batteries and has no moving parts. One of my travel friends uses this wherever he goes in the world. He claims he’s never drunk bottled water before.
Also, the LIFESAVER Liberty Water Purifier Bottle is the world’s first water purifier bottle with an integrated inline pump. This water filter bottle removes a minimum of 99.99% of viruses, bacteria and cysts. Every LifeSaver Liberty water filter bottle includes a filter cartridge that will purify up to 2,000 liters of water before having to be replaced. When you buy, it also includes one activated carbon filter to improve the taste of water as well as a 5ft scavenger hose for easy access to hard to reach water sources.
Every seasoned traveler will laugh at this one because they all know to keep duct tape in their carry-on bag. It can be used for virtually everything, from taping curtains shut in your hotel room to repairing luggage. Heck, some people have even used it to hold their car bumper on after an accident.
Portable Power Station
I keep a Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station in the garage and will bring on road trips to charge our devices in case of an emergency. We also have a larger one for home (scroll down).
Inside the house, I keep a VLES Go-Bag, which is a heavy-duty backpack filled with emergency, first-aid and personal supplies, as well as a hydration kit. Read more about it here.
Also inside the house, we have a two-story fire escape ladder with anti-slip rungs. So if there’s a fire we can escape from the second floor. This should go without saying, but we also have a fire extinguisher in our kitchen.
Portable Solar Panel Power Generator
This product was just sent to us by the PR team at Generark because of the high probability of the electricity going out, due to the risk of wildfires caused by climate change. Generark recently launched a couple of emergency power products, the HomePower ONE and the SolarPower ONE. The HomePower One offers up to 7 days of power supply to your crucial devices and home appliances on a single charge and can be charged with the SolarPower ONE solar panel power generator. The SolarPower ONE is an efficient portable solar panel power generator that provides eco-friendly recharging for your HomePower ONE backup battery in any emergency situation. It provides a continual emergency power supply to enable your family to overcome any disasters and accidents.
Pocket Escape Smoke Hood
For travel, I keep a pocket smoke escape hood in my carry-on. (God forbid there’s ever a fire but my family and I were in a hotel fire when I was a teenager and I wish we’d had these.) They’re made of NASA-grade DuPont Kapton Polyamide Film and can resist high temperatures up to 450 degrees C so you can escape a burning building.
TIP: Always leave your clothes, shoes and wallet ready to go by the door in case you need to jump up out of bed and run. This has happened to me numerous times, including during the aforementioned hotel fire in Puerto Rico when I was 16, a hotel smoke alarm going off in Toronto, a tornado warning in Dallas and an earthquake in Tokyo.
I actually have a lot more products to recommend but this should be a good start for anyone who wants to get serious about being prepared for an emergency situation. Let me know if you think something should be added to the list!
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.