gift of emergency preparedness
With the holiday season approaching, the holiday shopping is in full swing. Sometimes finding the right gift for everyone is a difficult task. Although it may not sound like the most exciting gift, why not give the give of preparedness to the one’s you love this year. An emergency kit may not be on the list of 2017 best holiday gifts, but it can be particularly helpful for seniors living alone or new parents. And, for those who have everything, it’s a gift that might come in handy during an emergency. While most of us know the importance of being prepared, we don’t always take the time or efforts to make sure we are. Here are some creative ideas for emergency preparedness gifts.

The Emergency Preparedness Starter Kit

Think emergency prep when you are building the list of items to purchase for this kit. Who knows, your gift recipients may put this in their phone or nightstand and find it was exactly what they needed during an emergency. They will be sure to thank you then! Purchase a plastic storage container or a water-proof bag. You can get creative here and purchase one designed with their favorite pattern or colors. Once you have your container, add these contents:
  • A first-aid kit-you can get pre-made kits at your local grocery or drug store or you can make your own. Here’s a list of items you may want to include.
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • Portable phone charger that is rechargeable and can work without a power source
  • Manual can openers to help open cans and jars.

For the Kids

Raising awareness for emergency preparedness can be successful when you involve the kids. Some children get really excited about these topics. Teach children about the importance of having an emergency kit in your home and vehicle, having an emergency communication plan, and a family response plan should disaster strike.The CDC has great activity books for emergency preparedness for kids called Ready Wrigley. They include coloring activities for disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, winter weather, and extreme heat. You can help the kids plan and pack their own emergency kit with the handy list provided. Kids get extra excited to pay portable games and small activities should you need to go to a shelter.

On the Road

Anyone who drives a vehicle should have an emergency kit to keep in their car. This can be a great gift for the car-lovers or new drivers on your holiday shopping list. Your kit should be planned around the local hazards drivers may face. For example, those who get snow should include a window scraper, extra hats and mittens, and a blanket. Emergency preparedness kits for the car should have:
  • A basic tool kit with a screwdriver, wrench, and pliers
  • Jumper cables-some auto shops and local stores make roadside emergency kits that include these and other things like triangle markers and flares)
  • A basic first aid kit
  • A cellphone charger (you can choose to add a car charger or a rechargeable portable one)

Don’t Forget the Pets

For the pet lovers on your list, include an emergency plan to keep their animals safe. An emergency preparedness kit for an animal can include:
  • Extra food and water and a bowl to put them in
  • A spare leash or carrier for safe transportation.
  • A bed, blanket, and toy in case you end up in a shelter unexpectedly.
If you are having trouble checking off everyone on your list this year, how about you forego the fight to give the coolest gift and give one that is more practical. You never know when disaster may strike and when an emergency preparedness kit will be the one thing your loved one needs to stay safe.