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MAINTAINING A HOME

How to build a wild weather home emergency kit

11 July 2022

How to build your wild weather home emergency kit

A disaster – such as a flood, fire or severe storm – may impact your access to essential services such as power, gas, food and water. One way to prepare for wild weather is to have an easily accessible emergency kit in your home.

What is a home emergency kit?

An home emergency kit, sometimes referred to as a survival kit, can provide you and your household with a prepared stockpile of essential items such as food, water, and medicine. It's important to have supplies that will sustain you and your family for several days.

When preparing your kit, you can build one from scratch or purchase one from your local supermarket, hardware or camping store. You may already have items for your emergency kit around your household.

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Preparing your emergency kit

When preparing or adding to your kit, you need to think about how many people live in your household, and then calculate how much food and water you’ll need.

For example, it’s recommended to store 10 litres of drinking water per person at a minimum. If you have two adults and two children in your home, you will need to have a minimum of 40 litres of drinking water stored.

Food, water and medication are the essentials and make a solid foundation for your emergency kit. There are a few things to remember:

  • Pack non-perishable items, such as canned and packaged foods like muesli bars and pasta.
  • Get an assortment of food that doesn't require cooking – you may not have access to a stove.
  • Buy food and drink items with a high nutritional value and carbohydrates, such as long-life milk or oats.

An emergency may make it difficult to refill your prescriptions or access essential medications. When packing medical and sanitation items (be sure to check expiry dates) into your emergency kit, make sure you prepare enough:

  • prescription medicine
  • prescription eyewear or contact lenses
  • hygiene products
  • medical devices, and
  • paracetamol, diarrhea tablets and hydration supplements.

It's also handy to have a first aid kit nearby, as emergency responders may be delayed in reaching you.

Other items you may wish to include in your home emergency kit

Communication devices

Your phone service may not be available during an emergency; it could help to have a radio and a satellite phone in your kit. Don’t forget batteries for your devices.

Tools and equipment

In an emergency, you don’t want to be running around looking for that pair of scissors you used last week. We all have tools around the house; keeping a selection reserved for your emergency kit means you’ll know what to expect in the instance you have to use it.

Clothing and footwear

Remember, you might not have time to go to your wardrobe. Keep a selection of reliable clothing and footwear close to your kit. It's handy to store these in a backpack for quick evacuations.

Tip: Keep your camping supplies near your kit, so they're also available to use in an emergency.

Important documents

Keep photocopies of your documents, such as your passport and prescriptions. You can purchase fire and flood proof document holders, which will help keep your important copies safe.

Plan for your pets

When building your emergency kit, consider your furry friends – they'll need food, water, medications, and either a carrier or lead to keep them close.

Best places to store your kit

Keep your home kit in a designated place you can access if you need to evacuate quickly – such as a storage cupboard or a bedroom close to the front door. Also, make sure all household members know where to find it.

Because you may not be at home when wild weather arrives, building an emergency kit for your car can help you feel more prepared. Learn more about building your car emergency kit.

How to maintain your emergency kit

  • Keep canned goods in a cool, dry place. It's best to keep these away from your pantry and in a separate area.
  • Store boxed food in a tightly sealed plastic or metal container.
  • Complete an audit and replace expired items as needed.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family's needs change.

Remember that time you were out of pasta and took a packet from your home emergency kit? Don't forget to replace it.

Make sure you're covered

Good planning can save you when disaster strikes. For nearly a century, Suncorp Insurance has been proud to cover Australian homes.

Suncorp's Home and Contents Insurance covers your home and your contents items in it  if they're damaged in an insured event such as a fire, flood or storm, subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of your policy*

Plan your home and contents insurance

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Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.

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