We've had a series of pretty wicked storms lately in Atlanta. With the kind of thunder and lightning that shock you out of whatever you were doing and make you double-check your battery supply and if you even actually own a fully-functioning flashlight. Which, it turns out you don't, if you're me.
That moment was a bit of a realization – after 22 years of living in Florida, I got accustomed to prepping for hurricane season with the rest of the community every summer. Now, I'm on my own. And apparently not at all ready if a storm took down the power to our apartment for any longer than 30 seconds.
So I've been doing some research and a bit of shopping and put together a list of what belongs in an apartment preparedness kit. You might need to add a few items here and there depending on your region (do you get hurricanes? floods? earthquakes?), but here's a solid survival kit starter pack:
- Non-Perishable Food: Stash a few boxes of protein bars in your kit, far away from wherever the snacks usually go, so nobody is tempted to grab one.
- Bottled Water: The CDC recommends 1 gallon of water per person per day in a disaster kit, for a minimum of three days. Of course, you might not have room for a doomsday cellar in your 500 square foot studio, so at minimum, just stash away as much bottled water as possible – whatever you can fit is better than nothing! A bottled water supply is potentially something you can put together with everyone in your building, too, and store in a basement or wherever there's room.
- Extra Pet Supplies: Your dog, cat or lizard will need some food and water, too. During storm season, don't let the food bin get too low.
- A Rechargeable Flashlight: Get one that plugs in to the wall, and find a conspicuous outlet where you can leave it 24/7. When the power goes out, the flashlight will come on, fully charged, to help you find your way around.
- Candles & Matches: The flashlight will get you far, but if you're without power for a while, it's nice to light candles in each room while you party like it's 1899. The big 22-ounce jar candles are great, because they protect the flame, burn for a long time (100+ hours) and keep melted wax under control.
- A Backup Phone Battery: In 2008, a disaster prep list might have said to keep a corded phone around to plug in to your landline. These days, you might only have a smartphone, so invest in a rechargeable backup battery and keep it juiced up and at the ready. Mophie is a trusted brand that offers external battery packs for $50-$150.
- No-Tech Toys: Board games, books. Something (anything!) to pass the time.