Get inspired to create your emergency kit with safety supplies that may make the process a little more fun.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, winter storms. It’s common sense to make like a Boy Scout and be prepared. And yet, you still haven’t created that emergency kit.
To provide some inspiration — and make the process a little more fun — we’ve picked out an array of products that you may never need, but will likely want to use.
STAY HYDRATED — AND CAFFEINATED
Storing the recommended 1 gallon of water per person per day takes up a lot of space. As an alternative, the SteriPEN Emergency UV Water Purifier ($50 at steripen.com) makes water safe to drink in 90 seconds and is reusable for up to 3,000 treatments.
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For Seattleites, coffee can be as vital as water. Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee ($10 for a 12-pack at Starbucks and grocery stores) dissolves in hot water for an instant fix. Aficionados will appreciate having the Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker ($35 at amazon.com), a plastic immersion brewing press that works in less than a minute, with no electricity needed.
Don’t have a camp stove in your kit? Stock up on Get Up and Go Brainy Cinnamon Bun YUMMY Buttered Oats Shooters ($30 for 12 at getupandgo
baked.com). Each single-serving pouch of caffeinated granola is equivalent to an energy shot or a cup of coffee.
Dehydrated MREs are about as appetizing as they sound, but freeze-dried camping meals such as Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai and Chana Masala ($7.50 each at REI) spice things up a bit. They’re easy to prepare — just add boiling water — and tasty enough to get you by.
Pack your car kit with portable nutrition like fruit-and-nut-based Kind Bars ($1.69–$1.79 at Bartell Drugs and Whole Foods). The Peanut Butter & Strawberry Bar will please kids, and inventive flavors such as Honey Smoked BBQ and Roasted Jalapeño fit grown-up palates.
Locavores will enjoy high-protein, high-fiber Zing Nutrition Bars ($2.49–$3.49 at Bartell Drugs, Whole Foods and Super Supplements), created by Seattle nutritionists. An easy choice for families with allergies, they’re gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free and 100-percent natural. And they’re surprisingly good: The Dark Chocolate Coconut flavor tastes like a Mounds bar.
Supplement those utilitarian space blankets with the Pendleton Bright River Blanket ($249–$399 at pendleton-usa.com), made from cozy, warm 82-percent wool. Keep it on the bed, rather than in the emergency kit under the bed, and your investment goes further.
Another way to keep warm: sipping some Dry Fly Distilling Washington Wheat Whiskey ($35–$40 at Fred Meyer and Total Wine & More), handcrafted in Spokane.
The waterproof MPOWERD Luci Lux Inflatable Solar Lantern ($20 at mpowerd.com) uses solar power to provide light without electricity, and saves space in your kit by folding flat when not in use.
Or brighten things up with the Black Diamond 2015 Apollo Lantern ($46 at amazon.com), which packs 200 lumens of rechargeable battery power into a bright lantern that hangs, stands and collapses to save space.
Comfort kids through a power outage with the Ikea Spöka LED Night Light ($15), an adorable light that glows up for to five hours on a single charge.
Check weather and safety updates with the compact Midland ER200 Emergency Crank Compact Radio ($50 at REI). It can be charged in three different ways — via USB cable, solar panel or manual crank — and also works as a flashlight, device charger and clock.
A cheaper, portable alternative to a large backup generator is the Wagan Power Dome EX Compact Generator ($132 at amazon.com), a rechargeable emergency power source for larger items like computers and car engines.
For smaller electronics, Voltaic’s Amp Solar Charger ($99 at voltaicsystems.com) will keep you connected with four times the power and twice the battery storage of most solar chargers.
Or employ your whole bug-out bag as a source of power with Voltaic’s OffGrid 6W Solar Backpack ($199 at voltaicsystems.com). It contains a removable, 6-watt solar panel that can charge your smartphone in about three hours in the sun.