The College Student’s Guide To Disaster Prepping

As a student, you’re living away from home for the first time and you’re having to deal with so many new things. That includes cooking your own meals, handling laundry, and negotiating roommate situations. The one thing you didn’t think you’d have to deal with is disaster planning. Your college may be in an area that’s prone to natural disasters, or maybe you just want to be ready should something happen. Either way, here’s your guide to being prepared.

Make A First Aid Kit

This is something every student should have, and ideally you should have two: one at home, and one in your car. It needs to be somewhere you can easily grab should you need it, so make sure it’s easily reached.

You can buy a ready-made kit easily online, or you can put together your own. That’s usually a good idea if you have to take regular medications, like inhalers for asthma. A first aid kit should include the following:

  • Several bandage types, such as roller bandage and adhesive bandages
  • Compress dressings
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Hydrocortisone ointment packets
  • Adhesive cloth tape
  • Packets of aspirin
  • Emergency blanket
  • Breathing barrier
  • Instant cold compress
  • Non latex gloves
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Oral thermometer
  • Tweezers

Have A Power Outage Kit

There are all kinds of reasons why your power may go out, from a tripped circuit breaker to area wide power outages. Whatever the reason, you need to be prepared for an outage. Have the following items on hand, in case you need them:

Flashlight: This is the most important thing in your kit. ‘There are several types of flashlights out there, from wind up ones to chargeable ones’ says preparedness blogger Shiloh Miles, from Write My X and 1 Day 2 Write. ‘It’s worth having a few with different power sources, so you’ll always be able to find your way around.’

Headlamp: This is another good light source, as you can wear it and keep your hands free. It can help you to signal others if needed.

Radio: It’s hard to stress how helpful a radio is when it comes to power outages. They’ll help you get local info on what’s going on, such as where to go to get food and water should you need it.

Solar charger: While your phone may not be useful for calls if the local phone network goes down, it’s still practical for other reasons, such as an additional flashlight. A solar charger collects power in the sun, which you can then use to charge your phone as needed.

Have Non-Perishable Food On Hand

If there’s a natural disaster in your area, you need to ensure you have enough food in the house for you to survive on. Having a good non-perishable stock will go a long way towards keeping you fed. Some foods to stock include:

  • Canned foods, like meat, soup, stew etc.
  • Rice and pasta
  • Tea and coffee
  • Sugar
  • Peanut butter
  • Powdered milk
  • Boxed or canned juice
  • Granola bars

Don’t forget that you may need water, too. ‘Generally, you should have one gallon per day for drinking and cooking’ says psychology writer Lidia Pitt, from Origin Writings and Brit Student. ‘The more you can store, the better.’

Remember to replace any stored water after 6 months and keep containers out of direct sunlight. Having them under your bed is always a good spot.

Put Together an Emergency Kit

Along with your food and other supplies, there are some items you need to have in an emergency kit.

Multi tool: These are so helpful as they can do almost anything, from cutting items to opening cans.

Signaling whistle: If you’re in danger, you can use this to get attention and help quickly.

Duct tape: A good quality duct tape will help you do temporary repairs, such as sealing windows or holding items together.

Use this guide to put together your own emergency kit. With everything here, you should be prepared for pretty much anything. Just make sure that everything is in easy reach, should you ever need it.

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