Can't spend that kind of money? Take a look at ICE-QUBE's Luxe Kit and print out the supplies that are included. Take it to the store with you. You can be sure you're not forgetting anything, but you may not need to buy everything on the list. Hopefully, you already have pliers, a shovel, flashlight and some of the other basic supplies.
A great idea to keep from having to shell out big bucks at the last minute is to buy a few items along every month. Escambia County's emergency preparedness site at one time had a printable list broken down by weeks. Week 1, you buy these items. Week 2 is a different list and so forth, for 11 weeks. You started at the beginning of hurricane season or maybe a couple of weeks before. The bad storms usually don't hit until later in the summer and by then, you'll have everything you need. Unfortunately, they took that list down, and I didn't save a copy. The idea is still valid, you just have to consider everything you'd need in the event of an emergency and buy a few items along. As you buy, check them off the list until you have everything you need.
Remember, whether you buy a ready-made kit or assemble your own:
- Food and water will go bad. Check your supplies at least once a year and make sure the food is not past the sell-by date on the label.
- Batteries will go dead just sitting in the package. Replace with fresh batteries at least once a year. Sometimes they have use-by dates on the label as well.
- Some plastics will deteriorate just sitting in storage, especially if you keep the kit in an attic or garage that isn't temperature controlled. It's good to pull out your emergency kit once or twice a year and go through everything to make sure it's still in usable condition, the flashlights and radios work, the food is fresh, the plastic sheeting isn't starting to tear, mice didn't eat into any of the packaging, etc.
- Your needs may change. Last year, maybe you didn't have a baby or a pet or a special health consideration. Always consider whether you need to update your kit.