As a renter, the best thing you can do in any emergency situation is be prepared, which means planning carefully and knowing what to expect. All residents should have a plan for every contingency, from emergencies to severe weather to natural disasters. The key to making it through an emergency without power is stocking up and keeping an emergency supply kit at hand, ready to go at a moment’s notice. Here are some things to keep in your apartment in case of an emergency:
• Water – One gallon of water per person, per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation is a good rule of thumb.
• Non-Perishable Food – At least a three day supply of canned foods, and other non-perishables. A good place to start would be with nuts and trail mixes, peanut butter, dried fruits, granola and protein bars, canned tuna, canned vegetables and condensed milk.
• Battery Powered or Hand Crank Radio – In the case of a serious natural disaster it’s always a good idea to have access to news and emergency broadcasts providing you with updates and information on service and infrastructure repairs.
• Power Bank – If you have a smartphone a power bank is a good supplement for using a radio. A good power bank is fairly inexpensive and can store enough power to charge an iPhone 6 or equivalent multiple times. Having access to your phone is key to get on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with other people and to get the most up to date information possible.
• Flashlight and Candles – A staple for any emergency, a flashlight can be the difference between finding what you need and stumbling in the dark. Candles are also a great source of light that doesn’t require you to waste batteries.
• Extra Batteries – Be sure to stock up on batteries for your flashlight and any other battery powered devices you might be relying on during a power outage.
• First Aid Kit – This is something that you probably already have in your apartment, if you do be sure that it is always fully stocked with whatever you might need in case of an emergency or injury.
• Can Opener – All those non-perishable canned foods won’t do you any good if you have no way of opening them. You can also invest in a Swiss Army knife, just make sure that it includes a can opener as some of the more inexpensive options do not.
• Local Maps – In case you don’t have access to a smartphone or GPS functionality is down, it’s always a good idea to keep a local map for navigation.