Emergency household essentials

When an emergency happens, be it a power cut or a pandemic, there are a number of items (aside from food and drink) that it’s helpful to have to hand, this guide acts as a list of those few essentials that might help in an emergency. It can also act as a list of essentials to take on a long camping trip!

Here goes…

1. Spare batteries

Think remote control’s, torch battery, radio battery, etc, also bulb’s both for the torch, but also for your rooms, it’s useful to have a couple of small standard lamps that you can move around your home if the main bulb goes in a particular room or there is a power cut. It’s unlikely in this day and age, but candles (and matches) are always useful for a power cut, but maybe also candles can double up to create a relaxing mood every now and then. Make sure you know where the circuit breakers or fuse boxes are for your home but don’t attempt to change a fuse unless you know what you’re doing.

2. Keep clean

Whilst picking up food, don’t forget cleaning materials, hand soaps, disinfectant, anti-bac sprays, and toilet rolls, you will need all of these to keep everything clean and fresh, but also virus free. We’ve been told time and time again that hot soapy water kills most viruses, including COVID-19.

It might also be worth picking up a few liters of bottled water as an emergency reserve, again it’s unlikely that we lose water supply these days, but if we do it may take some time to restore and it might be difficult to get some in an emergency.

It’s worth getting a few aromatics if you can, fresh clean smells create a nice calming atmosphere and sometimes a little lavender oil or sandalwood smell in a room can make it a haven of peace.

3. Basic first aid

Popping into the doctor or A&E is not so simple these days and at best very time-consuming. Be prepared and get together a few of the basics so that you can handle any minor injuries yourself, following NHS guidance. There is a full guide here on what to include, think plasters (assorted sizes), a couple of crepe bandages, and antiseptic cream. It’s useful to have sunscreen and multi-vitamins to hand too.

4. A sewing kit

Not only can it be a lifesaver for small rips in clothes, but other things can also be repaired with a needle and thread.

5. Non-electrical activities

It’s useful to stack up on books, puzzles, and games that don’t require power. Rather than spending time online, it’s sometimes better to take a break from screens for a bit and rest your eyes and ears from electronics. If you don’t have much space in your home to store board games or puzzles, you can get puzzle books that are packed with sudoku’s/crosswords, etc that will keep your mind busy. 

6. Emergency numbers

You hope you will never need them, but if you do, you want to have them in a handy obvious place to access quickly. A selection of the important ones are the following;

  • Ambulance: 999 or 112
  • Fire: 999 or 112
  • Police:  999 or 112
  • Gas emergency: 0800 111 999
  • NHS Direct (24-hour health helpline): 0845 4647
  • Childline: 0800 1111
  • Samaritans: 116 123
  • Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
  • Mind: 0300 123 3393
  • Age UK: 0800 169 6565