The most difficult part of preparing for a disaster if that you can’t know what is going to happen, where you’ll be, how much damage will be done, and if you will be able to stay home or evacuate. Lots of moving parts in any scenario you choose. Let’s look at some basic tools to keep handy that will cover a variety of situations.

1. Flashlight – Most of us have flashlights in our home…with dead batteries. Take a few minutes to locate your flashlight and put fresh batteries in it and put it by your bed. You might also want to purchase a headlamp so that if there is an emergency at night, you can light your way hands-free. Don’t let this overwhelm you, but putting one in your car and one in your emergency evacuation kit wouldn’t be a bad idea.

2. Axe – There are a couple uses for an axe. You might have tree branches that have fallen down and are restricting your ability to get in or out of your house. It is suggested that you hide an axe outside in a dry place or put it in a waterproof container so if you are outside and need to get into your house or your neighbor’s house in a hurry, you have a powerful tool to help.

3. Wrench – One of the greatest dangers in an earthquake or a fire is the gas supply to your house. If you smell gas in your home, evacuate and turn the gas off. However, do not turn it off unless you smell it because it is not safe to turn it back on except by PG&E or a licensed plumbing contractor. After a disaster, both of those services may take some time to get to you.

4. Can opener – You may have food stored in your home that requires a can opener. But what if you can’t get into your kitchen? The food you’ve stored for an emergency might be accessible, but without a can opener, you can’t open that can of soup to cook on your camping stove. Simple old-fashioned can opener is the answer.

5. Work gloves – There are a lot of possible situations when having a good sturdy pair of gloves will be required to move tree branches, broken glass, or haul debris. Put a couple pairs in your kit.

6. Pocket knife – There are lots of options to choose from in this arena. A swiss army type of knife will also provide a screw driver or can opener, but make sure the knife is large enough to do some tough duty. Might want to put one in your car kit as well. Always handy and unlike, those flashlights, never needs batteries!

Bottom line

The little things you do now, may be the biggest gift to you later. Take a few minutes and pull these items together. You’ll be glad you did.