There are eight must-have tools to include in your home emergency disaster kit. The change of seasons is upon us. The severe weather that marks the shift from winter to spring will begin soon. Are you prepared for tornados, flooding, or severe thunderstorms? Later, summer and early fall will bring similar weather emergencies to include those from the hurricane season. As the strange weather patterns affect our nation, it is prudent to consider the tools that we have available in our home emergency kits.
1. Chain Saw
The chain saw is one of the top tools that emergency preparedness experts recommend that you have in your home emergency disaster kit. The advantage that you have with a chain saw is excellent. It will help you process fallen trees. Additionally, it will help cut through wood framing of fallen homes to recover or rescue someone.
Several companies sell reliable chain saws: Poulan, Stihl, Husqvarna, and Black & Decker. Chain saws come in two types: gas and battery. If using a chain saw is not part of your regular routine, then it is advisable to purchase a battery powered one. People have their individual preferences on chain saw brands. So do some research and shop around for the chain saw and brand that fits your knowledge, experience, and budget.
2. Fireman’s Ax
Another essential tool to keep in your home emergency disaster kit is an ax. There are many types of axes and brands. Axes tend to come with one of three types of handles: wood, fiberglass, or steel. There are three styles of bit blades for axes: single bit, double bit, and combination bit. The best ax to keep in your emergency kit is the fireman’s ax.
The fireman’s ax is the standard tool in use with most fire departments. The fireman’s ax has a distinctive head. The ax head has a single-bit blade on one side and a pick poll opposite the blade. This kind of blade bit is a combination bit. Firefighters use the ax to breach doors and walls to rescue people inside a burning building. A fireman’s ax is excellent for chopping wood when necessary, such as fallen trees.
3. Limb Saw
A third tool that emergency preparedness experts recommend keeping in your kit is a reliable limb saw. The advantage of having a limb saw handy after an emergency is the ability to cut smaller pieces of wood. The chain saw helps cut the large diameter tree trunks and limbs. However, a good limb saw can effectively cut the smaller diameter limbs not practical for cutting with a chain saw.
There are several styles and brands of limb saws. The most well-known are the folding limb saws in use by outdoorsman. However, the limb saws that will be practical for use in the wake of a weather disaster are the larger bow or pruning saws. The are several types and brands of limb saws. The best brands on the market are Silky, Bahco, and Fiskars. Black & Decker and some other companies make powered limb saws. They look like miniature chain saws on the end of a long pole. Thus, whichever style and brand of limb saw you choose, they are a great tool to keep in your kit.
4. Gas Shut-Off Wrench
The gas shut-off wrench is one of the more essential tools to hold in one’s home disaster emergency kit. The wrench is sometimes known as the utility shut-off wrench. These wrenches will shut off both the water main and the main gas valves on your home. Having one of these tools is essential. The wrench will help you turn off water and gas that may be escaping from a fallen house after a storm. There are many styles of these wrenches. Be sure to purchase one that can shut off both water and gas.
5. Crow or Pry Bar
A tool that is often recommended by emergency preppers for a home disaster kit is a crow or pry bar. They are different tools with different applications. However, they both give a person the ability to pry and lift debris after a disaster. Most hardware stores sell these tools. The significant difference between these tools is their size and appearance.
Typically, a pry bar is no longer than twenty-four inches, has a flat body with a curved end. The crowbar can be longer, has a rounded shape, and has a claw hook at one end, similar to a claw hammer. The crowbar is a tool to give leverage to lift heavy objects. A pry bar is a tool used by carpenters for pulling nails, lifting up sheetrock or wall paneling. Pry bars and crowbars can come in lengths that will fit in most tool boxes. They both have flattened ends with notches for pulling nails at each end of their bodies.
6. Sledge Hammer
A sledgehammer is a tool that is often recommended by the experts as an essential item in one’s disaster kit. Sledgehammers come with different handle lengths and hammerhead weights. The most common sledgehammer is one with a eight-pound head and twenty-four-inch handle. Sledgehammers also have handles that come in wood, fiberglass, or steel. Sledgehammers are great for breaking concrete, masonry, and sheetrock.
7. Bolt Cutters
A tool that is not often in the discussion of tools for home emergency disaster kits is the bolt cutter. Bolt cutters come in a few sizes. The most common bolt cutters in use are thirty-six inches and twenty-four inches in length. However, bolt cutters can be as small as fourteen inches.
Bolt cutters are excellent for cutting through fencing, wire, anchor bolts, and padlock shackles. In the wake of an emergency, using a bolt cutter to free someone may be the difference between a rescue and a recovery.
The final tool that one should have in their home emergency disaster kit is a shovel. There are two kinds of shovels, a squared end, and round end. They also come with either a wood handle or a fiberglass handle. There are a variety of shovels on the market. The rounded end shovel is primary for digging. The squared end shovel is for scooping. Your situation may require keeping both types in your kit. However, a good shovel will make cleaning up your property or helping others do the same much easier.
Some Concluding Observations
The eight essential tools for one’s disaster emergency kit are important for post-disaster cleanup and recovery. The latest tornado disaster of recent days gives insight into how being prepared helps communities come together and recover. These essential tools will not only help you; they can help your neighbor also after a weather-related disaster. As you think about these tools, keep in mind that your location plays a part in what to include. Thus, you can not go wrong with a well thought out disaster kit containing the proper tools.