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What you need to stay safe in an emergency

Last weekend, tornadoes touched down across a wide range of states. This week, there is a chance for more dangerous weather. Areas that used to be relatively free from severe storms are being hit by extreme weather with increasing frequency. No matter where you live, there is a chance you could experience a damaging storm. To be safe, you need to be prepared. Here are some essential items that can help keep you safe in an emergency.

In this article: Emergency Hand Crank RadioRechargeable LED Camping Lantern and Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System.

Why is the weather so severe in the US?

There are two primary reasons why experts say the U.S. is leading the world in weather catastrophes: geography and climate change.

Most severe weather requires warm, moist air as a catalyst. Since the U.S. is bordered by two oceans and a gulf, there are ample opportunities for the creation of warm, saturated air. Also, atmospheric rivers enter the country from the west carrying an incredible amount of moisture, which cools and results in an abundance of precipitation

Another factor that influences storms is the jet stream. This fast-moving current of air travels in upper levels of the atmosphere, causing changes in wind and pressure that can either transport storms or keep weather conditions, such as a heatwave, stagnant. As a result, the jet stream is responsible for shaping the weather over the U.S.

Climate change warms the world, and the hotter the air is, the more moisture it can hold. This fuels the atmosphere with exactly what it needs to create violent storms. As climate change continues, the frequency of severe weather (hurricanes, tornadoes, heatwaves, drought, wildfires, floods, heavy snowstorms and more) will increase.

What you need to prepare for severe weather

As the likelihood of increasingly intense weather systems continues to rise, there are a few emergency staples you’ll want to keep on hand, no matter where you live.

Best Emergency Hand Crank Radio

Esky Emergency Hand Crank Radio

Even if your power goes out, this rechargeable emergency radio has you covered. You can listen to emergency broadcasts or use it to charge your phone. It even has a built-in LED light. To charge it without electricity, use the solar panel or hand crank.

Sold by Amazon

Best Water-resistant LED Camping Lantern

LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern

This lantern flashlight has a hook on the bottom so you can hang it upside down to better illuminate the room. The 360-degree beam shines light in all directions, and the battery lasts up to 12 hours.

Sold by Amazon

Best Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

As a rule of thumb, you can only survive about three days without water. This water filter straw can help you get safe drinking water in an emergency. It removes 99.9% of bacteria and protozoa, while also filtering out 100% of microplastics.

Sold by Amazon

Best Premium 300 Piece First Aid Kit

M2 Basics Premium 300-Piece First Aid Kit

This emergency kit has essential items such as adhesive bandages, gauze, splints, medical masks and tweezers so you can deliver first aid, if needed. The comprehensive kit comes with a durable zippered bag for convenient storage and transport.

Sold by Amazon

Best Sustain Supply Emergency Survival Kit and Backpack

Sustain Supply Co. Emergency Survival Kit and Backpack

natural disaster kit is a little more specific than a first-aid kit. It gives you products you need to survive in an emergency, not just tools you can use to patch up injuries. This one includes non-perishable food, tools for heating, lighting and other items.

Sold by Amazon

Best Safelumin Rechargeable Light Bulbs (2-Pack)

Safelumin Rechargeable Light Bulbs (2-Pack)

If you have a rechargeable emergency light bulb, you can have lighting from your fixtures, even when there’s no power. Simply screw one of these rechargeable lights into a socket and you can light the room. 

Sold by Amazon

Best Cyalume Military Grade Green Glow Sticks

Cyalume Military-Grade Green Glow Sticks

Sometimes, for safety, you need emergency light sticks. The 6-inch glow sticks in this 10-pack stay lit for up to eight hours.

Sold by Amazon

Other items worth having 

  • Millennium Assorted Energy Bars are meal replacement bars that can help sustain you in an emergency.
  • To be prepared, it’s crucial to have a NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio on hand so you can be aware of changing conditions.
  • This emergency kit is filled with items you might require for survival in a natural disaster. 
  • If you get trapped in your vehicle, this car safety tool is a handheld gadget that can save your life.
  • LifeStraw is a personal water filter that allows you to drink straight from nature in emergency situations.

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.