We all have seen Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recommendations for keeping an emergency box. I admit, I tried to make one like they said, and I could not lift it. So, I have come up with a few suggestions of my own. Buy all these things and put them into a plastic box with a lid and handles. It will be sturdy, easy to lift and will not break if it gets wet. Then, put the box somewhere easy to reach, even if the power has gone out. I am operating under the assumption that unless it is a dire emergency that involves evacuation, the senior will need to be able to stay put in the house for a few days without electricity.

Flashlights with the batteries in them. It is tough to start putting batteries in the flashlights when the power has already gone out. I am partial to the flashlights that have a wide base and can stand up on their own and serve as a beacon or lantern. Buy lots. Ideally, if the power goes out, there should be enough flashlights to keep the house well-lit (prevents falls).

Extra batteries for the flashlights. Again, be sure to open the plastic. I was surprised to find out the rechargeable flashlights did not last as long as the regular ones. With the power out, the ridiculous thing would not charge!

Be careful about candles. I have heard one too many stories of fires caused by candles. If you insist on using them, at least get the ones in the jar.

A first aid kit you have already removed the plastic from.

A few small bottles of water. You should keep a bigger supply of bottled water elsewhere in the house.

A box of protein bars, granola bars, etc with a long shelf life.

A list of all-important phone numbers written in large enough print to be seen in low light.

Other things to have in case of emergency (that do not need to be in the box).

A phone that works even when the power goes out. I still have my old princess phone landline from childhood. It was the only thing that worked when the power went out. Portable chargers for mobile phones that will operate even with no electricity.

Food with a long shelf life that can be eaten cold. Also, if you buy canned food, make sure there is a manual can opener and that the senior can handle it. Otherwise, buy the tuna in envelopes instead of cans and buy the canned foods that have pull-off tops.

A second list of emergency phone numbers posted someplace obvious.