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If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that life is unpredictable. From a global pandemic to an explosion in Beirut to doomsday-reminiscent fires and earthquakes, I’ve come to learn just how much of life is completely out of my control. As a type-A personality with not-so-insignificant control issues, this realization has been a tough pill to swallow. There were a couple of earthquakes here in Los Angeles last month that, though relatively mild, shook me to my core—as the room started to shake, I watched the bottles on my bar cart clang together while thinking to myself: “What the hell do I do?!” I was frozen in shock with zero recollection of what I had learned in school. Was I supposed to go under the table? Was it better to be in the corner of the room? The middle?
Once the earthquake passed, I called my boyfriend in a panic to get answers—”what should I have done?!”. While he confirmed that yes, I should hide under a table, he wasn’t really clear on much else. We started chatting about disaster protocols 101 and felt pretty worthless—what were all those drills during school for? Naturally, the type-A in me started to panic. While I felt more confident in my boyfriend’s and my ability to think on the fly, I began to seriously worry about my parents, my grandparents, his parents, my neighbors...you get it.
Flash forward to today, where each and every one of my family members have some form of a JUDY kit in their storage closet, and for the first time since that fateful earthquake, I’m breathing easy.
Thus marks the beginning of my journey to find the perfect emergency preparedness kit. I felt overwhelmed by all of the options out there, with blog posts telling me to assemble my own and mixed reviews causing mega confusion—I wasn’t quite sure where to turn. After lots of Google searches and Youtube videos, I found the answer to all of my anxieties in JUDY, the chicest, coolest, easiest, and most importantly—most effective preparedness kit out there. Flash forward to today, where each and every one of my family members have some form of a JUDY kit in their storage closet, and for the first time since that fateful earthquake, I’m breathing easy.
What Makes For A Good Emergency Kit?
While I felt pretty embarrassed about my lack of disaster knowledge, it turns out I was far from alone: over 60% of Americans have no emergency plan. And frankly, I’m not surprised: how are we supposed to be prepared when we have no idea how to prepare? The most challenging part of picking an emergency preparedness kit was that I had no idea what I was looking for. I’m clearly no disaster expert, so it was hard to know which kit was the most comprehensive—some would have a first-aid kit but no candles. Others would have candles but no power bars. It felt like a real shot in the dark to choose any one item over the other (considering my complete lack of knowledge), so I turned to the experts instead. The items that go into JUDY kits are hand-picked and curated by top Certified Emergency Managers and Emergency Management and Disaster Response Experts; taking the guesswork out of something this serious (and potentially life-saving) felt like a must. I appreciated knowing that my family and I were in good hands (expert hands, in fact).
Not only did I feel confident that I was getting the right items with JUDY, but I also knew that I would be getting durable ones, too. JUDY is designed to support a family of 4 for 72 hours in the event of a disaster. While that might feel extreme, this year has made it clear that truly anything can happen—knowing that my family and I would have at least 3 days to figure something out was incredibly relieving. JUDY comes packed with first-aid essentials, tools, supplies, food, and water—suitable for any and all disasters. The thing is: lots of emergency kits do, too. But what truly sets JUDY apart is that it’s incredibly user-friendly.
JUDY offers incredibly helpful plans and guides to make sure that you are not only physically prepared—but mentally too.
Yes, having all of the things you need for an emergency is great. But if an emergency really strikes, are you going to know how to use that hand-crank radio? And are you even going to remember where you put your JUDY in the first place? Probably not. JUDY offers incredibly helpful plans and guides to make sure that you are not only physically prepared—but mentally too. The kit also comes with a helpful magnet to place on the fridge that reminds you where your JUDY is located, as well as some other helpful stickers and emergency cards to better prepare your family. The items in The Safe and The Mover Max are all intuitively separated into clearly-labeled boxes for easy and quick access. Because the last thing you want to be doing in the middle of an earthquake is searching through a messy bag with no clue as to where your whatcha-ma-call-it is. Speaking of cool safety tools I had no idea what to do with prior to JUDY, let’s take a peek at what’s inside...
The Mover Max: For the Disaster-Prone
JUDY’s backpack kit is a) incredibly cool (my boyfriend keeps begging to use it as his ‘everyday bag’) and b) incredibly useful—you’d be surprised how much fits in this thing. Featuring over 24-life saving preparedness items, the bag’s contents are separated into five categories: Warmth, Safety, Tools, First Aid, Food, and Water. And trust me—these disaster experts think of everything, from dust masks and gloves to whistles and glow sticks.
The Mover Max is specifically designed for families who are frequently evacuated. My mom lives in the hills of Los Angeles, in an area very prone to wildfires. She was evacuated twice last year, making her the perfect candidate for this heavy-duty backpack. With padded back support and cushioned straps, the bag is comfortable enough for someone to carry for elongated periods of time (regardless of all the goodies inside). I also love that the bag itself is bright orange, making it easy to spot if my mom were in a rush, but also making her easy to spot if she was forced into the dark in an emergency.
The Safe: Just In Case
On the other end of the spectrum, JUDY recommends The Safe for those lucky enough to be in a relatively disaster-free area (knock on wood). JUDY’s bestseller, The Safe is their most comprehensive kit option, with all of the goodies provided in The Mover Max, and then some. Unboxing The Safe was undoubtedly the most fun I’ve had in a while, and the perfectly modular, intuitively categorized boxes gave me life in an otherwise bleak week (read: months). I took my time looking through all of the items, familiarizing myself with each and every tool before deciding where to store the kit itself. My boyfriend and I live in an area relatively unprovoked by fires and other disasters, so The Safe felt like a better bet for us. One thing I did note: the food provided in the JUDY kits aren’t really meant for pets, so if you’re a pet mama like me, be sure to throw a few shelf-stable cans of wet food in there for your little one!
My 2020 Superhero
Though I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I’m hoping for a chance to try out my JUDY, I can certainly say that I feel much less worried about that chance arising; my 2020-inflicted disaster anxiety is a thing of the past. Knowing that my family and I are prepared for any and all disasters has been like a much-needed sleeping pill—I truly can’t emphasize the relief enough. JUDY did all of the heavy lifting of research, curation, and organization, saving my time and potentially my life in the process—they’re a modern-day superhero in a bright orange box.
5 More Things to Love About Judy:
- Each kit comes with personalized emergency alerts for your entire family. They also send videos and updates on how to prepare your family for any kind of emergency, and have incredible customer service—you can text them 24/7 with any questions.
- They’re an LGBTQ-owned brand. Plus, their founder Simon Huck is quite literally Kourtney Kardashian’s best friend. PLUS, they were recently named one of Oprah's Favorite Things.
- For every JUDY bought, they provide an eight-piece emergency kit to a family in need. Help your family and someone else’s, too.
- Their Instagram is incredibly designed and filled with helpful disaster tips—a must-follow.
- They’ve prepared over 10,000 families so far (and only launched in January). Watch out, world.