—"I may be 'retired,' but I travel the world, tango, and live in a high-rise. Honey, I'm a Glamma! But I could use an emergency plan..."

Yes, this glamorous grandma (a "glamma") is based on someone we know and love.

Our Glamma makes an interesting case when it comes to preparedness. She lives on the 27th floor of a high-rise on the East Coast, and her building asked residents to put together an emergency kit. As fit as she is, she wouldn't want to be pounding up and down the steps if the electricity goes out.

So we've put together necessities that would keep her happy for three or so days without electricity.

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Food and cooking

Good To-Go ready-to-eat meals — healthy, delicious meals. Veggie and vegan options. Just add boiling water.

Emergency snacks — ideal non-perishables to have on hand.

Saratoga Farms Quick Oatmeal — an actual bucket's worth, just in case.

Sterno Culinary Butane Stove — a backup way to heat up food or boil water.

Lights and power

5.11 EDC PL 2AAA penlight — a reliable, tiny flashlight.

Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern/USB Power Hub — a solar lantern for your dark bathroom.

Anker PowerCore Phone Charger or PowerCore+ 26800 — recharge devices when power goes out.


Adventure Medical First Aid Kit — handy first-aid supplies in one place.


Midland Emergency Weather Radio follow news and weather if cell coverage and the net go down.


LifeStraw Flex Multi-Function Water Filter — easily disinfect dirty water.

WaterBrick 2 or 10 pack — a way to store lots of water under your bed.

Smart stuff

Wooden Matches or a reliable lighter.

Ultimate Lithium AA and AAA batteries — lithium last longest.

Epic Wipes, massive wet wipes shower substitute — if you're not able to take a shower, the next best thing.

A plastic whistle is ideal for signaling to emergency personnel.

16 essential disaster supplies for the urban grandma


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Advice for the urban grandma

  • Take $1,000 to $3,000 out of the bank. Stash it someplace safe.

  • Consider your water needs — for cooking, drinking, cleaning and bathing. Fill up those WaterBricks you bought, and stash them under the bed. Consider buying extra water jugs, too.

  • Talk to your family and make an emergency plan. Don't count on cell systems or e-mail working. Make a plan that takes in account the idea that communications may be down. How will your family contact you? Can they meet you at your house or apartment in case of an emergency?

  • Can you drive yourself or otherwise get out of town in case of an evacuation? Decide on a meeting point with family if an immediate evacuation is necessary.

  • Discuss emergency plans with neighbors and friends who live nearby. There is strength in numbers in times of need.

  • Medications! Talk to your doctor and ask for an emergency supply of necessary meds before something happens. You may have to pay out of pocket for extra meds. But your doctor and your regular pharmacy may be unavailable after an emergency.

  • How ambulatory are you? What happens if you can't get down stairs? How far can you walk? Do you need a walker or wheelchair? These factors will impact your ability to evacuate.

  • Write down or photocopy your family contact numbers and addresses; doctor's contact info; your insurance info, etc. Your cell may lose power or become lost, so backup info is essential. Put it in a waterproof bag.

  • Do you have a pet? Consider that you may also have to evacuate your furry family, too. Consult our Pet guide here.


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