Matches are an important item to have in your emergency preps. They can light candles and lamps, start a warming fire, or sterilize medical equipment in a pinch. Here are a few tips on what to buy and how to properly store matches:
1. Buy strike-anywhere matches or, better yet, storm matches. Strike anywhere matches don't require that special strip found on strike-on-box matches. They can be lit in almost any condition. Storm matches have a chemical component that keeps the match burning even in high winds. It is also coated in wax to keep the matches water-proof until needed.
2. If buying strike-anywhere matches, vacuum seal the box in plastic to keep waterproof. Store in a dry location where the matches won't be disturbed. The vacuum sealing will also keep out the oxygen required to light the matches should they accidentally rub against each other.
3. Buy smaller packages of matches and vacuum seal separately so that you do not have lots of matches exposed to the elements at the same time.
4. Store a total of at least 2,000 matches in your emergency preps. Regardless of the source of the emergency, one of the most common results is a loss of power. You will go through a lot of matches keeping lights on and keeping warm.
Angie Mohr is a Chartered Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and financial consultant. She has worked with thousands of clients over the years from mom and pop startups to rock bands and celebrity chefs. She is the author of the best-selling Numbers 101 for Small Business series of books and writes for Forbes, MSNBC, the Globe & Mail, Yahoo! Finance, Investopedia, and Motley Fool, among other financial publications. Her new book, Piggy Banks to Paychecks, helps parents teach their children how to be money smart. She splits her time between Canada and the United States and currently lives by the ocean with her husband and two children, who have finally learned that money doesn’t grow on trees.