Many establishments, such as shops, pharmacies, and banks, may be closed in an emergency. Therefore make sure you have a supply of food, water, medicine, cash, and the things you need at home. For tips on this, see the sections “How to prepare a water supply,” “What food to stock up on for home and a survival kit,” “How to prepare a first aid kit.”

The supply of electricity, water, gas, heat, telephone, mobile, internet, ATMs and bank terminals, shops, and pharmacies may be entirely or partially blocked in the event of military actions.

How to prepare your own home

Make sure you have:

  • the stock of long-term storage products;
  • drinking and technical water;
  • first aid kit;
  • cash;
  • flashlights, spare batteries or accumulators for them, candles;
  • gas burner with extra cylinders for cooking;
  • fire extinguisher;
  • warm blankets, sleeping bags, thermal underwear (in case of the cold season);
  • survival kit in case of evacuation or transition to shelter;

If you live in a private house, equip the simplest shelter in your basement.

Offer older neighbors or people who cannot move on their own to help prepare a home and a survival kit and take them to the shelter if necessary.

How to prepare a water supply

Calculate the stock for home use according to the number of members of your family. One adult needs per day:

  • 3 liters of drinking water (including liquid consumed with food);

  • 10-12 liters for hygiene and cooking.

Ensure that you have a water supply for yourself and your family for at least 72 hours.

If you are not sure about the quality of drinking water, we recommend having supplies for additional cleaning — filter jug ​​for mechanical water purification or tablets for quick disinfection of water.

How to prepare a vehicle

If you have a car, check in advance:

  • its technical serviceability
  • whether the tank is full of fuel
  • the expiration date of the insurance policy
  • the presence of additional fuel in the canisters

What products to stock up for home and a survival kit

Take care of nutritious foods for long-term storage. If needed, you can take them with you to a shelter. In addition, these products should not require much water for cooking.

Also, think about what foods you and your family eat. Make a three-day food supply for the home.

Even in the absence of electricity, keep food in the refrigerator: it will retain cold for several hours after turning off. Try to open the door as little as possible. Eat perishable foods first.

If the temperature outside is low, you can keep food there.

Products for a survival kit:

  • sublimated products (porridges, soups, noodles)
  • canned meat, fish, vegetables
  • bread and cookies
  • nuts
  • chocolate
  • dried fruits

How to prepare a first aid kit

Prepare two first aid kits – one for emergencies (for example, in case of injury), the other for your household needs (pain relief, elimination of symptoms of poisoning, elimination of allergic reactions, etc.).

Emergency first aid kit:

  • a valve with a film for artificial respiration;
  • supplies to stop bleeding (tourniquet or hemostatic bandage with hemostatic agent);
  • chlorhexidine or alcohol for wound disinfection;
  • hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes;
  • gauze napkins of different sizes, non-sterile gauze bandages;
  • elastic bandages with the possibility of fixation;
  • two pairs of rubber gloves;
  • special atraumatic scissors for quick cutting of clothes on the victim;
  • a large piece of cloth that can be used to fix the victim’s limb;
  • thermal blanket

Do not put those drugs and medicines you do not know how to use in the first aid kit. If you still want to take them, learn how to use them properly in advance. 

Keep prescriptions for your medications (follow the expiration date), as well as the names and phone numbers of your doctors.

First aid kit for household needs:

  • patches of different sizes
  • activated charcoal to treat intoxications
  • medicine to reduce fever
  • painkillers
  • antiallergic medicine
  • diarrhea medication
  • gastrointestinal infection medicine
  • drops in case of infectious and inflammatory eye diseases
  • the medicine you are taking (dosage for at least a week) with a description of the method of application and dose;
  • the stock of masks.

What to cook when there is no electricity

In case of power outages and other emergency situations, we advise you to stock up on canned goods and dry sublimated food in advance. Nowadays, in stores, there is a large selection of such dishes: soups, porridges, purees. To use them, it is enough to fill them with cold water.

Some cereals do not need to be boiled, it will be enough to only pour water and leave them for a while. So we advise you to have them in stock.

Porridge, for the preparation of which boiled water is needed 

  • Barley porridge.  Pour boiled water and leave for 2-3 hours.
  • Millet porridge.  Pour boiled water and wait 1 hour for infusion.
  • Wheat porridge. Pour boiled water and wrap the bowl in a blanket to keep the warmth. Wait 30-50 minutes for infusion. 
  • Bulgur. You can cook small or medium sized bulgur without boiling. Small bulgur is infused in boiling water in 20 minutes, medium – 40 minutes.

Porridge, for the preparation of which cold water (kefir or milk) is enough

  • Buckwheat porridge

Brown buckwheat is sold in stores already prepared. It is marked on the package that it is fried and dried. If there is no gas or electricity, cereals can be pre-soaked in room temperature water, milk or kefir. It should be infused for 5 to 10 hours. Therefore, it is better to soak it overnight.

  • Pearl porridge 

This cereal can be poured with both boiling and plain water. But it should be infused in cold water for 10 to 24 hours. Therefore, it is better to pour it in the evening.

  • Couscous 

Cereals filled with cold water are enough to leave for 20-30 minutes for preparing. If there is hot water, 5 – 10 minutes will be enough. 

  • Oatmeal (or oat flakes) 

To cook in cold water, leave to infuse for 30 minutes or an hour. In boiling water – 20 minutes is enough. 

  • Semolina porridge 

Pour cold water or milk over the semolina, cover and let it steep for 15-20 minutes. 

  • Quinoa 

Cover with cold water and leave overnight. 

All the listed cereals can also be prepared in a thermos. One hour of boiling on the stove equals 4-5 hours of infusion in a thermos.

What candles to buy in case there is no light

Due to power outages, Ukrainians are advised to stock up on candles. We explain what types exist and how they differ. 

Beeswax candles 

The most ecological, safe and without pungent smell. Such wax practically does not burn, but only melts. When burning doesn’t leave soot.

Sometimes a part of paraffin is added to the composition of the mass in a strict percentage correlation so as not to break the natural properties of the wax. However, if the wax candle has horizontal cracks and crumbles easily, it means that it contains more than 30% of paraffin.

Such candles cost more than others due to the high cost of the raw materials. The price starts from 100 UAH for a set of thin (“church”) candles.

The burning time depends on the size, but the smallest ones from the store burn for up to an hour.

Vegetable wax candles (stearin)

Stearin is produced from various oils, for example, palm oil. Stearin candles are easy to recognize: they are matte, and after burning, a transparent layer with a pattern similar to snowflakes is formed. 

  • Palm wax candles. Solid and non-greasy material. Burns almost without smell. However, it is fragile – it is easy to break. 
  • Soy wax candles. Matte white in color, when heated, the material becomes liquid and transparent with a “milky” smell.
  • Coconut wax candles. More expensive than palm and soy, they also burn longer than others (1 cm – up to 5 hours). However, they are rarely found in stores.

Such candles emit a concentrated aroma, so they are recommended for use in large spaces. 

Prices for candles made of vegetable wax: from 100 UAH for a small candle. The burning time depends on the size, but the smallest ones burn up to 45 minutes.


Paraffin is a product of oil distillation. Without impurities and without additional cleaning, it has an unpleasant smell. There are candles made of high-purity paraffin, those in which aromas are added.

The more poorly cleaned paraffin is in the candle, the more soot, uneven flame and black “fouling” during burning. 

You shouldn’t overuse paraffin candles, burning them one by one. It is better to take short breaks and ventilate the room. 

Their only advantage is that they are cheap. The price of the smallest paraffin candle starts at 20 UAH. 

The burning time depends on the size, but the smallest ones burn in half an hour.

Gel candles

They are made from gel-like synthetic hydrocarbons. These candles are safer than those made of technical paraffin. But there is a nuance in gel candles – a decorative filler. When burning, fabric and plastic can give out an unpleasant smell, in addition, they ignite easily and the fire can become uncontrollable. Therefore, it is better to buy gel candles with stones that will not ignite.

The burning time is an average of 4 hours (but it depends on the size). The average price is 250 hryvnias. 

How to make a candle with your own hands

Long-burning candle

From one 30 centimeters long wax candle, you can make 6 long-burning candles, each of which will burn for 10-12 hours. 

What is needed:

  • a small jar, a glass or a cup with thick glass 
  • paraffin candle 
  • wax candle 
  • pinch of salt 
  • oil (refined without odor)
  • knife 
  • matches or a lighter

How to make:

  1. Divide the wax candle into several parts approximately 5 centimeters each. 
  2. Drop a little melted paraffin on the bottom of the container and, until it hardens, fix a piece of candle on it. 
  3. Pour oil into the container, add a pinch of salt, which will remove moisture from the oil.
  4. A long-burning candle is ready.

Potato candle

What you will need: 

  • small plate (made of glass or clay)
  • potato 
  • improvised wick – a rope made of natural fabric, gauze, bandage or lace 
  • oil (refined without odor)

How to make:

  1. Pour approximately 100 ml of oil into a plate. 
  2. Cut a potato circle 1 centimeter thick and make a hole in the middle for the wick.
  3. Grease both the potato circle and the wick with oil. 
  4. Pull the wick through the potato so that approximately half a centimeter is pierced out from the top. 
  5. Put the potato in a plate with oil and light the wick.

Approximately 100 ml. of oil and 3-5 cm of wick will burn for up to 6 hours.

What to put in a survival kit

A survival kit is a capacious durable large comfortable backpack or bag. Put the necessary clothes, hygiene items, medicines, tools, and food. A survival kit is needed for a quick evacuation, not to waste time collecting things.

Put in the survival kit:

  • passport and copies of all necessary documents in plastic packaging;
  • money (bank cards and cash; distribute banknotes to different places);
  • the paper version of the COVID certificate;
  • house and car keys;
  • a map of the area, as well as information about the method of communication and the agreed meeting place of your family;
  • chargers for mobile phones and power banks (portable chargers);
  • small radio;
  • flashlight, matches, lighter, candles;
  • spare push-button telephone, set of walkie-talkies;
  • compass, digital watch (preferably waterproof);
  • spare batteries;
  • multifunctional tool (multitool) with a knife blade, awl, screwdriver, scissors, etc;
  • sharpened knife, ax;
  • signal supplies: whistle, hand flare;
  • garbage bags;
  • a roll of wide tape;
  • notebook, pen, pencil, or marker;
  • water purification tablets;
  • threads, needles;
  • synthetic cord 4-5 mm thick, about 20 m long;
  • first aid kit;
  • warm clothes;
  • underwear and socks;
  • reliable, comfortable shoes, preferably waterproof;
  • tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag (if space allows);
  • hygienic supplies;
  • utensils (cast iron pot, flask, spoon, mug);
  • two liters of drinking water per person (this amount should cover your minimum need for two days, and at the same time will not make your survival kit too heavy);
  • food for two days;
  • scanned archive of photos and documents.

Put a tag in your top or side pocket with your name and contacts if you lose your backpack. If possible, bring photos of family or friends with you — this will help you find them if the group splits.

After packing, try to lift your backpack and walk with it. If it is too heavy, optimize its contents: it is crucial to bring it to the shelter without problems.

Put a label with the child’s name, year of birth, home address, planned destination, and information about the parents – names and contacts in the backpack and pocket of the child’s clothes. Explain to your child when and how to use this note.

How to agree with relatives and friends on an action plan

Discuss all possible scenarios with relatives and friends: if the whole family is at home together and if one of the family members is absent.

An emergency can happen when you are in different places. Therefore, agree in advance on the meeting place, routes, and general action plan. In addition, decide on how you will communicate if the connection is lost (prepare walkie-talkies, arrange a meeting point or a place to leave a note with information).

Make a list of important numbers for each family member: write them down or print them out. Then, arrange for each family member to carry it with them.

How to take care of pets

  • prepare a supply of dry food and water;
  • prepare a carrier, leash, and muzzle;
  • make sure the animal is vaccinated against rabies;
  • put the animal’s passport in the survival kit;
  • hang a token with the name and contact of at least two people;
  • animals’ essential medications.

Please note that it is forbidden to take animals to shelter. If possible, arrange in advance with friends or family members who live in a safe place to hand over the animal.

Important information for the media, bloggers and all citizens who photograph or write about war and the army

According to the ORDER of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, GENERAL VALERY ZALUZHNY:

What is categorically prohibited to be covered by the mass media during wartime:

  • names of bases and subdivisions, as well as their locations

  • the number of soldiers in bases and units

  • the number of weapons and equipment, their condition and place of storage

  • conditional marks of objects

Any information about:

  •  operations carried out or planned

  • system of protection and defense of military units

  • available military protection such as: weapons and equipment(except visible or obviously expressed)

  • procedure for engaging forces (military) and facilities (weapons)

  • intelligence gathering

  • movement and deployment of troops (names, numbers, routes)

  • military units and their tactics, methods of action

  • unique operations and their execution methods

  • the effectiveness of the enemy’s electronic warfare

  • postponed or canceled operations

  • missing or crashed aircraft, ship and search and rescue operations

  • plans for the security of our troops (disinformation, camouflage, countermeasures)

  • informational and psychological operations carried out or planned

  • propaganda or justification of russia’s large-scale armed aggression against Ukraine.

Do not post on social media:

  • consequences of hits by enemy’s missiles or projectiles or moments of their flight in the sky. By doing so you will help the enemy to adjust the fire.

  • time and place of “hits” (neither in publications nor in comments)

  • information about the work of the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces

  • a photo showing numbers, special markings and markings on destroyed or downed enemy equipment.

  • unverified information about victims or dead.

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