Preparing Your Emergency Kits

The most important thing you can do is to get yourself,  your family and your home prepared.

   
FOOD AND WATER        
   
FIRST AID KIT
   
NON-PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
   
TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
   
SANITATION, CLOTHING AND BEDDING
   
SPECIAL ITEMS
   
POSSESSIONS AND DOCUMENTS

These are some basics you should stock for your home. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an emergency in an easy to carry pack. Possible containers include a large, covered trash container, a camping backpack, or a duffel bag.

 Food and Water

Water can be stored in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles, or large water storage bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
Store one gallon of water per person per day.
Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).

Food

Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit.
Ready-to-eat meals
Canned juices
High energy foods
Vitamins
Food for infants
Comfort / stress foods

 First Aid Kit

Have a first aid kit for your home and one for each car.

(20) adhesive bandages, various sizes
(1) 5" x 9" sterile dressing
(1) conforming roller gauze bandage
(2) triangular bandages
(2) 3 x 3 sterile gauze pads
(2) 4 x 4 sterile gauze pads
(1) roll 3" cohesive bandage
(2) germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
(6) antiseptic wipes
(2) pair large medical grade non-latex gloves
Adhesive tape, 2" width
Anti-bacterial ointment
Cold pack
Scissors
Tweezers

Non-Prescription Drugs

Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
Anti-diarrhea medication
Antacid (for stomach upset)
Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
Laxative
Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Tools and Supplies

Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
Emergency preparedness manual
Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
Flashlight and extra batteries
Cash or traveler's checks, change for pay phones
Non-electric can opener, utility knife
Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
Tube tent
Pliers
Tape
Compass
Matches in a waterproof container
Aluminum foil
Plastic storage containers
Signal flare
Paper, pencil
Needles, thread
Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
Whistle
Plastic sheeting

Sanitation, Clothing and Bedding

Sanitation

Toilet paper, towelettes
Soap, liquid detergent
Feminine supplies
Personal hygiene items
Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
Disinfectant
Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding

Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

Sturdy shoes or work boots
Rain gear
Blankets or sleeping bags
Hat and gloves
Thermal underwear
Sunglasses

Special Items

Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.

For Baby

Formula
Diapers
Bottles
Powdered milk
Medications

For Adults

Heart and high blood pressure medication
Insulin
Prescription drugs
Denture needs
Contact lenses and supplies
Extra eye glasses

Entertainment

Board games and other games that don’t require batteries or electricity, books for adult readers and for children.

For Pets

►In the interest of protecting pets, the Humane Society of the United States offers these tips for inclusion in your family disaster plan:

Do not leave your pets behind.
Securely fasten a current identification tag to your pet's collar and carry a photograph of your pet. It's important to include the phone number of a friend or family member on the tag so anyone who may find your pet is able to reach someone who knows you.
Transport pets in secure pet carriers and keep pets on leashes or harnesses.
Call hotels in a safe/host location and ask if you can bring your pets. Most emergency shelters do not admit pets.
Call friends, family members, veterinarians or boarding kennels in a safe/host location to arrange foster care if you and your pets cannot stay together.
Pack a week's supply of food, water and other provisions, such as medication or cat litter.
Keep a list of emergency phone numbers (veterinarian, local animal control, animal shelters, Red Cross, etc.).

Possessions and Documents

Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
Passports, social security cards, immunization records
Bank account numbers
Credit card account numbers and companies
Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members . -Keep a smaller version of your supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
Keep items in airtight plastic bags. - Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. - Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year.-Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.

The above information is also available from The American Red Cross.

 

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