Remember the ice storm of 2008? Many were left in the dark without electricity and heat for days, weeks even. When disaster strikes, it’s important to be prepared. One crucial way to prepare for an emergency is to create your own home emergency kit. Of course, we hope your essential supplies never will be needed, however, it’s best to be ready just in case. What should you include in your kit? Print our Emergency Preparedness Checklist.
- Water. Sources from FEMA and AARP advise at least 1 gallon per person per day for at least three days. Store in plastic sterile containers. Tap water generally can be stored up to two weeks. Add two-three drops of standard household bleach to each gallon to disinfect.
- Food. Store enough food for three to five days. Make sure the food is nonperishable and easy to prepare (boxed juices, soup, peanut butter, jelly, granola bars, canned fruits/veggies). Also pack a can opener, utensils, paper plates and infant food if necessary. For babies, pack formula, bottles, powdered milk or breast milk.
- Tools/Supplies. Flashlight, battery-operated AM/FM radio, extra batteries, carbon monoxide detectors, small ABC fire extinguisher, plastic storage containers, Sewing supplies, signal flares, etc.
- Travel-Size Toiletries. Pack your basic toiletry necessities like a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, feminine supplies, toilet paper, soap, baby diapers etc.
- First Aid-Kit. Thermometer, gauze pads, hypoallergenic adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, needle, antiseptic, petroleum jelly, Band-Aids, cleansing wipes, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, antibiotic ointment, instant cold pack, gloves, safety pins, sunscreen, cough syrup, anti-diarrhea medicine, laxatives, activated charcoal, etc.
- Cash. Include small bills or even rolled quarters, in case ATMs are out of order.
- Important Documents. Bring your license, passports, birth certificates, insurance cards, social security cards, bank account numbers, immunization records, financial records, will, important telephone numbers, etc. Store in a waterproof container.
- Prescription Meds. Pack at least three days worth of medication. Hearing aids and supplies, denture needs, eyewear, and contact lens supplies.
- Clothing/Bedding. Pack at least three days worth of clothes, sturdy shoes/boots, hat and gloves, sunglasses, rain gear, and undergarments. Warm blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags.
- Pet Care Items. Pet identification, immunization records, a supply of food and water, a carrier or cage, medications, leash, and pet toys.
Print our Emergency Preparedness Checklist.
For more information on emergency plans and emergency tool kits, visit these disaster planning sites: Ready, FEMA and AARP.
Join the conversation. What else would you include in your emergency kit?