Hello? Anybody out there? When disaster strikes, city services may be cut off and local disaster relief and government responders may not be able to reach you. You need to have plans and supplies in place to make it on your own, at least for a limited time, no matter where you are when an emergency happens. Start planning now!
Creating Your Emergency Supply Kit
Remember how long it took to pack for your last vacation? That’s why everyone should have an Emergency Supply Kit ready to go. Pack supplies in a duffle bag, suitcase or storage container and keep it in an easily accessible place. Remember: check and update your kit every year—test batteries, check expiration dates (don’t bother with the Twinkies®) and update important documents.
- Water—one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food—at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Radio—Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask—to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Personal sanitation—Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Cash—in case ATMs are unavailable or something prevents the use of credit/debit cards
Don’t forget to include critical items for:
- Functional needs family members—Medications, special foods, medical equipment
- Infants—formula, diapers, bottles
- Pets—food, leash, medications
Go through your calendar now, and put a reminder on it—every six months—to review your plan, update numbers, and check supplies to be sure nothing has expired, spoiled, or changed. Also remember to practice your tornado, fire escape or other disaster plans.