Your Emergency Preparedness Kit
The basic items that should be stored in your home are water, food, first-aid supplies, a fire extinguisher, clothing and bedding, tools, emergency supplies and specialty items. Keep the items that you would most likely need at home in one easy-to-carry container such as a trash can, plastic storage container, camping backpack or duffel bag. Store it in a convenient place, and put a smaller version in your car. Remember to change the stored water and rotate the food supplies every six months. Consult your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications, and maintain a list of your prescription needs.
Purchase bottled water, or store tap water in clean, airtight plastic containers. Avoid containers that will decompose or break, such as glass bottles. Plan to have one gallon of water per person per day available. Water should be stored in a cool, dark place with the date labeled on the container. Having some water purification tablets on hand could also be useful in the event of an extended water service outage.
Store a three- to five-day supply of nonperishable food per person. Foods should require no refrigeration, preparation, or cooking, and little or no water. Examples include:
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Canned or boxed juices
- Condiments such as sugar, salt and pepper
- Hard candy, instant coffee, and sweetened cereal
- High-energy food like peanut butter, jelly, low-sodium crackers, granola bars and trail mix, and vitamins
- Foods for infants or individuals on special diets
- Powdered milk and soup
- Ready-to-eat canned meats
Bulk food items such as wheat, powdered milk, corn and soybeans can be stored for extended periods.
Assemble a first-aid kit for your home and each vehicle. Items should include:
- Ace bandages
- Cleansing soap
- Gauze pads
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Latex gloves and sunscreen
- Moistened towelettes
- Safety pins
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Sterile gauze roll bandages
- Tongue depressors
- Triangular bandages
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
Other items include aspirin or other pain medication, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids and laxatives.
Tools and Supplies
Keep the following items handy for all-around use:
- Adjustable wrench
- Aluminum foil
- Battery-powered radio
- Bow saw
- Cash / coins and/or traveler’s checks
- Duct tape
- Extra batteries of assorted sizes (check shelf life before purchasing)
- Medicine dropper
- Mess kits or paper cups
- Needles and thread
- Non-electric can opener and utility knife
- Paper and pencil or pen
- Plastic storage containers
- Plates and plastic utensils
- Signal flares
- Small fire extinguisher
- Tube tent
- Waterproof matches
- Whistle, plastic sheeting and local map
Keep the following items available for sanitation purpose:
- Packaged toilet paper
- Soap and liquid detergent
- Feminine supplies
- Plastic garbage bags with ties
- Plastic bucket and lid
- Disinfectant and household chlorine bleach
- Clothing and Bedding - Assemble one or two complete changes of clothing per person, sturdy shoes or work boots, rain gear, blankets or sleeping bags, hat and gloves, thermal underwear and sunglasses.
- Specialty Items to consider:
- Infants and small children—formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk and medication.
- Adults—medications, prescriptions, denture needs, eyeglasses and/or contact lenses and related supplies, personal hygiene items.
- Entertainment—games, books and several quiet toys for children.
- Important Family Documents—Wills, insurance policies, bank account numbers, contracts, deeds, passports, stocks and bonds, immunization records, important phone numbers, credit card accounts, Social Security cards and other personal family records.