How to Prepare An Emergency Kit for Home
The earthquake on the East Coast and the hurricane Irene have all of us thinking about emergency preparedness. I was home when the earthquake hit New York, and as my table was shaking I didn't even realize it was an earthquake. At first I thought it was my dog scratching himself under the table, or maybe that I was just madly typing so fast that the entire table started shaking. I even heard the rumbling noise, but thought it was thunder. I didn't realize it was an earthquake until my husband called to make sure we were ok!
The earthquake didn't do any damage and our day went by normally, but it did make me think about how important it is to be prepared for emergencies. Do you have an emergency kit at home? If not, it's always good to have one. Here are some basic items that you will need to create an emergency kit for your home. Make a plan to create one this week, and get the kids to help you. It will be a great time to talk with them about different emergency situations and get them prepared. I hope you will never have to use the kit, but by getting your kids prepared and talking to them about emergencies you will immediately make a real situation better; your kids and you will know what to do.
Recommended items to include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit by the Ready.gov:
- 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
- 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
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks and change
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children