When the weather is calm, we don’t tend to think about preparing for a disaster. That’s exactly when we should. That way you’re not caught off guard when severe weather strikes or any other catastrophic event takes place.
The Red Cross and FEMA recommend having a weather-ready safety kit available not only at home, but in your car and at the office as well.
An emergency safety kit should contain the basic essentials for riding out a potential 3-day disruption due to a storm or other unforeseeable disaster.
To help you assemble your kit, here are those basic essentials:
- Water (one gallon of water per person for at least 3 days; this includes drinking water and sanitation purposes)
- Food (a 3-day supply of non-perishable food for each person in your family)
- Can openers (for opening non-perishable canned food) and utensils
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- A whistle to signal for help
- Weather Radio (especially the ones that have a mode of self-power, like a hand crank or solar panels)
- 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
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
- Blankets/jackets (they keep you warm in the winter and they protect you from potentially dangerous debris during spring/summer/fall thunderstorms)
Your kit will vary in size depending on your individual needs, your family’s needs, as well as the storage available in your home, work and vehicle.
- Additional/special needs items to consider for your family:
- Extra medication (enough for a week); copies of prescriptions
- Pet food and water, health forms, IDs for family dogs, cats, birds, etc
- Bottles, diapers, etc for families with infants and young children
- Extra medication, denture care, spare eyeglasses or contact lenses with solution, spare hearing aid batteries for elderly family members
For an extensive list of items to keep in a safety kit, as well as storage solutions, be sure to check out this resource from Ready.gov.