What’s in your emergency kit? Prepare when the weather is nice

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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.

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.

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