Build an Emergency Kit - Week 3

If a disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. Take steps now to put together an emergency supply kit so that you will be prepared in case something happens. Plan on having these kits last you and each member of your family for a minimum of 72 hours. You should have emergency kits for your home, office, school, and vehicle. You never know where you will be during an emergency.

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Putting Together An Emergency Kit

An emergency supply kit is a collection of basic items that you might need during an emergency. You should also review your kit periodically and rotate stock to insure items are kept in date. It's good to involve whoever is going to use the kit, including children, in assembling it.

Be sure to include these items:

  • Flashlight (hand cranked preferred)
  • Bottled water (at least three gallons of water per person)
  • Battery powered lantern
  • Form of identification
  • Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
  • High energy foods - peanut butter, jelly, crackers, etc.
  • Protective clothing, rainwear
  • Compass
  • Extra pair of glasses and sunglasses
  • Soap
  • Plastic garbage bag and ties
  • Car keys and keys to the place you may be going (friend's or relative's home)
  • Clothing and bedding: a change of clothes, footwear and a sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member
  • Extra batteries
  • Canned food and non-electric can opener
  • Battery-powered radio (NOAA hand cranked)
  • Tape
  • Ready to eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Utility knife, shut off wrench, and pliers
  • Vitamins
  • Paper and pencils
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Personal items
  • Pet food
  • First aid kit and essential medications-prescription medications and list of medications for each person
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on.)

Important papers to take with you in a portable, waterproof container:

  • Driver's license or personal identification
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of residence (deed or lease)
  • Insurance policies
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates
  • Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns

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