So, last month, we went over earthquake preparedness. A major part of that is your Emergency Supply Kit. I keep an Emergency Kit in my car for multiple trips a month to RP. However, when I went to pull mine out to write this article, I found that I had pilfered the whole kit down to nothing, so basically, I was carting an empty backpack down and back. So, thankfully, due to this research, my kit is back to fully stocked.
It’s advised to be able to make it on your own for at least three days. Put together two kits. In one, put everything needed to stay where you are. The other should be portable so you can take it with you if you have to get away.
Emergency Supply Kit Checklist
Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person; estimate a gallon per person each day. Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water. If you live in a warm weather climate, more water may be necessary – YES RP this means you! Store water tightly in clean plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. We always bring a case of bottled water every trip down.
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, minimal preparation and little or no water. Sounds like a good plan on a regular day!
Pack a can opener, cups, plates and plastic utensils. Choose foods that have a longer shelf life, such as:
Canned meats, fruits and vegetables, Protein bars, dry cereal, Peanut butter, Dried fruit, Nuts, Crackers
First Aid Kit
In an emergency, someone may be cut, burned or suffer other injuries. If you have basic supplies you are better prepared to help someone when they’re hurt. Many injuries aren’t life threatening and don’t require immediate medical attention. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination. You can purchase a pre-made first aid kit online, but I was able to restock my kit at the dollar store, with more and larger quantity supplies for about the same cost. I added things to assist if you happen to be hung-over (it’s a realistic possibility in RP!) I also added instant coffee and creamer because seriously, cannot function without caffeine.
|Two pairs of sterile gloves
|First Aid book
|Soap and antibiotic towelettes
|Non-prescription drugs (aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, laxative)
|Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
|Eye wash solution
Other helpful Items
|Cell phone charger with crank or solar power
|Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
|Whistle to signal for help
|Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
|Moist towelettes for sanitation
|Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
|Plastic sheeting and duct tape for shelter
|Matches in a waterproof container
|Personal hygiene items
|Household chlorine bleach – You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water.
|Copies of important family records in a waterproof portable container
|Cash or traveler’s checks, change
One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including A jacket, Long pants
|Long sleeve shirt
|Hat and gloves
|Sleeping bag or warm blanket
Remember the special needs of your family. Infants, the elderly and persons with disabilities may need extra planning. Ask your doctor about storing prescription medications such as heart and high blood pressure medication and insulin. Consider the following for your kit:
|Contact lenses and supplies
|Extra eyeglasses and hearing aid batteries
For Infants – You probably have all this handy in your diaper bag now:
|Diaper rash ointment
For Seniors and People with Disabilities
Plan how you will evacuate or signal for help. Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to help identify your disability. If you are dependent on dialysis or other life sustaining treatment, know the location and availability of more than one facility. Teach others how to operate necessary equipment. Label equipment such as wheelchairs, canes and walkers. Additional supplies include:
A list of prescription medications including dosage and any allergies
A list of the style and serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers
Extra wheelchair batteries and oxygen
Copies of medical insurance cards
A list of doctors and emergency contacts
Maintaining Your Kit
As important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:
Keep canned food in a cool, dry place. (Word to the wise…I kept my food in my backpack in AZ during the HOT summer, the food, was basically useless). Now I keep my kit in my laundry room unless I’m traveling.
Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies.
Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Write dates you store it on all containers.
Re-evaluate your needs yearly and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Keep your supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as a camping backpack or duffel bag.
Information adapted from several sources: Ready America, Ready.gov, Fema.gov.