Your Emergency Preparedness Kit
The seven basic items that should be stored in your home are water, food, first-aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools, emergency supplies, medications and specialty items. Keep a sufficient supply of daily medications. Keep the items that you would most likely need at home in one easy-to-carry container such as a trash can, camping backpack or duffel bag. Store it in a convenient place and put a smaller version in your car. Keep items in airtight plastic bags.
• Remember to change the stored water and rotate the food supplies every six months (place dates on containers).
• Check the supplies and re-think your needs every year.
• Consult your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications and maintain a list of your prescription needs.
• Store water in plastic containers or purchase bottled water, avoiding containers that will decompose or break, such as glass bottles. Plan for one gallon of water per person per day. Water should be stored in a cool, dark place with the date labeled on the container. Do not store tap water.
• Store a supply of three-to-five day’s worth of nonperishable food per person. Foods should require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. Examples include: ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables; canned or boxed juices, milk and soup; condiments such as sugar, salt and pepper; high-energy food like peanut butter, jelly, low-sodium crackers, granola bars and trail mix; vitamins; foods for infants or persons on special diets; cookies, hard candy, instant coffee and sweetened cereals. Bulk food items such as wheat, powdered milk, corn, and soybeans can be stored for extended periods of time.
• First-Aid Kit Assemble a first-aid kit for your home and each vehicle. Items should include sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes, gauze pads, hypoallergenic adhesive tape, triangular bandages, sterile roller bandages, scissors, tweezers, needle, moistened towelettes, antiseptic, thermometer, tongue blades, tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant, safety pins, cleansing soap, latex gloves and sunscreen. Also, aspirin, anti-diarrhea medication, Syrup of Ipecac, activated charcoal (for poisoning) and laxatives.
• Tools and Supplies Keep the following items handy for all-around use: extra batteries of assorted sizes (check shelf life before purchasing), mess kits or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, battery-operated radio, flashlight, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, cash (include change) and/or traveler's checks, non-electric can opener and utility knife, small ABC fire extinguisher, tube tent, pliers, compass, water-proof matches, plastic storage containers, signal flares, paper and pencil, needles and thread, medicine dropper, shut-off wrench for house gas and water, whistle, plastic sheeting and local map. For sanitation, pack toilet paper, soap and liquid detergent, feminine supplies, plastic garbage bags with ties, a plastic bucket and lid, disinfectant and household chlorine bleach. Clothing and Bedding Assemble one or two complete changes of clothing per person, sturdy shoes or work boots, rain gear, blankets or sleeping bags, hat and gloves, thermal underwear and sunglasses. Wear clothing that will protect you even in warm weather.
• Specialty Items
o Babies - formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk and medication
o Adults - medications, prescriptions, denture needs, eye glasses and/or contact lenses, and related supplies
o Entertainment - games, books and several quiet toys for children
o Important Family Documents - wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, passports, stocks and bonds, immunization records, important phone numbers, credit card accounts, social security cards and other personal family records.