Preparing for Emergencies
Emergency Supply Kit
After an emergency, first responders may not be able to reach everyone right away. Once something happens, time may not be available to gather all the supplies needed which is why it is important to have these supplies on hand to survive for at least a limited time. FEMA recommends a 3-day supply kit based on studies of past disasters and the average time a family may be on their own before assistance is available.
Your kit can be stored in an easy-to-carry container such as a duffle bag, storage container or trash can.
Emergency Supply Kit Items:
- Water, one gallon per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three day supply of non-perishable foods
- Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- 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
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
- Cash, in the case that ATMs are not available or the use of credit/debit cards would not be able to be used
- A copy of important documents such as passports, immunization records and Social Security cards
It is important to update these items every six months - supplies may have expired, be close to expiration or be spoiled. This is also an excellent time to practice your emergency plans. See below for tips on practicing your plan.
For additional information about Emergency Supply Kits, please visit Ready.gov.
If a disaster hit today, would you be prepared? Do you know all your emergency contacts, meeting places, or what parts of your home are more structurally safe than others? Creating a plan is easy and takes only a few minutes. It will include each family member of your household, places you spend time, family pets, emergency contact numbers, and emergency meeting places. Including each family member of your household in the planning can help to get your family prepared. For more information about a personalized family plan, please visit the KnoWhat2Do website.
Planning for Pets
Don't forget to include your pets in your disaster plans. Take them with you if you evacuate but remember, pets are not allowed in public shelters unless they are service animals. Make a list of friends, family, veterinarians or boarding facilities that can keep your pet if needed.
Pet Emergency Supply Kit:
- Pet food and treats
- Drinkable water in plastic bottles
- Can opener for canned food
- Pet medications/medical records in waterproof container
- Leash, harness and/or carriers (remember they may be scared and may act differently)
- Veterinarians name and phone number
- Current photo in case they get lost
Planning for Functional Needs
If you or someone in your home has functional or medical needs it is important to incorporate them into your disaster planning.
Ways to help prepare for an emergency:
- Keep 7-14 days of medication on hand and have a list of medication(s) taken including dosage and schedule.
- Keep any support items in a designated place for easy transport if you need to leave quickly.
- Provide power company with a list of all power-dependent life support equipment and plan for an alternate power source in advance.
- Create a food supply kit for those with special dietary needs.
__________________________________________________________________________Practice your Plan!
Once you and your family have created an emergency plan, it is time to practice the plan:
- Practicing your plan will help you and your family respond in a timely and organized manner.
- Do a fire drill/emergency evacuation drill at least 2 times per year.
- Have alternate escape routes from your residence and practice each of them.
- Establish a primary and secondary meeting place outside of the residence.
- As a family talk about the various hazards that can occur and how to react to them.
- Include your pets in your evacuation planning and practice with them.
- This is the perfect time to check your go kits and replace any expired items and/or recycle items close to expiration with new items.