Creating Customized Emergency Preparedness Kits

If a disaster comes along, you can be on your own for some time. Although that may seem frightening, emergency preparedness kits can provide everything that you need to live independently until help arrives. Rescue and relief workers respond immediately to disasters, but unfortunately they are often unable to assist everyone right away. With the right equipment placed in basic emergency preparedness kits, you can survive for hours or even days if you need to do so.

The best time to get your kit ready is long before a disaster happens. While some natural disasters like hurricanes can be predicted with accuracy, other catastrophic events can occur with little or no warning. Having a good emergency preparedness kit in a safe and accessible location can mean the difference in life and death. At the very least, it can help you survive more comfortably until help arrives or the danger subsides.

It only makes sense to be prepared, but what do you put in your emergency preparedness kit? The minimum supplies are:

  • Water – allow one gallon of water per day per person. Maintain at least a three-day supply. The water will be used for drinking and for sanitation purposes.
  • Food – All foods should be non-perishable. Be sure to include a manual can opener in your kit.
  • First aid kit – The minimum supplies are antiseptics, bandages, and tape. Adding a mild pain reliever like aspirin is advisable.
  • Flashlight (with extra batteries) – Refresh your supply of batteries at regular intervals.
  • Basic tools – a wrench and screwdriver can be used to turn off gas, water, and power supply lines.
  • Whistle – This is a great way to signal for help. It is small and anyone can use it.
  • Moist towelettes – These are to be used for personal hygiene.
  • Plastic garbage bags – Use these for personal sanitation when necessary.
  • Cell phone with extra or solar-powered batteries
  • Battery powered radio
  • Local maps – Take the time to highlight directions to health providers and emergency services.

These basic supplies are inexpensive and easy to assemble. Refresh food and water supplies at least every three months. They should be placed in a secure location and everyone in the home should know where they are stored. These items are the bare minimum items that should be included.

There are several other items that many individuals include in their emergency preparedness kits. They may include:

  • Prescription medications
  • Glasses
  • Baby food and/or infant formula
  • Diapers
  • A change of clothes for every member of the family
  • Cash
  • Important documents (insurance policies, bank account records, birth certificates, identification). Be sure to keep these items in a waterproof container.
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Blanket or sleeping bag for each person.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches (in waterproof containers)
  • Feminine hygiene items
  • Disposable plates, cups, napkins
  • Paper and pencil
  • Games or activities for children

Many of us know first-hand what it means to be faced with a disaster. If a disaster happens to you, we want you to be prepared. That is why we offer our free crisis management and planning guides. The safety of you and your family are of primary importance. Possessions, though valued, can be replaced. Protect the people that are most important to you. Use our guides to help you create your own emergency preparedness kit.