We've discussed how to create an escape plan for your family and how to communicate with them when an emergency happens. But what should you do to prepare for an emergency when you need to stay in your own home? What do you need in case you are without electricity or other utilities for a few days? Creating an emergency kit can help to provide your family food, water and supplies in case you need to shelter in place for a few days. Here are some tips for creating your family emergency kit (kits should aim to provide for your family for 72 hours):
- Water--Have one gallon of water per person and family pet per day (minimum of 3 per family member)
- Food--You don't need to overstock canned goods if you have a well stocked refrigerator. On Day 1 you can finish the food in your refrigerator. On Day 2 your can eat from the food in your freezer (try to avoid opening the freezer if you do not have power until you need to).
- Communication--If you have a land line, make sure you have a phone that plugs directly into the phone line and does not require electricity. If you are a cell phone only family, look for a hand crank charger or solar charger (Solio makes affordable solar chargers available at Radio Shack stores).
- First Aid & Sanitation--Make sure you have basic first aid supplies such as band aids, disinfectants, gauze, pain relievers, etc. You may want to consider taking a basic First Aid class from your local Red Cross. Also, keep a supply of wet wipes to help keep clean.
- Light--Look for glow sticks or kerosene lanterns (always follow safety precautions when using kerosene). Check into solar and hand crank lighting options.
- Other--Cash in small denominations, important medications for family members, a tent in case your home becomes unsafe.
These are just the basics to get your kit started. Visit FEMA's Ready.gov for more great tips on building your emergency kit. Next time we'll discuss where to keep your kit once it's ready.
With spring and all the nasty weather it brings right around the corner, March is Emergency Organizing month at Simple Solutions Design. Be sure to check out all the posts to make sure your family is prepared for the big while it is still small.
Photo Credit: digitalart