Homeowner How-Tos: Building an Emergency Kit

Disaster can strike at any time. Floods, earthquakes, fires and even car accidents can put you and your family in a difficult situation. The better prepared you are for an emergency, the better chance you have of getting through it safely. These tips will help you prepare yourself and your family for any unexpected events that may arise. emergency-preparation-the-best-foods-to-stockpile.jpg  Photo credit: Everyday Family

To be prepared, you should put together a well-thought-out emergency kit. But what do you put in it? Experts recommend including enough items to sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours. This means you should stash enough water, food, medication and other essentials to last for three days.

  • Food:
    Go for foods that are lightweight and easy to carry like MREs, freeze dried foods and beef jerky.

  • Important Documents:
    Keep copies of identification, health insurance cards, mortgage papers, homeowner insurance, bank account information in a waterproof container (if you use a plastic storage bag, double or triple it).
  • Infant Care Items:
    Include formula, diapers, baby acetaminophen, dropper, baby wipes, and diaper rash salve.
  • Medications:
    Blood pressure medication, insulin, epi pen, and other vital medications in at least a three-day supply.
  • First Aid Book:
    There are several good small field guide first aid books are available.
  • Phone Numbers:
    With cell phones, people have neglected to memorize phone numbers, because they don’t have to anymore! Keep a card that contains contact information for each family member, relatives, friends. Print it on a business card, laminate it, and give one to each family member as well as keep a couple in your emergency kit.
  • Cell Phone:
    You may not be able to grab your personal cell phone, so keep a pay as you go phone and a card to add minutes. Program important numbers into the phone so you have them when you need them.
  • Pet Food:
    Dry pet food will last longer and is easier to carry. Also, add some extra water for each pet.
  • Personal Hygiene Items:
    This includes feminine products, a bar of soap, hand sanitizer and other essentials.
  • Pencil and Paper:
    Keep a small notepad, some pencils, and a couple of pens in a waterproof container.
  • Clothing:
    Pack a long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks, underwear and sturdy shoes for each family member.
  • Blankets:
    Pack a regular blanket or get a few space blankets if storage is a problem.
  • Other Items:
    A battery-powered radio, extra batteries and a flashlight are also great items to have in a grab-and-go emergency kit.

Since you can’t predict where you will be when a disaster strikes, it is a good idea to build an emergency kit to keep at home and build another one to keep in your car. Keep it in a spot where you can grab it on your way out if you have to leave quickly. If you have a two-story house, it’s also a good idea to put collapsible fire ladders in each upstairs bedroom.

 

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