Emergency Supply Kit
In the event of an emergency, being prepared is a high priority. Whether its a real disaster or a minor emergency, having certain emergency supplies can can mean life or death. An emergency supply kit is simply a collection of supplies that may help you in an emergency. As with any supply kit you'll need to tailor the suggestions listed below to meet your specific needs, skills, location and circumstances – no such supply list can cover the needs of everyone in every situation, everywhere.
FEMA recommends basic kits include the following:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit (and manual)
- 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
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Supplies can be stored in vehicles, homes, or offices in many ways. Backpacks, totes and strongboxes are recommended storage options. Some "preppers" utilize double storing, a kit in a backpack or sack inside a tote, this allows the bag to be taken out at a moments notice without sacrificing storage space on a bulky or unsightly bag.
Caring for an Emergency Supply kit is just as important as having one. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:
- Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.
- Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented or corroded.
- Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies.
- Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
- Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family's needs change.
Plan ahead, be prepared and be safe.
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