An Emergency Supply Kit is a Vital Part of Emergency Preparedness
When a disaster happens, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days, a week or even longer. You might need to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Once the emergency happens, there won’t be time to go shopping or try to find and gather together all the essential items you will need. When disaster strikes, having an emergency supply kit ready will save you precious time and just might save your life. Because it may take several days for emergency services to be able to assist you in a disaster, your emergency supply kit should contain enough food, water and supplies to sustain you and your family a minimum of three days. You never know when or where an emergency will occur, so you should also consider having a kit ready in your vehicle as well as where you work.
Home Emergency Kit
Your home emergency kit should contain essential food, water and supplies to live on for at least three days. Keep your emergency kit in a designated location in your home and in an easy to carry container in case you need to evacuate (you should also keep a smaller emergency kit in your car). Make sure that all family members know where the emergency kit is kept.
Below is a checklist of items that you could include in your emergency and first aid kits. As you prepare your kit, think about your family’s particular needs and adapt this list as needed.
Home Emergency Kit Checklist:
- 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 food);
- A battery powered radio and extra batteries; and
- First Aid Kit Checklist: Sterile adhesive bandages (assorted sizes), gauze pads (2 and 3-inch), three-day supply of any prescription medications, triangular bandages, hypoallergenic adhesive tape, sterile roller bandages (2 and 3-inch), scissors, tweezers, needles, safety razor blade, safety pins (assorted sizes), snake bite kit, cold pack, bar of soap, moist towelettes, non-breakable thermometer, antiseptic spray, latex gloves, petroleum jelly or other lubricant, tongue blades and wooden applicator sticks, aspirin and non-aspirin pain reliever, antacid, laxative, eye wash, rubbing alcohol, antiseptic or hydrogen peroxide, anti-diarrhea medication, emetic (to induce vomiting), sturdy shoes or work boots, heavy socks (at least two pairs), hats and gloves, extra clothing and blankets, rain gear, cash, tools and supplies, case/nylon bag/fanny pack, mess kits or paper cups, plates, plastic utensils, small fire extinguisher, flashlight and extra batteries, paper and pencil/pen, non-electric can opener, multi-purpose tool/utility knife, tent, plastic sheeting, duct tape ,pliers, compass, signal flare, whistle to signal for help, needles and thread, aluminum foil, waterproof matches, shut off wrench for gas and water, work gloves, plastic storage containers, medicine dropper, cash or travelers checks and change, dust mask (for dust/debris), toilet paper, battery powered fan, extra keys for car and house, light sticks, map of local and out of state area, nylon cord, portable generator, pre-paid phone card (if possible), scissors, spray paint, propane cooking stove, pot and pan for cooking, wet wipes, ziploc bags, hard hat, pry bar, personal hygiene items, feminine supplies, disinfectant, plastic garbage bags and ties, soap, household chlorine bleach, small shovel, plastic bucket with tight lid (which can be used as an indoor toilet) and special items.
- For children: Baby formula/food, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, medications, games/activities, special toy for comfort, wet wipes, extra sets of clothing (check sizes every three months), anti-rash ointment, emergency contact information in case you are separated during an emergency.
For adults: Any prescription medications (heart, high blood pressure, insulin, etc.), denture needs, contact lenses and supplies, extra eyeglasses, playing cards and books, important legal documents, such as deeds, insurance policies and identification cards stored in a waterproof container, feminine supplies, lip balm and sunscreen and personal hygiene items.
For pets: 3-day supply of food and water, medications and medical records, pet first aid kit, extra leash and collar, dishes/bowls, cat litter/pan, copies of licenses, name and phone number of veterinarian, microchip or tattoo number, toys, treats, bedding, paper towels and cleanup bags.
Vehicle Emergency Kit
A roadside emergency can happen at any time. In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car. This kit should contain food, water, first aid supplies, flares, jumper cables and seasonal supplies. You should also have a cellular phone and charger.
(Emergency tip: If you have to dial 911, remember that your location and phone number aren’t always available to an emergency operator when calling from a cell phone. Be sure to provide the operator with your number and any information you have about your location.) A checklist of emergency supply items for your vehicle is listed below.
Vehicle Emergency Kit Checklist:
- First Aid Kit: Sterile adhesive bandages (assorted sizes), gauze pads (2 and 3-inch), triangular bandages, hypoallergenic adhesive tape, sterile roller bandages (2 and 3- inch), scissors, tweezers, needles, safety razor blade, safety pins (assorted sizes), snake bite kit, cold pack, bar of soap, moist towelettes, non-breakable thermometer, antiseptic spray, latex gloves, petroleum jelly or other lubricant, tongue blades and wooden applicator sticks, aspirin and non-aspirin pain reliever, antacid, laxative, eye wash, rubbing alcohol, antiseptic or hydrogen peroxide, anti-diarrhea medication, emetic (to induce vomiting), fire extinguisher, warning light, hazard triangle or flares, tire gauge, jack and lug wrench, foam tire sealant or a portable compressor and plug kit, spare fuses, jumper cables or a portable battery booster, weatherproof flashlight, gloves, hand cleaner and clean rags, auto club card or roadside assistance number (if you belong to an auto club or roadside assistance program), $20 in small bills and change, pen and pad of paper.
- Basic tools: Set of sockets and open end wrenches, multi tip screwdriver, wire cutter, knife, bottle opener, pliers, coolant, hose repair kit, tape, extra clothing, water and nonperishable emergency food (enough for at least 3 days) and a help sign.
Items for winter driving: Windshield scraper, tire chains and tow strap, blanket and winter hat, chemical hand warmers, small folding shovel and a bag of cat litter (This can help provide some traction on an especially slick road surface).
Rufus Stokes, Code Director