In actual fact, emergency supplies are an essential component to being prepared for disasters and emergencies. There are basic items such as a first aid kit, flashlights, water, weather radio, food and several other items that are the foundation for building a kit. All of these items are accessible at just about any local store. Yet, barely half of Americans have emergency supplies. It is time to look at emergency supplies slightly differently. When they are considered as an extra task that has to be completed, it can easily become something that is put off and never done. We know that we need emergency supplies in case a disaster comes our way but we have to get to the point where we are actually building our kits.
When building your emergency kit, one of the first thing you should do is check to see what you may have in your home already. For example, if you already have bandages, gauze, flashlights, and spare clothing, you have a great start to an emergency kit. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy kits in order to feel prepared. The holiday season officially kicks off this month and this is the perfect time to think about emergency supplies. Every year we spend time shopping for presents and decorating our homes for the holidays. This is also a great time to start picking up emergency supplies that you need while you are out shopping.
Purchasing emergency supplies for family, friends, and neighbors is a great way to help our communities become disaster resilient. Consider gifting items to parents, college students, and elderly neighbors to help them begin to build their emergency kit. Keep in mind that you may have to leave home in a hurry. Therefore, keeping some supplies in your car is a great way to be prepared. In the event of an emergency evacuation, you don’t have to worry about packing lots of items if you already have some of the items that you need. Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of items you may need in order to have a complete kit. Look at the list of items you need and check them off as you acquire them.
Consider the entire family and your specific needs when packing emergency supplies. If you have pets, you will want to have extra food stored away and even some in the car. If you anticipate that you will have trouble evacuating your pets, keep a carrier or leash in the car for ease of transportation. Other items to keep handy for your pets include microchip information, medication, ID cards/tags and water. In the event that you will need to seek shelter elsewhere, keep a list of nearby hotels that are pet friendly. Remember most regular shelters do not allow pets. In some instances you may find a shelter that will have a designated pet shelter close enough to the regular shelter that you may still be able to care for your pet until it is time to leave.
If you have children, keep extra items on hand such as baby food or formula, diapers, wipes, and comfort toys. To help reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with dealing with a disaster, feel free to pack books, board games, and other items that would help keep them calm. You should keep a variety of nonperishable snacks in your emergency bag as well but be sure to consider those that may have special dietary needs. If there is anyone who may be gluten free or diabetic, keep some items stashed with your emergency supplies. This will come in handy for events when you cannot get to the store to purchase items you need.
Severe weather, flooding, fires and more can cause the power to go out. In the event that it does, you will want to have some cash on hand because ATM and store card machines may not be available for use. Another necessity you may not have available to use is access to a pharmacy. Keep a list of all your medications or even empty pill bottles that will allow you to keep track of what you need. Other essential items include blankets, weather radio, whistle, and extra batteries. Remember, you don’t have to do everything all at once. With the Do1thing program, you can take small steps towards being prepared for disasters and emergencies. It is better to get started with some items than to have not started the process at all.