Disasters and emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time, and usually when you least expect them. Are you and your loved ones prepared? If you were caught in the middle of a natural disaster, today, like a tornado, wildfire, snowstorm, winter freeze, hurricane, or flood, would you have the most essential supplies to help you survive? Or what if you were out on an adventure and an accident happened, would you have the right gear on hand? These are just some of the reasons why you should review our emergency preparedness checklist, and ensure that you have the right supplies to help you and your loved ones stay ready for anything.
The best time to prepare for a disaster is before it strikes. Planning for survival in advance is the ultimate way to ensure the safety of you, your family, and those you love. Having well-stocked emergency kits in your home, cars and at your business should be an essential part of your preparations.
You may choose to build your own emergency kit or opt to jump-start your preparedness by purchasing a comprehensive kit and adding personal items to it. Either way, it is better to have an emergency kit at your disposal than to encounter a potentially life-threatening emergency situation and not having one.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST
6 Essential Emergency Supplies You Should Always Have Readily Available
There are 6 basic supplies you should stock in your home and your business; water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need in the event of an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container.
Having a backup supply of water can be truly life-saving in an emergency. Especially when a natural disaster cuts off your regular water supply or contaminates your water source. It is best to have bottles of water stored in your home or car. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink approximately 2 quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and elderly people will need more. Store one gallon of water per person per day (2 quarts for drinking and 2 quarts for food preparation and sanitation). Keep at least a 3-day supply of emergency water for each person in your household. Many emergency kits come with small packets of water, these are great for when you are on the road or on an adventure, but it is a good idea to have extra waters just in case.
Store at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable emergency food items. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation, or cooking and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno (found in most camping stores). Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Make sure you consider how much food you will need per person for you and your family.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
- Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered store extra water)
- Staples such as sugar, salt, and pepper
- High energy foods like peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, and trail mix
- Food for infants, elderly persons, or persons with special diet requirements
- Comfort and stress relieving foods such as cookies, candy, sweet cereal, lollipops, and coffee or tea
Having a comprehensive first aid kit in your home and one for each of your cars is one of the best ways you can prepare for an emergency. A great first aid kit will have the essential medical supplies that can help you with minor injuries and can even be life-saving. Here is a list of essential items to have in your first aid kit.
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Triangle bandages (3)
- 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
- 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
- Scissors, tweezers, needle, safety pins
- Moistened towelettes
- Petroleum jelly, cleansing soap, sunscreen
- Latex gloves (2 pair)
- Variety of non-prescription medicine such as aspirin and antacid
4. TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
Emergencies can throw a lot of surprises at you and challenge you in ways you did not think were possible. Having a set of essential tools and supplies in your safety kit can go a long way in helping you address these challenges head-on. You will be amazed at how many things you can fix with a utility knife and a roll of duct tape!
- Pliers, tape, compass, matches in a waterproof container
- Aluminum foil, plastic storage containers, plastic garbage bags, and ties
- Signal flare, whistle, paper, pencil
- Needles and thread
- Toilet paper, towelettes, soap, liquid detergent
- Feminine supplies, personal hygiene items
- Plastic bucket with a tight lid
5. CLOTHING AND BEDDING
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear for each person you are preparing for. Also, take the time of year and weather conditions into consideration. During the hot summer months, you may wish to include clothing and accessories that can help protect you from the sun. When temperatures drop in winter, you will want to add warmer clothes and items like gloves and beanies.
- Sturdy shoes or work boots
- Rain gear
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Hats and gloves
- Thermal underwear
6. SPECIALTY & PERSONAL ITEMS
Be thoughtful of family members with special needs such as infants, the elderly, and those with specific medical needs. Making sure their needs are covered is a high priority. So adding personal items to your emergency kit is a crucial step. Customize it by adding:
- Formula Diapers, bottles, sippy cups
- Powdered milk
- Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses and supplies
- Entertainment - board games, books, crosswords
- Important family documents - copies of anything pertinent in a portable waterproof container
JUMPSTART YOUR PREPAREDNESS
GET ONE OF OUR TRUSTED SAFETY KITS
Click the image below to print or download the Ultimate Emergency Preparedness Checklist. Use this checklist to meet your family’s needs and you are well on your way to being prepared for an unforeseen emergency situation. Always store your home emergency kits in a convenient place known to all family members. Be sure to make babysitters or adults caring for your children aware of the kit and its location as well.
Check your stored food and water supplies and any medications every 6 months to make sure nothing has expired. Re-think your safety kits and family needs at least once a year and adjust as necessary. Take this opportunity to replace first aid items, batteries, clothes, or any other items needing control. Also, outfit all of your family or business vehicles with Car Emergency Kits
in order to be prepared for disasters and emergencies while traveling.