Putting together an emergency preparedness kit is an important part of personal preparation for any disaster. These kits can help you withstand the mental and physical toll of a disaster by ensuring that you have the supplies you need to cope with the aftermath of a disaster or other emergency situation. The primary benefit of these kits is that they can help ensure that you are self-sufficient for a period of time after a disaster.
When utilities go down or you are without transportation, having a emergency preparedness kit can make a huge difference in your comfort and well-being. Here is a look at some of the top items you should include in an emergency preparedness kit.
Ideally, you should have supplies of food and water for 3-5 days. For more extensive planning, you can always stock up on these items for a longer length of time. These are the most important survival essentials for any emergency situation, but especially one where power and water utilities may be disrupted. Make sure that you have enough food and water for everyone in your house for a minimum of 2-3 days. If utilities haven’t been restored, you should be able to seek local and state emergency resources after the disaster. Remaining as self sufficient as possible, however, will ensure that you can withstand the immediate aftermath of a disaster before emergency resources are fully mobilized.
Beyond food and water, you will want a range of other items in your emergency kit to keep you comfortable and safe. Things like blankets, extra clothes, lanterns, flashlights, batteries, medication, and first aid kits are all very useful. If you are left without power, gas, or water in the aftermath of a disaster, these items will be extremely beneficial. Most of these items are things you should have on hand around the house anyway. Putting them together in a single location in anticipation of a disaster situation will benefit you immensely. Be sure to keep first aid kits, batteries, and any medication up to date in your kit. Inspect the kit regularly and update medication and change out old batteries that may no longer function.
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It is a good idea to keep maps of your area on hand, a list of emergency contacts–in the event you have no phone–, and a phone and radio. Most people will likely have their phones on them at all times, but be sure that you have a backup form of communication as well. Natural disasters vary widely in their impact on a city or town, so having a range of items to ensure that you make it through the aftermath is very important. Navigational tools and communication devices are extremely important items to have available. Emergency kits can be compiled over time, so take your time thinking out every item you intend to include in the kit.