Creating an emergency disaster kit

By: Anthony DiStefano, Emergency Services Director, Midland Division

Tornados, earthquakes, floods, civil unrest, and the list goes on.  Whatever the disaster may be, you may need to survive on your own once a disaster strikes. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least four days. Relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. Help may come in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, weeks, or even longer.

Recommended Items in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water. One gallon of water per person per day for at least four days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Food. At least a four-day supply of non-perishable food. Can opener.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio with extra batteries.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Dustmask to filter contaminated air.
  • 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.
  •  Local maps.
  • Cell phone with chargers.
  • Prescription medications, aspirins and glasses.
  • Infant formula and diapers.
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change.
  • Important documents (or copies) of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. Include paper and pencil.
  • Emergency reference material.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted 9 parts water to 1 part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant.
  • Fire Extinguisher. Knife.
  • Matches in a waterproof container.
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels.

 Have these items ready, and you can be ready for anything!

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