Everyone knows that food is essential to survival. In the event of an emergency, the two options are to leave, or stay. Whichever you choose, a source for food is necessary. Try setting aside space in your emergency kit for at least 72 hours worth of food. implementing a food that is high in calories with a long shelf-life is key. "People think of canned soup, spaghettios, beef jerky, and common food products like that as emergency food. You need something that is compact, and that can sustain for as long as possible. Try meal bars with a high caloric content, or individually packed MRE's," Mike Fisher, General Manager of Disaster Relief Supply suggests.
It is easy to group food with water, but water should be thought as a separate entity. In the event of a major disaster or emergency, supplies of water could be contaminated, or shut off altogether. It is recommended to keep both fresh water (bottled or packaged), and water purification items in your kit. Water purification products mainly include filters, solutions, and tablets. Well known home treatments include bleach (in small amounts), iodine, and boiling.
3. First Aid
Emergencies and injuries go hand-in-hand. To prepare for the unexpected, it is best to include basic first aid in your kit. More compact kits with the essentials (bandages, alcohol swabs, allergy and pain meds, antibiotic cream, etc.) are desired given the amount of space in a portable kit.
4. Face & Body Protection
Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. An earthquake can quickly become a fire, and a hurricane can yield a toxic spill. It is best to be prepared for anything, especially while evacuating, or in a new place hiding out from a storm. Fisher suggests compact and inexpensive products like dust masks, goggles, coveralls, disposable gloves, and ponchos to keep in a kit.
6. Emergency Radio
A Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both. Keeping updated on the current situation is very important, especially when the power is out, and there is no form of new information coming in. Also a radio can provide entertainment for those long hours waiting out a storm.
7. Emergency Light
Emergency light is a necessity. Fisher recommends either a battery-powered flashlight with extra batteries, or a hand-crank/shake flashlight or lantern. Also, light stick's are a long-lasting source of light that is inexpensive and fits easily into a kit.
There is no telling where a storm can leave you. Most fear being trapped inside their damaged home, but what about being lost in the country after a storm-related car accident? It is very important to have supplies that allow you to signal for help. If injured, a whistle can do this from far away with little energy.
9. Additional Medication/ Important Documents & Papers
#9 is the most forgotten part of your emergency kit. Certain illnesses and disorders require medication that is easily forgotten in the rush of an evacuation. Remember to keep your kit stocked with a 72 hour supply of essential medication. Important documents & papers are also an easily forgotten piece of every emergency kit. It seems unlikely, but a severe storms can reduce a home to rubble. Don't be left searching for house deeds, stock certificates, birth records, and even family pictures. Also, when returning to a disaster area, certain identification is sometimes required to prove residence in that area. Remember to grab an official document (utility bill, lease copy, etc.) to prove residence.
A severe storm is scary, but to most not near as scary as a week without technology! Make sure to include some form of entertainment in your kit. Whether it be a book, pack of cards, or a handheld device with extra batteries. You may not have access to extra batteries or an AC outlet for atleast 72 hours, so don't underestimate the worth of a non-technological form of fun!
So that does it for our top ten. Remember that an emergency kit should be specified to the needs of it's users. If there are infants, include children's medicine and baby food, if you are taking a pet, make sure to bring a few cans of pet food. To get you started Disaster Relief Supply offers a variety of general kits that include food, water, first aid, and more. Find them here:
Disasterreliefsupply.com carries all items discussed in this article and more that will help you prepare for, and clean up after a disaster. With the start of hurricane season, DRSupply is offering great deals on tons of products! Browse the Emergency Preparedness site here:
For more tips on preparedness check out the ready.gov website here: http://www.ready.gov/
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Disaster Relief Supply LLC in an online retailer that sells emergency supplies and tools and rents commercial equipment to Northwest Florida residents.