If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency kits, you can provide for your entire family.
Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supplies for two weeks, consider maintaining a stockpile that will last that long. In fact, you can use the canned goods, dry mixes, and other staples on your cupboard shelves. Protein bars and breakfast bars are also good to have on hand.
But an ample supply of clean water remains a top priority. A normally active person needs to drink at least 2 quarts (a half gallon) of water each day. You also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Count on at least an additional half-gallon per person, per day.
Store at least a three-day supply and consider storing a two-week supply of water for each member of your family. If you are unable to handle this much, store as much as you can. You can reduce the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool. Don't forget to take your pets’ water needs into account, too!
An emergency kit should also include tools to help you weather the storm. Remember to store a battery or hand-crank operated radio, can opener, flashlights, extra batteries, hand sanitizer, and first aid supplies. Include a seven-day supply of medications for you or other family members. Finally, store copies of important documents—birth certificates, passports, and insurance policies.
While these are the basics, you can further customize your kit by including family photos, candy, nuts or other snack foods, and even a deck of cards to help pass the time. Think ahead—rechargeable flashlights plugged in around key areas of your home provide instant light if the power goes out.
To learn more about how to preparing for storms and other emergencies, visit www.redcross.org/domore.
Source: American Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention