March 16th, 2016

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Preparing a Home Emergency Kit

Our Facilities Director Donny was recently talking with us about the right time to discuss creating a Home Emergency Kit. There’s no right time, we determined, or really, it’s always the right time.

Disasters can strike without any warning. As Donny pointed out, its important to be prepared for an emergency and having a Home Emergency Kit can make life a lot easier. Being in charge of our residential homes in addition to our program locations, he takes a proactive approach to keeping homes and offices safe and secure in times of emergency.

So, as sort of an expert on the topic now after putting together one for each of our homes, he put together a guide for creating your own Home Emergency Kit. He suggests you prepare for a minimum of three days per person in your household.

In general, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) recommends being ready for emergencies in these basic areas: water, food, first aid supplies, sanitation / clothing / bedding, tools, and special items.

Think about any infants, elderly family members, family members with special needs, and pets when building a kit.

Start with the basics:

  • Water – Water is an essential element to survival and a necessary item in an emergency supplies kit. Include at least one gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene.
  • Food – Have at least  a 3 day supply of non-perishable easy to prepare foods (dried fruit, canned tuna fish, peanut butter, etc.) Take into account everyone’s unique needs, tastes and special diets. Avoid foods that will make you thirsty. Make sure you have a can opener to access them.
  • Medications – A supply of essential medicine everyone will need, along with backups of necessities like eye glasses, contact lenses with cleaning solution, or hearing aids with extra batteries.
  • First Aid Kit – Include peroxide or antibiotic cream, bandages of various sizes and gauze, medical tape, tweezers, gloves, scissors, burn ointment, pain relievers, dust masks and moisten towelettes.
  • Sanitation – Garbage bags, paper towels, hand sanitizer, feminine products and other personal hygiene items you regularly need.
  • Clothing/Bedding – Blankets or sleeping bags for each person and extra clothing.
  • Equipment – Battery powered or hand crank radio, flashlights, extra batteries and matches in water-proof container.
  • Special items – Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, ID, and bank records in a waterproof, portable container.

Other items you can include are extra cell phones and chargers, car and house keys, cash, and entertainment like books, games, puzzles, paper and pens.

It’s important to be prepared for such an event in the future. These situations can be exceedingly stressful and can change lives. As Donny explained, it’s definitely worth taking the time with your family to build a Home Emergency Kit.

For more information on preparing for emergencies and disasters, please visit the Red Cross website.

2 Responses to “Preparing a Home Emergency Kit”

  1. Amy Winters says:

    Thanks for pointing out that emergency kits should include copies of important family documents in a waterproof container. My husband and I recently moved to an area that’s at risk for natural disasters, so I’ve been doing some research into emergency preparedness. I had mostly been focused on food, water, and other survival items, so thanks for the reminder that important documents should be included to!

  2. Alison says:

    This is a very informative and helpful post. The list is amazing but you are discussing only the home kit. Home tools really important. Home basic tools are very important to live in the house.

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