Emergency Preparedness Made Simple


There is nothing quite like the feeling of being prepared to bring you peace of mind. A perfect example is a home emergency kit. Knowing you have everything you need to keep you and your family comfortable and safe during an event or severe weather goes a long way to making you feel calm. Fortunately, putting together a basic emergency kit is not complicated, and chances are you already have several crucial items on hand.


In an emergency, there are certain things that will specifically help you and your family manage better and feel more relaxed.


The rule of thumb is to stock your kit to last your family at least 72 hours—by then emergency-service personnel have usually begun reaching homes. Stash your supplies in the garage or a closet, inside a plastic storage bin, backpack or another container that you can easily throw in your car if you need to evacuate.

What You Really Need

In an emergency, there are certain things that will specifically help you and your family manage better and feel more relaxed. Maybe it’s chocolate, board games or a solar iPad charger. Whatever those comforts are, consider stashing them along with the basics below. We’ve broken them out by essentials, useful and personal.

Essentials:

  • Water—one gallon per person per day
  • Food—3 days’ worth of non-perishable food per person
  • Manual can opener and utensils
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • A first-aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher

Useful:

  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Extra clothes and shoes for everyone
  • Cell phone charger (battery operated or solar)
  • Hand-crank radio
  • Cash money
  • Tools—pliers, hammer, knife

Personal:

  • Personal documents—contact list, copies of passports, bank info
  • Prescriptions
  • Extra contacts/glasses
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Pet supplies

A little planning can go a long way toward making you feel safe and prepared. For more information, visit ready.gov.


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