Food/Emergency Preparedness

DON’T GET CAUGHT WITHOUT AN EMERGENCY KIT

We have to reiterate the importance for having your emergency kit. When disaster hits people will be clamoring to purchase certain items. Stores will be out of these items and if the disaster is catastrophic enough trucks will not be able to access the area.

Do not get caught without these items because you and your family will not be able to get the desired help needed for you to survive. Below is the list of supplies needed for your kit.

Seeing that we are living in uncertain times to where we can have a disaster hit us we need to be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

One of the items you need most is a big Tupperware type tub to put all of your implements in for safe keeping. Here is a list of necessary items:

Disaster Supplies Kit

A disaster supplies kit should contain all the essential supplies you need in order to survive for at least 72 hours after a disaster. You will need to beef up your supply to be at least 30-day for more assurance because we do not know how long a duration we will be indisposed.
Take your kit with you wherever you go during a disaster, whether it’s to a safe room in your home or a hotel many miles away. Ready-made kits are sold online at www.redcross.org. If you choose to assemble your own kit, include the following items, as recommended at www.fema.gov:
  • Water
  • Food
  • First aid kit
  • Clothing, bedding, and sanitary supplies
  • Tools
  • Special items (described in the following sections)

Water

Disasters often disrupt local water supplies. In case you become stranded, set aside a three-day supply of water: one gallon of water per family member per day. Take the individual needs of your family members into account: children, the elderly, and people with medical conditions often need more water than average.

Commercially bottled water is the easiest and safest option—leave it sealed, and observe the expiration date. To bottle and store water yourself:
  • Use a food-grade bottle, such as a Nalgene® bottle, bought from a outdoor supplies store. Clean it with soap and water before using it. Alternatively, use a plastic soda bottle (never use a container that had milk or juice in it). Clean the bottle with soap and water, then disinfect it with a solution of bleach and water (1 teaspoon bleach per 1 quart water). Swish the solution around so that it touches all the surfaces, then rinse it out.
  • Fill the bottle with tap water. If the water is from a well, add two drops of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach to the bottle.
  • Write the date on the bottle.
  • Replace the bottle every six months.

Food

Collect a three-day supply of food, taking into account your family members’ eating habits and dietary needs. The following types of food are recommended:
  • Ready-to-eat food: Canned meats, fruits, vegetables
  • Canned liquids: Canned juice, milk, soup
  • Staples: Sugar, salt, pepper
  • High-energy foods: Granola bars, peanut butter, crackers, trail mix
  • Comfort foods: Cookies, hard candy, instant coffee
  • Foods for those with special needs: Canned baby formula, low-sodium food, etc.
Don’t include food that:
  • Requires refrigeration
  • Takes a long time to cook
  • Requires a lot of water to cook
  • Makes you thirsty

First Aid Kit

Keep the following items in your first aid kit:
  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • 8–12 sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
  • 3″ sterile roller bandages
  • 5 yards of 1″ adhesive cloth tape
  • Aspirin and nonaspirin pain relievers
  • Antibiotic ointment packets
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • 2 pairs of latex gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • Antidiarrhea medication
  • Syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting in case of poisoning (contact poison control before use)
  • A basic first aid manual (can be obtained from your local Red Cross chapter)

Clothing, Bedding, and Sanitation Supplies

You need at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person. Extra-warm clothing is especially important if you live in a cold climate.

Clothing and Bedding

  • Jacket
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Long pants
  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Hat, gloves, and scarf
  • Rain gear
  • Thermal underwear
  • Blankets and sleeping bags
  • Sunglasses

Sanitary Supplies

  • Toilet paper
  • Soap
  • Feminine hygiene supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Unscented liquid household chlorine bleach

Tools

Extra supplies that will help you function in an emergency situation include:
  • ABC–type fire extinguisher
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and/or television
  • Extra batteries
  • Manual can opener and utility knife
  • Mess kits or paper plates and plastic utensils
  • Pliers
  • Tape
  • Tube tent
  • Compass
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper and pencils
  • Needles and thread
  • Medicine dropper (particularly useful for treating water with bleach)
  • Shutoff wrench (for turning off gas and water)
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Map of the area

Special Items

Keep the following miscellaneous items in a safe and immediately accessible place:

Important Family Documents

  • Birth certificates
  • Social Security cards
  • Passports
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Other forms of identification
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Insurance documents
  • Inventory of household goods

Items for Babies

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Pacifiers
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications

Items for the Sick or Elderly

  • Prescription medications
  • Denture needs
  • Hearing aids and extra batteries

Miscellaneous Items

  • Cash
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Games

Storing and Maintaining Your Disaster Supplies Kit

Store your disaster supplies kit in a cool, dry place in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack, duffle bag, or plastic container. Keep kits in three locations:
  • Home: Include all the necessary supplies
  • Car: Include food, water, and roadside emergency supplies, such as jumper cables, flares, and tire patch kits
  • Work: Include food, water, and comfortable walking shoes
Maintain your kit by:
  • Dating and labeling all containers
  • Keeping all supplies in airtight plastic bags.
  • Replacing all water and food every six months
  • Throwing out any cans that look dented, swollen, or corroded
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