Assemble your Kit
American Red Cross sells kits complete with food, water, breathing mask, etc. Each kit contains enough resources for one person.
- Purchase 20-gallon plastic containers with lids (you can also purchase containers that fit under the bed if you're limited on space).
- Determine where to store your kit (garage, or on a lower level is idea).
- Have an emergency cash stash & don't "borrow" from it!
- Make "refresh" cards. These can be taped to the top of each box that details which items need to be "renewed". You will want to switch out food or other items that will expire.
- You will need enough supplies for each person in your family, and to last you at least three(3) days.
- WATER - Have 3 gallons per person/pet in your home. If you are nursing, you will need more for yourself.
- FOOD - Buy canned, high-calorie foods. Good choices are chili, tuna, veggies, and soup; as well as peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, cereal bars, and comfort foods like chocolate or candy. Buy foods with similar expiration dates to make it easier to refresh your kit. If you have kids, you'll want powdered formula for babies, and boxed milk for toddlers. Remember food for your pet.
- FIRST-AID KIT - You can buy a standard kit and add to it. Add a couple pairs of gloves, gauze, tape and antibiotic ointment. You may also add over-the-counter medications (remember children's), since they don't come with standard kits either.
- "REFRESH" CARD - This lists the contents of the box, and the expiration date of medications/perishable items.
- DIAPERS & WIPES - Refresh your diaper sizes!
- SUNSCREEN - SPF30 or higher
- MANUAL CAN OPENER (got to open those cans!)
- WATERPROOF MATCHES
- FIRE EXTINGUISHER
- UTILITY KNIFE
- RESPIRATOR/SURGICAL MASKS - To reduce exposure to airborne particles.
- CLOTHING - Have one complete outfit for each person, including sturdy shoes, a hat & gloves. Change out kids clothing as they grow (put on refresh card).
- CHILDREN'S ACETAMINOPHEN - You may want to include your child's current dosage on a card (especially infants).
- MEDICATION - Get a seven(7) day supply of any med's you/your child is taking. If you/child is on any important med's, ask the doctor for a one-week-supply prescription to fill for your kit. Add the expiration date of med's to your refresh card.
- FLASHLIGHTS - One large for each adult and one small for each child who can hold it.
- BATTERIES - Have enough for flashlight & radio. Include a full set of replacements.
- BATTERY POWERED OR HAND-CRANK RADIO - American Red Cross sells one here.
- HAND SANITIZER - Enough to last a few days & your family.
- GARBAGE BAGS
- BLANKETS - Have one for each person.
- TOILET PAPER
- 12- INCH ADJUSTABLE WRENCH - For turning off your gas line
- CHLORINE BLEACH - As a cleaner and sanitizer
- DUCT TAPE & PLASTIC SHEETING - To keep out airborne chemicals. The tape should be at least 10 mil thick; the sheeting, at least 4 mil thick.
- DOCUMENTS - Use a waterproof bag with one copy of important documents including: Passports, Bank account & Credit Card numbers, Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards, and Wills. I would suggest keeping these inside in an easy-to-get-to spot that you can grab quickly. You might add family memorabilia such as photos.
- FUN STUFF - Keep your families spirits high with a deck of cards, coloring books, stuffed animals, puzzles or board games.
- WHISTLES WITH LANYARDS - So you can find each other in the dark.
- A CORDED PHONE - One that will work when power is down.
These aren't in any specific-important order, so make note & start collecting the things which you find important to your family first.
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