During an emergency, daily routines are no longer possible. Often, it will be very difficult to get hold of essential supplies till the situation stabilizes. Therefore, it is imperative, that every family should have an Emergency Preparedness Kit at home.
A Emergency Preparedness Kit should have the following:
- Emergency Food – After a major disaster, roads may be closed and stores in your area may not open for weeks. This makes it important to have a store of emergency food which should last for at least 72 hours. Depending on the composition of your household, the kit should be stocked accordingly. Make sure the food has a long shelf life.
- Emergency water supplies – Water is the most important thing for survival and a plentiful supply of safe drinking water during an emergency is essential. The thumb rule is there should be a three day supply of drinking water for each member of the household. It would be prudent to have a supply of water purification tablets too.
- Emergency lights – Since the power supply may be totally disrupted and could be out for weeks, emergency lights are a must. The Emergency Preparedness Kit should have sufficient spare batteries, flashlights etc. Remember, batteries have only a shelf life of about 6 months. The kit should be updated at regular intervals.
- Emergency radios – During an emergency, it is of vital importance to listen to broadcasts of emergency services regarding weather updates, evacuation orders etc. Solar radios, hand cranked radios etc. are ideal during an emergency, since they do not depend on batteries.
- Emergency First Aid Kit – Since the risk of injury during an emergency is high, an emergency first aid kit is essential. This kit should not be used for ordinary day to day minor injuries. It should be kept for emergency purposes only and should be restocked at regular intervals.
- Emergency Shelter Supplies – Since your home may be extensively damaged, you may have to stay outdoors for an extended period of time. Therefore, having emergency shelter supplies in your survival kit, will help you stay warm and reasonably comfortable.
- Emergency Sanitation Supplies – Since sanitation will take a hit during an emergency, having emergency sanitation supplies in your survival kit helps is a must. Liquid hand cleansers, anti-bacterial soap, feminine hygiene products etc. are a must.
There are many other items which could be added to the Emergency Preparedness Kit. Remember, many of the items in the kit have a recommended shelf-life. Therefore, it is important to replenish the items in the kit at regular intervals. A good practice is to check emergency preparedness kits on days time springs forward or falls back. For those that live in areas of constant time zones, a date such as January 1 should be chosen.