Friday, March 25, 2011

What's in Your Disaster Preparedness Kit?

Following news of the disaster in Japan, each breaking development more troubling than the last, the number of people that are cut off from food, clean water, or adequate shoulder, is growing. In Utah, we have been given warnings for several years that a major earthquake is on its way. Unfortunately, many of us are not prepared for disaster.

While we may not be able to do much sent donate money towards the relief efforts in Japan, we can prepare ourselves and our own families for possible disaster. Just a few simple steps to and be taken to ensure a basic level of preparedness. According to FEMA's website, good idea to have a basic disaster preparedness kit at home, in your car, and even in your office. Looking at a recent disasters, is not hard to see that food and water becomes scarce very quickly.

Items to include in a basic emergency supply kit:
  • Water, 1 gallon per person per day for three days. This one will be used for drinking, cooking and sanitation. Water purification tablets, or some other water purification systerm, is also recommended.
  • Food, at least three days worth. Canned foods, dry goods, or any properly stored non – perishable food items are needed. Some companies still emergency food supply kits that can make purchasing them easy.
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio. Get one that will tune in to the NOAA weather station. News of where to go in case of an evacuation of other important information will be broadcast from there.
  • Battery powered or hand crank flashlight. An LED headlamp may also be a good idea to keep your hands free during an emergency.
  • Extra batteries and/or a solar charger.
  • First aid kit. Include any prescriptions you can't do without.
  • He reflective emergency blanket. Made of mylar, lightweight plastic sheets reflect radiant body heat back to you.
  • A whistle. These can be used as signals to call for help if you are trapped.
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air.
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a makeshift shelter or patch holes in an existing shelter.
  • Moist towelettes, plastic garbage bags, feminine hygiene items, and plastic ties for help with personal sanitation.
  • Basic toolkit loading a wrench or pliers turn off utilities.
  • Can opener. Vital if your kit contains canned food.
  • Local maps, case you need to take unfamiliar roads during an evacuation.
  • Include a cell phone with chargers, power inverter, or solar charger.

You may also want to consider packing:
  • A change of clothes. Think in layers to prepare for all kinds of weather.
  • Boots or shoes that will protect your feet and dangerous conditions.
  • Copies of important documents such as, passport, assurance documents, and contact list.
  • Camping items such as sleeping bags, tents, waterproof matches, candles, and a mess kit.
  • Food and water for your pets.
  • A fire extinguisher.
  • Emergency flares, especially if you keep the emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle.
  • Books, blank paper and pencils, crayons, and anything else you can think of that will serve as age appropriate entertainment that doesn't require electricity.

Putting together your own emergency preparedness kit can bring peace of mind as well as needed supplies.

Photo credit: Ics9

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