September is National Preparedness Month and unfortunately Mother Nature put a lot of Coloradans to the preparedness test, and many failed. I live in the beautiful state of Colorado and while I have been spared the recent fires and floods in my state, so many others have had to go through something that most of us never expect to happen. This is why this blog is dedicated to being prepared! No one can be 100% prepared for every situation that may arise, but we can sure do our best to try to be as prepared as possible for things that are a possibility.
You should keep emergency kits in both your car and home since emergencies can happen anywhere. Obviously the one in your car will be smaller and may need to be replaced more often because of temperature issues. There were many people who were stranded in their cars when the flash floods hit so having the proper supplies could help in such situations.
A car emergency kit should have things like:
• Extra pair of comfortable walking shoes sneakers (and a pair for everyone in your family)
• Working flashlight
• Dry non-perishable snacks (granola bars, dried fruit, etc)
• Small shovel
Next you’ll want to make sure your home emergency kit has enough supplies for everyone in your family.
Here are the items that should be in your home kit (this is the FEMA list).
• Three-day supply of non-perishable food (to be changed out when it expires)
• Three-day supply of water – one gallon of water per person, per day
• Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries
• Flashlight and extra batteries (batteries should be checked every 6 months)
• First aid kit
• Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper)
• Matches and waterproof container
• Extra clothing (size-appropriate for each member of the family)
• Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener
• Photocopies of credit and identification cards
• Cash and coins
• Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries (should be checked for expiration regularly)
• Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers (should be checked for expiration and
current child size/needs regularly)
• Other items to meet your unique family needs
Depending on your climate, these items might come in handy too…
• Jacket/ coat
• Sturdy shoes
• Hat, gloves, scarf
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person)
It’s important to stock your kit with items your family would normally eat. Also you want to keep the kit in a bag or a wheeled suitcase to be able to grab it to leave the house quickly during an emergency. And, don’t forget your furry family members!
A pet emergency kit should include:
• Food/water bowls (the collapsible kind are the best)
• Any medication they are taking
• Carrier (for cats)
Make sure to store your emergency kit properly so that it’s functional when you need it most.
• Keep canned foods in a dry , cool place
• Store boxed food in tightly closed containers
• Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented, or corroded
• Use foods before they go bad, and replace them with fresh supplies
• Check stored food and water supplies every six months. Write the date you store it on all containers
• Update your kit as your family needs change
• Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry
If this all seems a bit overwhelming to you, you can purchase a pre-made kit from many different online retailers including the American Red Cross.