It’s National Preparedness Month. We will be posting about ways you and your family can prepare for wildfires and other disasters all month long. Today, we’re going to show you how to put together an emergency supply kit.
First of all, you will want to assemble your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs, and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate. Plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time – at least a week if not longer. Each person in your household should have a readily accessible kit.
Backpacks work great for storing these items (except food and water) and are quick and easy to grab. Storing food and water in a tub or chest on wheels will make it easier to transport. Be sure to keep your kit and storage tub or chest light enough to be able to lift into your vehicle.
Since spring 2020, the CDC has recommended people include additional items in their kits to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other viruses and the flu. These include cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces.
Emergency Supply Kit Checklist
- Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
- Copies of your emergency evacuation plan (our NEXT post will cover this topic) for all family members, with a map marked with at least two evacuation routes
- Prescriptions or special medications
- Change of clothing
- Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
- An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
- First aid kit
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
- Sanitation supplies
- Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
- Don’t forget food and water for your pets!
Items kept handy to grab on your way out the door:
- Coats/jackets for cooler weather
- Cell phones of all family members who have one
Items to take if time allows:
- Easily carried valuables you have identified prior to evacuation
- Family photos and other irreplaceable items
- Laptop computer, or personal computer information on storage drives and disks (this may be a good time to look into a cloud backup service so that your computer data is easily accessed from any remote location)
- Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.
Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a working flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.