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How to Make an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Prepare For Natural Disasters With an Emergency Kit For Your Home

On Tuesday afternoon, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, an aftershock of the 7.1 magnitude quake on Sept. 4, collapsed buildings in Christchurch, New Zealand. Initial reports suggest that damage and fatalities far exceed that registered in the initial quake. Scary stuff indeed. Here in the Bay Area, a major earthquake in the next 10 years is nearly an inevitability. Whether your home is located in an area that's in danger of experiencing an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or major snowstorm, it's smart to be prepared. The American Red Cross recommends having enough food and water on hand to support every member of your household for at least three days. They've also got a great list of other must haves you may not have thought of, including bleach and a non-electric can opener.

  • Water. The Red Cross recommends one gallon per day per person, including pets. If you don't have any stored, why not make a habit of picking up a gallon or two every time you go to the supermarket?
  • Food. Concentrate on ready-to-eat canned fruits, veggies, juice, and meat, as well as protein-rich snacks like trail mix and granola bars. Don't forget vitamins and special supplies for any elderly family members, babies, and pets.
  • A first-aid kit with Band-Aids, latex gloves, gauze pads, a thermometer, over-the-counter drugs, and necessary prescription medications.

For the other essentials,

  • Tools such as scissors, tweezers, a sewing kit, a manual can opener, a knife, and a wrench to turn off gas and water.
  • Moist towelettes and antibacterial hand gel
  • Sunscreen
  • Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
  • A hand-crank or battery-operated radio, with batteries
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Candles and matches
  • Cash
  • Small fire extinguisher
  • Toilet paper, feminine products, and garbage bags
  • Dish soap
  • Bleach
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Rain gear
  • Important documents, such as wills, deeds, passports, family records, and bank account numbers.
  • A list of important phone numbers
Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
winglessfruitfly winglessfruitfly 6 years
ahhhhh okay!! thanks!!! ahahaha
Ellenora Ellenora 6 years
@winglessfruitfly Bleach is there for a variety of reasons. Bleach is used in disinfecting toys, utensils, washing mildew, cleaning butcher blocks, washing laundry, et cetera. It's a rather handy cleaner! P.S. Don't just use bleach for your laundry though. Make sure you keep some regular detergent!!! There's nothing worse than having no clean clothes!
winglessfruitfly winglessfruitfly 6 years
I've been trying to figure out --- what's the bleach for??? haha :-\
Elka-Karl Elka-Karl 6 years
Great additions, Ellenora!
Ellenora Ellenora 6 years
Having been through weather emergencies (lots of them), I just wanted to add a few more things or things you may want to think about: Your first aid kit can also be supplied with non-latex gloves and bandages if you or anyone in your family has a latex allergy. You also want to make sure to pack Epi-Pens or any other pen like it if anyone in your family has serious allergic reactions to anything. If you have a pet, you need to include a pet emergency kit which you can find on several sites or make one yourself by googling "cat emergency kit" or "dog emergency kit." You also may want to think about packing a change of clothes for each family member. Finally, make sure to pack a toy or two and possibly a few books if you have children to keep them calm and entertained. These may not be "essentials" according to the Red Cross, but having been through a thousand and one weather emergencies (mainly floods, flash floods and tornadoes), having a few toys, books, games and/or some music will save your sanity. My mom swears by them.
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