MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2018
Living in Florida there isn’t much we can do to prevent being involved in an emergency weather event. Between hurricane, tornadoes, flooding, severe thunderstorms, and droughts caused by extreme heat and lack of rain that can lead to fires, it seems like there is some sort of severe weather event that we could be potentially facing year-round. But we can make sure we always have an emergency preparedness plan and kit ready for our home to make sure our families are prepared to face any emergency weather event that may come. So, what should your home’s emergency preparedness kit include? We’re here to help. Read on for information on how to prepare the ultimate home emergency preparedness kit!
Before You Begin Packing
There are a few things you will need to keep in mind before you begin gathering items and packing your home’s emergency preparedness kit. The first thing you need to do is to remember that you should prepare to have enough supplies for you and your family to survive for at least three days. You should also make sure you store your items in a waterproof container and consider including a backpack that you can use to pack with items and leave quickly if you need to evacuate. Finally, you will need to consider any special needs your family has, such as children or pets, and make sure you prepare accordingly.
Food & Water
The first thing you will want to include in your home’s emergency preparedness kit is plenty of food and water for yourself and your family. You should have enough for a three-day supply if an evacuation is required and keep enough in a separate storage area of the home for a two-week supply if no evacuation is required. Tips to follow when packing food and water in your home’s emergency preparedness kit include:
- One gallon of water per person, per day
- Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food items
- High protein, high energy foods
- Avoid salty foods as they will make you thirsty
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
- Protein bars, granola bars, or fruit bars
- Dry cereal
- Peanut butter and crackers
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Infant foods / formula or milk for babies
- Hand-held can opener
- Store canned food in a cool, dry place
- Make sure to replace items as they expire
First Aid Kit
The next thing your home’s emergency preparedness kit will need is a first aid kit. When you are faced with a weather emergency your family may be exposed to cuts, scrapes, bruises, floods, and fires so your first aid kit should have items necessary to cope with these hazards. Your first aid kit should also be kept in a ready to go container that is easy to grab and take with you if you need to evacuate. According to the Red Cross, a basic first aid kit should at a minimum contain:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings
- 25 adhesive bandages (in assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin / ibuprofen / Tylenol
- 1 space blanket
- 1 breathing barrier
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of latex gloves (or vinyl gloves if someone in your family has a latex allergy)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets
- 2 roller bandages (one 3 inches wide and one 4 inches wide)
- 10 sterile gauze pads (five 3×3 inches and five 4×4 inches)
- 1 thermometer
- 2 triangular bandages
- Insect repellant
- Basic first aid instruction booklet
Additionally, your first aid kit should include any personal items necessary such as prescription medications, feminine products, and a list of emergency contacts and their phone numbers.
Basic Tools And Supplies
Your home’s emergency preparedness kit should include basic tools and supplies that will help you and your family survive safely and comfortably in an emergency. These tools and supplies include:
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Battery powered or hand crank radio
- A whistle to signal for help to emergency responders
- A dust mask for each person to help filter out contaminated air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape for putting together an emergency shelter
- Sleeping bags or a warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing for each person that is climate appropriate
- Pair of sturdy, closed-toed shoes for each person
- Moist towelettes and hand sanitizer
- Garbage bags and plastic ties
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Multi-purpose tool
- Local maps
- Cell phone chargers and backup batteries
- Cash (try to have at least $100) in case of wide-spread power outages
- Paper and pencil
Your home’s emergency preparedness kit should also include copies of each member of your families most important documents. You should consider saving copies of important documents electronically such as on a USB file, or at least in a waterproof portable container. Important documents can include:
- Drivers licenses, passports, and other forms of ID
- Birth certificates
- Social Security Cards
- Marriage certificates
- Insurance policies: homeowners, automobile, life, and health
- Mortgage deed / lease to home
- Vehicle registration
- Health insurance cards
- Copies of prescriptions
- Medical history forms and medical consent forms for each member of your family
- Immunization records (for children and pets)
- Bank statements and other bank records
There are some additional items that your home’s emergency preparedness kit might need depending on your family’s needs, and some additional comfort items you can add if you choose to. These items include:
- Baby supplies such as bottles, diapers, wipes, baby toys, etc.
- Pet supplies such as pet food, collar, leash, microchip information, portable bowls, pet toy, etc.
- Prescription glasses / contact lenses / contact lens solution
- Boredom killers: books, cards, games, puzzles, etc.
- Photo album
Once you are done preparing your home’s emergency preparedness kit you also want to make sure your family has a solid emergency plan and that all members of your family know what to do in case of an emergency. Then you should contact Fear Now Insurance to review your current homeowner’s insurance and automobile insurance policies with a licensed agent to make sure you and your family have all the protection you will need!
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