Building a Family Emergency Kit: Essentials for Every Household

Building a Family Emergency Kit: Essentials for Every Household

Meet Ed

Instructor Ed Jones has over 30 years of experience in theindustry, has the title of MasterWater Restorer, is an Institute ofInspection Cleaning andRestoration Certification (IICRC)-approved instructor, and hasserved on the S500-2021consensus body committee todevelop the most recent standard.

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Recently our blogs have covered preparing for floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural hazards and evacuating or sheltering in place. In this blog, we'll consider how to build an effective home emergency kit and an emergency kit for your car, truck, or SUV.

FEMA Emergency Kit Checklist

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers free information on building a basic emergency supplies kit for your home and automobile. Create an emergency kit that includes the following items:

  • A gallon per day of water per person for at least three days
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert that runs on batteries or uses a hand crank
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle for signaling for help
  • Dust mask for filtering contaminated air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to safely cover windows when sheltering in place
  • Moist towelettes (alcohol pads), garbage bags, and plastic ties to maintain personal sanitation
  • Manual can opener for opening canned food items
  • Plastic eating utensils
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone, two chargers for it, and a backup battery
  • Any medication that you or your family members take

Add to this essential kit books to read or activity books for your children, so everyone has something fun to do that won't use cell phone battery power.

Pre-Made Emergency Kits

If you want to avoid building a custom kit, many home improvement stores sell emergency supplies kits that pre-assemble all the items listed below, according to USA Today. The pre-made kits typically include meals-ready-to-eat (MREs), vacuum-packed food that takes up little space and requires no heating or cooking. To these pre-made kits, add any medications you or your family take and medical devices they require, such as a breathing mask or inhaler.

Altering a Kit for Automotive Use

When you create an emergency kit to keep in your vehicle, you include the same items as in a home emergency kit but add a few things. Include at least one heavy blanket, a coat, extra socks and gloves, and flares. Here's the reasoning behind that list. If you experience car trouble, you might get wet while changing the tire or repairing the vehicle. During winter becoming stranded and in wet clothing can prove deadly. Staying warm while waiting for help can mean remaining alive in cold weather.

Build Your Emergency Kits Today

Put all the items in your emergency kit together in a box or bag for easy access. Instead of placing your emergency kit in the trunk of your vehicle, place it behind the front seat when inclement weather threatens. If your vehicle breaks down, you won't have to exit the car to access it. This helps you remain safer and retain the heat or cooling inside the vehicle. Accuserve hopes you've enjoyed this emergency preparedness blog series and will experience a safe year.

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