How to Make an Emergency Survival Kit
In an emergency, you may not be able to rely on local authorities for help right away. You are the first line of defense in keeping your family safe and secure until the emergency subsides and disaster teams respond. The more densely populated your area is, the greater the dangers.
Do not expect immediate help. As grim as this sounds, consider the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a regionalized disaster, citizens can be without new supplies of food and water for weeks. Can your family survive a worst-case scenario like a Katrina? Or realistically, should you plan for a three-day period of self-sufficiency?
What should you do to prepare yourself and your family for emergencies? According to FEMA, families should prepare their own “three-day shelter” when considering a small-scale catastrophic event. Here are the supplies you will need to do so:
- Water – For drinking and sanitation you will need at least one gallon of water per person, per day for at least three days. Fill your bathtub for washing; however, don’t rely on this water for drinking.
- Food – Your family, including your pets, should have at least three days of non-perishable food supply on hand. Consider any special dietary needs and avoid stockpiling foods that might increase thirst like chips or canned foods with high sodium content.
- A battery powered or hand-crank radio and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
- Flashlights (more than one) with plenty of extra batteries. Avoid candles because leaking gas lines may be a problem in your area.
- A first aid kit of medications taken by your family members (including pets).
- A whistle to signal for help.
- Moist towelettes, baby wipes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- Wrenches and pliers to turn off utilities.
- A manual can opener for food.
- Local maps and strong walking shoes in case you must walk to safety. It is always a good idea to carry tennis shoes in your car at all times, along with spending cash, in case you are in your vehicle when disaster strikes. No one wants to hike to safety wearing dress shoes or high heels. It’s also a good idea to fill your gas tank any time it is half empty.
- Cell phone with chargers, inverters and a solar charger.
- Create a safe room. Choose an interior room with the fewest windows. Pre-cut plastic wrap you can duct tape to windows, doors and vents to prevent infiltration of dust and other airborne particles. Obtain dust masks for all family members to help filter contaminated air.
- Keep a travel bag packed for each family member in case you must evacuate.
Consider visiting the FEMA website to take their interactive disaster preparedness course. The course will help you prepare for a variety of emergencies. Emergency preparedness and first responders recommend this course highly.
At Frontline® Homeowners Insurance, we take the safety of our customers very seriously. We urge you to take a few hours now to prepare for a disaster before one hits.
Please remember that the comments contained in this blog are general in nature and that coverage under any specific policy of insurance will depend upon the terms and conditions of such policy.