National Preparedness Month is a celebration each September to raise awareness of the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could strike at any time.
The 2022 theme for this month of preparation is “Enduring Legacy”.
“The life you have built is worth protecting. Prepare for disasters to create a lasting legacy for you and your family,” FEMA officials said.
Emergency preparations should include enough life-saving supplies for several days if basic services are unavailable in the event of a disaster.
FEMA advises: After an emergency, you may have to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies for several days. A disaster supply kit is a collection of basic items your household might need in an emergency.
Make sure your emergency kit contains the items listed on an online FEMA checklist. Download a printable version to take with you to the store.
Once you’ve looked at the basics, consider your family’s unique needs, such as supplies for pets or seniors.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
To assemble a kit, store the items in airtight plastic bags and place the entire disaster supply kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit might include the following recommended items:
–Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
–Food (at least a multi-day supply of non-perishable food)
-Battery or crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert
-First aid kit
–Whistle (to call for help)
–Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
–Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
–Wet wipes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal hygiene)
–Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
– Manual can opener (for food)
–Mobile phone with chargers and backup battery
Since the spring of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that people include additional items in their kits to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other viruses and the flu.
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
–Masks (for everyone from 2 years old), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes to disinfect surfaces
–Prescription drugs. About half of all Americans take a prescription drug every day. An emergency can make it difficult for them to refill their prescription or find an open pharmacy. Organize and protect your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and vitamins to prepare for an emergency.
– Over-the-counter medications such as painkillers, antidiarrheals, antacids, or laxatives
–Prescription glasses and contact lens solution
–Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
– Extra food and water for your pet
– Cash or travelers checks
–Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, IDs and bank account statements stored electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
–Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
–Complete change of clothes suitable for your climate and sturdy footwear
–Matches in a waterproof container
–Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
–Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
–Paper and pencil
–Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.
Caring for your kit
After assembling a kit, don’t forget to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
– Store canned food in a cool, dry place.
–Store canned foods in tightly sealed plastic or metal containers.
–Replace expired items as needed.
–Reconsider your needs each year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Since you don’t know where you will be in an emergency, prepare supplies for home, work, and cars.
Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it handy in case you need to leave your home quickly. Make sure everyone in the family knows where the kit is.
Work: Be prepared to take shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other basic necessities such as medicine, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “to-go” case.
Car: In case you get stuck, keep an emergency supply kit in your car.
In addition to putting together a kit of supplies, consider these other steps to prepare your family: make a plan, make sure kids know important phone numbers, and learn local escape routes.
Disasters can happen anywhere, anytime. This is why it is important that you are prepared.