Updating your disaster preparedness kit

We are in the middle of hurricane season and that means citizens need to make sure their disaster preparedness kits or family emergency kits are up to date.

While this is viewed by many as a thankless task, it could be your saving grace in any kind of natural disaster.

Your kit should contain emergency supplies that can last about three to four days after an event. So, it is imperative to replenish it often and make sure that everything in the kit is always sufficient.

Here are some things you should have in your emergency kit:

  1. The water

The ODPM recommends that your emergency kit contain “one gallon of water per person per day”. This water is meant to keep you hydrated and hygienic in case you and your family do not have access to the water. Water storage containers are a great way to keep water stored safely in your home.

  1. Non-perishable food

The foods that you need to store should be well packaged and have a long shelf life. It’s also a good option for storing foods that fill up, consider things like:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Tuna
  • Food and dried fruits
  • Cereals and snacks
  • And any other canned food

It is good practice to buy one or two items when you are doing your regular grocery store and your inventory will continually increase.

  1. Batteries and battery-powered items

Batteries are essential in a disaster preparedness kit. Especially when it comes to using other items you will need, like a radio and flashlights or lanterns. ODPM informs citizens about natural disasters through media channels and if the data in the country is down, radios are the best alternative. Conversely, a flashlight or lantern will help you during the night or in the event of a power cut.

  1. Clothes

It is important to keep an extra pair of clothes in your kit. Try to pack clothes and underwear that are comfortable for you and your family.

  1. First aid kit

Packaging a first aid kit is essential for a disaster preparedness kit. Many first aid kits you buy will cover essentials such as:

  • Dressings
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Ibuprofen

And more. However, you should also include other items that relate to you and your family’s medical needs, such as allergy medications or the daily medications you take.

Additional things to consider:

  • Dog / cat food for your pets
  • Toilet paper
  • Garbage bags
  • Soap
  • Baby preparation (if there is a baby in the preparation)

ODPM has a very detailed checklist available on their website and app for citizens who create their emergency kit.

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