Get a Kit
Your household emergency kit should include the necessary supplies to sustain you and your family in your home for at least 3 days, maybe longer. Remember that it may take a significant amount of time for basic services (water, electricity, and telephones) to return to normal. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own.
While there are many things that might make you comfortable, think first about fresh water, good and clean air. Consider putting together two kits. In one, put everything needed to stay where you are and make it on your own. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to get away.
- Water: 1 gallon per person per day
- Food: Ready-to-eat, just-add-water, canned and dried foods that are easy to store and prepare
- Manual can opener
- First Aid kit
- Essential medications
- Flashlight (with extra batteries)
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Portable Television or Radio (battery-operated or manual)
- Cash in small denominations
- A copy of important documents & phone numbers
- Unscented liquid household bleach for water purification
- Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, and soap
- Sturdy shoes
- Heavy gloves
- Warm clothes, a hat and rain gear
- A local map
- Prescription medicines
- Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
- Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Extra keys to your house and vehicle
- Large plastic bags for waste and sanitation
- Special-need items for children and seniors or people with special needs
- Don’t forget water and supplies for your pets
Many potential terrorist attacks could send tiny microscopic “junk” into the air. Many of these materials can only hurt you if they get into your body, so think about creating a barrier between yourself and any contamination. It’s smart to have something for each member of the family that covers their mouths and noses like filter masks, which are readily available in hardware stores. These masks are rated based on how small a particle they filter.
If you don’t have a mask, plan to use two or three layers of cotton t-shirt, handkerchief or towel. It is very important that the mask or other material fit your face snugly so that most of the air you breathe comes through the mask, not around it. Do whatever you can to make the best fit possible for children.
Also include duct tape, and heavyweight garbage bags or plastic sheeting that can be used to seal windows and doors if you need to create a barrier between yourself and any potential contamination outside.
In an emergency a family member or you yourself may be injured. Having some basic supplies and knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. Having a first aid kit can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination. Consider taking classes on first aid and CPR.
- Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
- Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
- Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
- Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
- Burn ointment to prevent infection.
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
- Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
- Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
- Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antacid (for upset stomach)