When Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast this week, leaving millions of people stranded in their homes without power, it prompted me to evaluate my home emergency plan. We all know that emergencies can happen at any time and without warning. So you should have an emergency preparedness kit stocked with essential items (enough for at least three days) if a disaster should hit.
The items you should pack into a kit depends on the size of your family and its needs. If you take prescription medications, have small children or special needs family members, adjust your kit accordingly. Emergency preparedness kits should also include escape routes, coordination of communication, emergency supplies, and help for pets.
Here’s a list of some basic items you should have for any emergency:
- Water—1 gallon per person per day, stored in clean, plastic containers.
- Food—canned foods like tuna, vegetables, fruit, juices, and soup. (Be sure to pack a can opener with these foods.) Also, dry milk, peanut butter, crackers, and granola bars.
- Flashlights and plenty of batteries.
- Matches or a lighter.
- First aid kit for minor injuries.
- Medications—Pain relievers and stomach soothers, as well as any prescription drugs. Be sure to ask your pharmacist about storing them.
- Radio and cell phones.
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