The Importance of Emergency Preparedness Kits During Storm Season
As Orange County prepares residents and visitors for hurricane season, it is important to make sure emergency kits are stocked with the necessary items recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find could help save a life. FEMA provides a printable list to take shopping when purchasing supplies for an emergency kit. Be sure to also consider what unique needs additional family members might have, such as supplies for pets and seniors.
An emergency supply kit is a collection of basic items you and your family may need in the event of an emergency. Being prepared means having food, water and other supplies to last you and your family for at least 72 hours.
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water – One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
- Food – At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Battery- Powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
- A dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
- Wipes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- A whistle to signal for help.
- Cell phones with chargers and backup batteries.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Local maps
Additional Emergency Supplies
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your family needs:
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives and a few days of prescription medications.
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water.
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes.
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream.
- Pet food and extra water for your pet.
- Sleeping bags and warm blankets for each person.
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils.
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.
- Glasses and contact lens case and solution.
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Paper and pencil
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
For more information on emergency information from Orange County Government and how to prepare for a hurricane, visit www.ocfl.net/storm.
Photo Caption: Orange County encourages residents to prepare emergency kits stocked with the necessary items recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Source: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency www.ready.gov/build-a-kit