Get Your Family Prepared

September is National Preparedness Month - a time when FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) and other relief organizations across the country ask us to plan ahead to ensure our families are prepared in the event of an emergency or a disaster. FEMA asks you to take action now - make a plan with your family and develop the tool kits you need for survival.

Below are the items that FEMA says are essential in a disaster preparedness kit. Be sure your family has everything on hand and that every member of your family understands where the tool kit is and what to do in an emergency.

  • Water: One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • 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 and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

In addition, FEMA offers the following tips for storing your emergency kit:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life
  • Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented or corroded
  • Check the dates on your stored food and use them and replenish them with fresh supplies when needed
  • Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Write the date on all containers
  • Re-think your needs every year and update accordingly (changes in family size, kids getting older, etc.)
  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supply kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag.

For more helpful information from FEMA, visit their website.

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