Tuesday, September 4, 2018


September in the US is "National Preparedness Month".  With a storm now in the Gulf and just missing us, it's a reminder of what to do and how to prepare for a disaster or disruption in service.  

Organizations like the American Red Cross sell pre-packaged emergency kits, or you can put together and customize to your own needs (we don't get anything, just putting the link out there to help). 
Red Cross deluxe emergency kit
We won the kit above a couple of years ago in a local TV station giveaway.  It's a great 3 day kit that even includes water and protein bars.  I ordered one just like it so that we'd each have one to grab and go if needed.  Over time, we've added to them and they hang on hooks in our closet in town.
The Department of Homeland Security through the website Ready.gov recommends that a basic kit include the following items:
  • Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food - a supply of non-perishable food, 3 days for evacuation and a 2 week for supply at home
  • Radio - battery-powered (with extra), solar or hand crank (NOAA weather radio w/audible alert)
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Medications
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle for signaling 
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
  • Plastic sheeting with 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 canned food items
  • Cell phone with charger or solar charger or backup battery
  • Extra cash
  • Maps of your area and/or state
The American Red Cross suggests these items to help meet additional needs:
  • Medical related supplies (glasses, contact lenses, syringes, hearing aids with batteries, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, food, diapers)
  • Games and things to do for children
  • Pet supplies (carrier, food, bowl, water, collar, leash, ID)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of keys for the car and the house
They also suggest these additional supplies based on types of disasters that are common to your area:
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing including hat & sturdy shoes/boots
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape (so many uses)
  • Scissors/knife
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Blankets and/or sleeping bags
  • Life jacket (in some places, you never know)
It's always a good idea to keep the items in a small number of containers, preferably ones that are weather resistant and have handles for ease of carrying.  Make sure that family members know where the kits are kept and how to get them quickly.

There is no perfect emergency plan or emergency kit, but being as prepared as you can be not only makes sense, it may save your life.  The government website READY.GOV reminds people that everyone should be able to survive on their own for at least a few days until emergency workers arrive as water/electricity could be off for weeks. 


  1. I do so hope you never have to use these kits.

  2. This is a good idea. Even if a person cannot afford or does not have all this, anything is better than nothing. Remember, bleach has a short shelf life. If you are mopping floors, this point is not so important. If you are purifying water, it is of paramount importance.

  3. It's that time of the year again. Thanks for the reminder to be prepared.

  4. Excellent post and I'm glad this is an annual event. It's all to easy to get caught up in life's doings and let things slide. Great lists!

  5. Always a nice reminder and great listing of emergency items.
    With my luck, a tornado will hit and take my emergency kit right along with it.
    Living in a mobile home, a person just doesn't have much of a place to go come shelter wise. Would just have to ride it out.

  6. I need to restock water as I gave it to someone in need of it. So many earthquakes happening around the world is unsettling for sure. So stocking up now is a good thing and winter is right around the corner. My daughter has a radio for use in emergency and bad weather conditions. She's on CERT as well. Be Prepared is a good motto.


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