Natural disasters can strike at any time, leaving you and your loved ones to fend for yourselves until help can arrive. You may not be able to access outside assistance of any kind during this time, or you may have to evacuate immediately, taking only what you can carry with you. Due to the sheer uncertainty of such situations, it is vital that you have an emergency disaster kit prepared ahead of time. Read on to find out which items should be included in your disaster kit.
Food and Water
First of all, supplies should be in one container and should be of sufficient quantity to last up to 3 days. Nonperishable food and water are the most crucial components. Bottled water will keep safely and is best for this use. You will need at least 1 gallon of water for every person, every day. Foods should be easy to store and eat, without the need for preparation. Salty foods should not be used and special dietary needs of individuals should be considered.
In cold climates, adequate protection from the elements may be pivotal to your survival. Include extra pairs of pants, shirts, coats, sleeping bags or blankets, and good pairs of walking shoes. Accessories such as hats, mittens, and scarfs may be needed as well.
Some items will depend on your family’s needs. Consider diapers and formula for infants, prescription medications, or eyewear. These items will be different for each family, so think carefully through each individual and any unique requirements when packing this portion of your disaster kit.
Additional Disaster Kit Essentials
Regardless of the disaster being planned for, there are several additional supplies that should be included in your disaster kit. Batteries, a flashlight, and a portable radio or TV are essential. A first aid kit, along with basic hygiene and personal items should be included. Cash and identification papers for every individual may come in handy. Also, remember to include any kitchen items necessary for eating the food you have included in your kit.
Disaster Kit Maintenance
Finally, once you have created your disaster kit, you must maintain it properly. Storing items in a dry, cool place in containers with lids will go a long way toward ensuring their usability. Go through the disaster kit annually and refresh supplies. This is also the time to make any changes according to the changing needs of family members. Expired, bulging or dented cans should be removed from the supplies and replaced with fresh ones.
A disaster kit is useful in many situations, from flooding to tornadoes and earthquakes. They are especially critical if supply lines of essentials such as food have been disrupted in your area, and in some cases having one may save your life. While some items included will differ from one person or family to the next, the basics such as food and water are vital and should be the bare essentials included in any disaster kit. By properly maintaining your disaster kit, you can be prepared to care for yourself and your loved ones, no matter when a natural disaster strikes.
This article was supplied by Kristin Urbauer from Constant Content.
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