Emergency Preparedness 3 – Your Portable Disaster Kit

We already had a minor Tropical Storm.  It was a great reminder that we need to prepare for weather emergencies.  Have you done anything to prepare yet?  If not, it’s time to pull together your portable disaster kit, but what do you need to include in it?

What should be in your portable disaster kit?

–       maps of South Carolina to help you navigate to our evacuation point

–       non-perishable food, including canned goods – minimum of 3 day supply – avoid salty foods

–       manual can opener

–       drinking water – one gallon per person per day – minimum of 3 days supply

–       flashlights with extra batteries

–       duct tape, plastic sheeting

–       Moist towelettes, garbage bags and ties for personal sanitation

–       whistle to signal for help

–       cell phone charger cord with standard electrical outlet plug in plus a cigarette lighter adapter

–       first aid kit and manual

–       essential medications and prescriptions, enough for 7 days

–       sturdy shoes, long sleeved shirt, long pants

–       baby supplies as needed – diapers, formula, etc.

–       pet food/water/supplies – minimum of 3 day supply

–       cage or carrier for each pet

–       fire extinguisher

–       important documents (insurance policies, family records, photo identification, important telephone numbers, tax records, bank information, birth certificates, passports)

–       personal hygiene items

–       cash and credit cards

–       battery powered AM/FM or hand crank radio and NOAA weather radio with extra batteries

–       jumper cables

–       tire repair kit

–       if going to a public shelter, you’ll need blankets, sleeping bags, pillows & cots

How to maintain your disaster kit?

Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition.

–       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 shelf life.

–       Throw out any canned goods that becomes swollen, dented or corroded

–       Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies

–       Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front

–       Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on the containers

–       Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

–       Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, trashcans, backpacks or duffle bags.

Submitted by Tidelines Editor

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