Following a natural or man-made disaster, you and your family may need to survive on your own. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.
Emergency experts have four sayings to help families prepare for emergencies: Get informed, Make a Plan, Get a Kit and Get Involved. During September, which is National Preparedness Month, the Health Department is issuing weekly messages on each theme. Already this month we have touched on getting informed and making the all-important plan. This week we are focusing on building a disaster supply kit.
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.
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 and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- 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
Remember the unique needs of your family members, including growing children, when making your emergency supply kit and family emergency plan.
SOURCE: Kane County Health Department