Shopping list: Be prepared for natural disasters

emergency kit

Most people know they should prepare for a potential disaster scenario, but it is an easy project to put off. It seems like a far off event, but it is important to be ready when a major earthquake or flood strikes.

So make an appointment to use the guide below to help you and your loved ones get ready.

The two best ways you can prepare for an emergency are stocking a survival kit and drafting an emergency plan. Here is what you need for each:

Survival kit:

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

  • Flashlight

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

  • Extra batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

  • Multi tool

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items

  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

  • Cell phone with chargers

  • Family and emergency contact information

  • Extra cash

  • Emergency blanket

  • Map(s) of the area

Disaster plan:

  • Meet with your family or household members and discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.

  • Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.

  • If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.

  • Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency.

  • Choose two places to meet:

    • Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire.

    • Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.

  • Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or saved on their cell phones.

  • Plan what to do if you have to evacuate:

    • Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. You may choose to go to a hotel/motel, stay with friends or relatives in a safe location or go to an evacuation shelter, if necessary.

    • Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.

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