The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched Ready.gov to educate and prepare Americans for emergencies, both natural and man-made. Three key sections of the site are maintaining an emergency supply kit, making a plan and being informed.
Here are FEMA's recommendations for a kit of food, water and supplies to last at least 3 days per person should rescue workers not be able to get to you right away after a disaster/emergency.
- At least 3 days of water per person, consisting of at least one gallon of water per person, per day.
- At least 3 days of non-perishable food per person. Things like ready-to-eat canned items, protein or fruit bars, cereal or granola, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, canned juices, high energy foods, food for infants, etc.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio and extra batteries
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid kit with 2 pairs of gloves, sterile dressings, cleansing agent/soap/towelettes, antibiotic and burn ointments, bandages, eye wash solution, thermometer, prescription items (other items to consider...scissors, tweezers, petroleum jelly, aspirin, anti-diarrheal, antacid, laxative)
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air; plastic sheeting and duct tape for shelter
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener if you have canned food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with charger
Other items to consider:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash and change
- Emergency reference materials, first aid manual, etc.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
But don't stop with this list! Visit Ready.gov to learn more about emergency preparedness!