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Creating a Household Safety Kit

  • Having a portable household safety kit ready if a home and region must be evacuated can be a lifesaver. All contents of a safety kit should be packed neatly into easily accessible plastic storage bins or bags. Contents should be easy to transfer quickly from your home to your car if you are forced to evacuate.

    Here are important items to consider including in your kit:

    • Enough water to last each member of your family at least three days— one gallon per day per person— as public water supplies can become contaminated following a catastrophe.
    • Enough nonperishable food to last your entire family at least three days. Choose foods that do not require heat to eat safely. For example, energy bars take up little space and are nutritious.
    • A fully stocked first aid kit.
    • Flashlights.
    • A whistle to signal for help.
    • A battery- or crank-powered radio to listen to weather alerts, directions from local authorities and other catastrophe information.
    • Spare batteries for flashlights and radio.
    • Keep a secure cash supply available— ATMs will not work if the electricity is out.
    • Blankets and extra clothing for each family member.
    • Sturdy shoes for all members of your family to provide adequate protection against glass and other debris.
    • All prescription medications and over-the-counter painkillers.
    • Include personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, hand towels, soap, deodorant, feminine products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer and diapers.
    • Pet supplies. If at all possible, pets should not be left behind in a catastrophe— include their food as well as leashes, etc.
    • Cleaning supplies and garbage bags to collect your waste.
    • Sleeping bags and a tent may provide temporary shelter.
    • A small toolbox with basic tools and work gloves.