Disaster Preparedness

A disaster of any kind may interfere with normal supplies of food, water, heat and normal day-to-day necessities. It is important to keep a stock of emergency supplies on hand sufficient to meet your needs for a seventy-two hours (three days). Although you may not be directly in an area directly impacted by a natural disaster or terrorist event, utilities and other services may be affected.

In an emergency, our first responders will be focusing on treating those who are injured or may need to be evacuated and it may take sometime to restore power or other services to you and your family. That is why an emergency supply kit is essential so that you and your family can take care of yourselves for a three-day period of time. It is not expected that disruptions would be that long, however, having the necessary supplies will ensure that you are cared for and our emergency workers can focus on those most in need.

If you are forced to remain in your house during a nuclear, chemical or biological release or some other natural disaster or event, adequate supplies could help you live through a period of danger without hardship. If you are directed to evacuate instead of sheltering-in-place, the emergency supply kit can be taken with you and used to ease the transition to a shelter. Ideally one should prepare two kits and store supplies in watertight containers. Keep one easily accessible in your home and one in the trunk of your car.

It is advisable to update your kit regularly. You should replace the water supply and any food that may have reached its use-by or expiration date. An easy way to remind oneself to update your kit is to use Daylight Savings Time. When you change your clocks, you should also change your kits. It is also a good time to check the batteries in your home’s smoke alarms and other household safety equipment.

An emergency supply kit should include the following;

  • A battery powered radio and a flashlight, with extra batteries for each
  • Bottled drinking water, one gallon per day per person with at least a three-day supply for each person in your household.
  • As much drinkable liquid (fruit and vegetable juices, soft drinks, etc.) as can be carried
  • Canned or sealed packaged foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking
  • A can opener
  • A blanket or sleeping bag for each member of the family
  • Writing materials to take notes from television or radio broadcasts
  • Hammer, pliers and wrench
  • Pocket knife
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Signal flare and Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Soap and towels
  • Paper Towels and toilet paper
  • Household laundry bleach (unscented)
  • An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler’s checks
  • One change of clothing and footwear per person
  • A list of family physicians
  • First-aid kit and manual
  • Filtering masks or respirators with a rating of at least N95
  • Non-prescription drugs, including mild pain relievers and antiseptic
  • Any special prescription medicines or foods needed by family members such as insulin, heart medication, dietetic food and baby food (Do not store in the kit for longs periods of time but at the last minute)
  • Precut and uncut plastic bags (large and small)
  • You can store additional water by filling bathtubs and sinks with water if an emergency is declared. Clean water is also available in toilet tanks, presuming chemicals and other cleaning agents are not used in the water tank.

Other items may prove to be helpful:

  • A cooler and freezer packs
  • Salt
  • Paper cups
  • Baking soda
  • Spoons
  • Matches
  • Tape
  • Needles and thread
  • Pre-moistened towelettes
  • Splinting material
  • Hand lotion
  • Disposable diapers
  • Cotton balls
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Bandages
  • Extra eye glasses
  • Medicine dropper
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Games or books

If you have pets, include the following items in your kit:

  • Identification collar and rabies tag
  • Carrier or cage
  • Leash
  • Medications
  • Newspaper, litter, trashbags for waste
  • Two-week supply of food and water
  • Veterinary record (necessary if your pet has to go to a shelter)