Business PreparationMiscellaneousRisk ManagementSafety

Prepare for the Unexpected What You Need for Your Disaster Kit

By July 11, 2019 No Comments

Many of us don’t think we are going to need a disaster kit, that is, until we actually need one. From hurricanes and tornadoes to unexpected power outages and evacuations, conditions can arise seemingly out of nowhere that separate us from everyday comforts and require us to act fast. Having a disaster kit handy helps to ensure that we are prepared in the event of an unexpected disaster.

What do you need in your disaster kit? Below is a list of the more common items that should be included:

Water  — One gallon for each person in your home. The Red Cross recommends having a 3-day supply for evacuations and a 2-week supply if you will be staying in your home.

Food  — Non-perishable items that are easy to prepare (things you won’t need a microwave or stovetop to make). Items include canned foods like spam, tuna and soup; dried goods like pancake mix and tea bags; grains; rice; packaged pasta; potato chips; granulated sugar; syrup; and bottled water.

Flashlight —  Test this regularly to ensure that it is in working order and batteries are charged.

Battery-powered radio —  As with the flashlight, test radio regularly to ensure that it is in working order and batteries are charged.

Extra batteries —  Include wireless phone chargers to power up cell phones.

Medications —  A 7-day supply is recommended.

Deluxe first aid kit —  Should include antibiotic ointment, antiseptic cleansing wipes, adhesive bandages, gauze pads, roll bandage, first aid tape roll, instant cold compress, chewable pain relievers, CPR one-way valve, emergency blanket, disposable thermometers, scissors, First Aid Guide (available at RedCross.org or MayoClinic.org).

Family and emergency contact information —  Keep this information stored inside plastic to protect against possible water damage.

Extra cash —  You may not have access to your bank account via credit cards or ATMS. This ensures that you can still make purchases for things like gas or extra food, if available.

Water purification tablets  — In case you run out of filtered drinking water and must rely on water from the tap or a natural source.

Map(s) of the area —  In the event that cell and satellite towers go down and you are unable to use your phone or GPS device.

It is vital that you properly maintain your kit after it has been assembled. You should store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers, keep canned food in a cool, dry place, replace expired items as needed, and make revisions to the kit every year, updating it as you and your family’s needs change. Remember, a disaster can happen at any moment so it is important to have a kit at home (keep this in a designated place and have it ready in the event that you must leave your home quickly; all family members should know where in the home the kit is located), at work (be prepared to take shelter here for at least 24 hours; your work kit should include food, water, comfortable walking shoes and medication), and in your vehicle (in case you become stranded while away from home).

Being ready for a disaster comes with many benefits- reducing losses, eliminating anxiety and alleviating fear are just a few. If you don’t already have one, make your disaster kit today and be prepared for the unexpected.

Join us for our webinar on July 30 as we further discuss disaster readiness and risk management hot topics. Click here to register.

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