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If you are aware you'll prepare

Are you ready?

We’ve seen time and time again how many citizens who live within strike zones of severe weather events become desperate after a storm hits. The ill prepared soon become the focus of recovery teams when some of those folks could have been better prepared in advance. It does not cost that much in time, money or effort to build your own emergency kit.

Your emergency kit should be stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Print this article off and bring it to the store with you after you check the links provided. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Basic Emergency Kit

To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or pelican cases. You can also use bags of rice to soak up the moisture content in the air to keep your dry foods dry.

A basic emergency kit should include the following recommended items:

 Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation and or a filter as found on the Spear Gear website. Just look under Survival gear.

Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food or look at the 5 day survival backpack also found in the Survival gear section of Spear Gear International’s website

 Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert


First aid kit such as the medic rip off pouch found in the Medical section of the SpearGearIntl website

Extra batteries

Whistle to signal for help

N95 rated dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting, tarps and duct tape to shelter-in-place

Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Manual can opener for food

Local maps

Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Toilet paper

5 gallon buckets with lids

Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:

Prescription medications

Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives

Glasses and contact lense solution

Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream

Pet food and extra water for your pet

Cash or traveler's checks

Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container such as a pelican case.

Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Check out the survival blanket on SpearGearIntl

 Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes

Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water

Fire extinguisher

Matches in a waterproof container

Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils

Paper and pencil

Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Maintaining Your Kit

After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:

Keep canned food in a cool, dry place

Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers

Replace expired items as needed, so check the contents periodically

Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

 Kit Storage Locations

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.

Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.

Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.

Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.

 “if you’re aware, you’ll prepare”

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