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Making an Emergency Bag is an important step for every home. This advanced planning project can make a big difference when you need to respond quickly to an emergency happening in your life. An emergency is defined as: “a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action”.
There are many things that can be called an emergency;
- Chemical Emergencies
- Food Safety
- Nuclear Explosions
- Volcano Eruption
- Water Safety
- Power Outage
- Heat Waves
- Highway Accidents
- Plane Accidents
Some of these events will have the possibility of advance warning such as hurricanes and blizzards. Other events happen so quickly there is little time to react, such as a natural gas explosion. Having a packed emergency bag, and having it in a location that is near an exit that everyone in the home knows about, can make seconds count.
What to include in an Emergency Bag
- Water – for each person in the home, 1 gallon per day for a minimum of three days (to be used for both drinking and sanitation) *due to size and weight needed to carry, you may want to use a additional bag for water storage.
- Food – for each person in the home, a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Manual Can Opener – for food
- First Aid Kit
- Flashlight – including extra batteries
- Whistle – to signal for help
- Radio and a NOAA Weather Radio – battery-powered or hand crank powered
- Wrench or Pliers – to turn off utilities
- Call Phone – with chargers and a backup battery
- Sanitation Supplies – moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties
- Shelter Supplies – plastic sheeting and duct tape, as well as a dust mask to help filter contaminated air
- Local Maps
Other Considerations for Your Emergency Bag
- Cash or Traveler’s Checks
- Matches – in a waterproof container
- Paper and Pencil – to record important information or to provide pastime activities
- Prescription Medications
- Over the Counter Medications – such as pain relievers, antacids, laxatives and anti-diarrhea
- Baby Supplies – infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet Supplies – food, water, leashes, collapsible bowls
- Children Supplies – books, games, small stuffed animal for comfort, etc.
- Glasses/ Contacts – including lens solution
- Important Documents – insurance policies, ID’s, Bank Records, in a waterproof container
- Sleeping Bag or Blankets – for each person
- Change of Clothes – including a pair of sturdy shoes
- Eating supplies – mess kit, paper cups, paper plates and plastic utensils
- Personal hygiene supplies – feminine supplies, incontinence supplies, toilet paper, etc.
- Household Chlorine bleach – and a medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
You will want to set a date approximately a year from the time you built your first emergency bag to do maintainance so your kit so it is always ready. Put that date in your planner or on your calendar, as an ongoing event. Replace any expired items, make sure that everything is in good working condition, and evaluate your list and see if any changes need to be made. Here is a Emergency Bag Packing List printable sheet that you can use to start gathering your supplies, and then it makes a great list to include in your bag when you are doing maintenance. Stay safe and stay prepared everyone!