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An emergency kit is for more than just major disasters, it’s for those personal disasters, too. Emergencies that effect just a few people can be just as devastating as a major one if you’re one of the few. If the power goes out or you’re stuck in a snowdrift along a back road you’ll need some emergency supplies to keep you going until help arrives. In an area wide disaster, including flooding, earthquake or even a tornado, plan for a minimum of three days for your emergency kit.
1 Keep plenty of water on hand.
One gallon of water per day, per person is necessary for washing and drinking. Don’t forget to include pets.
2 Have enough food for at least three days.
You don’t have to have a buffet or gourmet treat, just make sure it contains enough calories to keep the family fed. If you’re creating a kit for the car, no matter what type of food you keep, make sure it’s stored in an animal proof container and is simple to fix. Protein bars for the car are a good choice. However, the Canadian Arctic rescue teams suggest canned dog food. It’s filled with calories and you won’t be tempted to eat it all the first day. Personally, I’m going for protein bars.
3 Keep the light on in the window.
4 You’ll need a basic first aid kit.
Whether in the house or in a car, having a first aid kit assembled and ready should be a priority.
5 Sanitation supplies keep you healthier.
6 Toileting items become important when nature calls.
Whether you’re in your home or car, you’ll have to go sometime. If there’s no water to flush or you’re stuck in a snowbank, you’ll need to consider an alternative method. Have toilet paper, garbage bags with ties as a start. There are also portable toilets that use garbage bags, as well as, which fold flat. A bucket of kitty litter can double as grip for under your tires if you’re stuck in snow or mud or part of waste removal.
7 Battery operated radio or hand crank radio that carries the national weather alert keeps you posted.
A radio is particularly necessary where violent weather, such as tornadoes or hurricanes occur.
8 Tools may be necessary.
You don’t need the shop, just a few hand tools. Keep to the basics for the car to make emergency repairs along the way (include all the necessary fluids, such as oil, antifreeze, etc.) for the car. For the home, make sure you include a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities and have the shut off clearly marked.
9 A manual can opener should be in every kit.
Most people have a power can opener, but may not have a manual one that works when the power goes out.
10 Extra clothing and warm blankets for the car.
If you’re at home, you have access to both, but in the car, it could make the difference between survival and freezing. If you live in an area that seldom gets cold, you still may need comfortable clothing if you must leave the car and hike to safety.