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Emergency preparedness kit

The following is a suggested list of supplies to be kept in a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit in a metal or plastic garbage can or other sturdy container that is easily transportable. 
It can be stored in a garage, shed, or other out-of-the-way location.
  • Water. Have at least one gallon per person per day and replace every six months. Water can also be obtained from your water heater: be sure to double strap the water heater to keep it secure. Bleach and an eye dropper should be included: 8 drops of bleach per gallon of clear water or 16 drops for cloudy water will purify into drinking water; let stand 30 minutes before drinking.

  • Food. Pack non-perishable, high-protein items, including energy bars, ready- to-eat soup, peanut butter, canned foods, dried fruits, nuts, crackers, etc. Include a manual can opener, eating utensils, bowls, plates, and cups.

  • First Aid Kit. Pack a reference guide. Include the following items if not already in your first aid kit: band-aids, gauze pads, adhesive tape, adhesive and elastic bandages, antibiotic cream, white sheet or cloth strips for bandages and splints, dust mask, latex gloves, sterile wipes or solution, Epsom salts, peroxide, pain reliever, tweezers, scissors, safety pins, alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol, thermometer. Maintain a 14-day supply of prescription and non- prescription medication and refresh it periodically.

  • Flashlight. Include extra dated batteries; test and replace them annually. A better option is a hand-crank light.

  • Battery-Operated Radio. Include extra dated batteries to be replaced annually. A better option is a hand-crank radio.

  • Tools and Equipment. Include wrench to shut off gas when necessary, screw driver, hammer, pliers, knife, scissors, duct tape, waterproof matches, candles, pen and paper, plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and Ziploc bags.

  • Clothing. Provide a change of clothes for everyone, including sturdy shoes, warm jacket, hat, gloves, and a rain poncho.

  • Blankets. Include warm blankets or sleeping bag. 

  • Important Documents. Retain copies of important papers, such as identification cards, insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, or other legal and financial information. Include photographs of household members as well as medications and health information.
  • Contact Information. Carry a current list of family phone number and e-mail addresses, including someone out of the area who may be easier to contact if local phone lines are out of service.
  • Sanitary Supplies. Include toilet paper, towelettes, feminine supplies, soap, toothpaste and brush, trash bags, etc.

  • Money. Have at least $100 per person including coins and bills stored in your emergency kit. ATM machines will not work with power outages in the area.
  • Pet Supplies. Include food, water, leash, litter box or plastic bags, tags, any medications, and vaccination information.
  • Map. Mark an evacuation route from your local area plus an alternative route.
  • Eyeglasses. Keep your extra pair of prescription glasses or contact lenses and solution in kit. Include a pair of sunglasses.
  • Fire Extinguisher. Check gauge for full charge and know how to use it.
  • Keys. Keep an extra set in your kit.
  • Whistle. Use to notify rescuers if you are trapped under debris.
Include any necessary items for infants, seniors, or people with special or physical needs in your kit.

Create and maintain a smaller version of the kit inside your vehicle and at work in a backpack or duffel bag in case you become stranded, are away from home, or need to evacuate. Keep gas tank at least 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 full at all times.

For more information on kits, emergency water, and other preparedness suggestions visit the COPE web page at cope.srcity.org.