An emergency readiness kit is essential to have in the event of an evacuation according to officials.

Key items needed to make up a solid emergency readiness kit include three days worth of provisions, batteries and first aid equipment.

Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Emergency Management Specialist, Mario Sumter explains why these items are essential for an emergency readiness kit.

"So, you can have a well developed kit that has enough materials without overstocking it," said Sumter. "You want to have stuff that has multiple uses. Pans you can store water in as well as eat out of and cook out of."

Keeping your kit in an area that is easily accessible is also important because in an emergency situation you want to be able to quickly find it and get out of the hazardous area.

"An example would be by your front door, or in your basement where everyone knows where it is," said Sumter. "You want to leave it in an area that is not going to be affected by the hazardous situation. Usually some place you can grab it and go."

Sumter also said it is important to keep an emergency readiness kit in the workplace, but to remember it won't have as many items as the one kept in the home.

Red Cross recommended kit
• Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
• Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
• Flashlight and extra batteries.
• First aid kit.
• Whistle to signal for help.
• Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
• Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food).
• Local maps.
• Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.

Additional items to consider keeping in an emergency readiness kit:
• Prescription medications and glasses
• Infant formula and diapers
• Pet food and extra water for your pet
• Cash or traveler's checks and change
• Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information at www.citizencorps.gov/downloads/pdf/ready/
EFFAK_2010_FEMA.pdf.
• Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov.
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
• Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
• Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper - When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
• Fire Extinguisher
• Matches in a waterproof container
• Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
• Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
• Paper and pencil
• Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Page last updated Thu October 6th, 2011 at 00:00