Use our checklist to help you put together a potentially life-saving kit today
The recent disasters in Japan and New Zealand remind us that any of us could be in a similar situation. We may not experience an earthquake or tsunami, but no part of the world is exempt from natural disasters.
If you had to evacuate your home quickly, what would you do? Are you prepared with a grab-and-go kit? If you have one, great! Be sure to inventory the contents to make certain you have all you need, that the food and water is not out of code, and that every item is in working condition.
If you don’t have a kit, lets get started. You may wish to have a separate kit for each member of the family. Determine what will work best for you. We have ready-made kits, which offer a quick and easy way to begin.
The container should be easy to move and waterproof if possible. A backpack, a rolling suitcase, or a wheeled trash can hold a lot and are easy to carry, roll or drag if necessary.
Your basic kit should include:
o 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
o At least 3 days of food that is ready to eat or requires minimal preparation
o Manual can opener and other cooking supplies
o A change of clothes, sturdy shoes, and rain gear for each member of the family
o Medications/eyeglasses plus copies of prescriptions for each
o A minimum of $50 cash that is in small bills
o Personal hygiene items (teeth, hair, body, feminine)
o First aid kit
o Radio & extra batteries
o Flash drive or external hard drive with copies of important documents, such as
- Contact list with phone numbers
- Insurance policies
- Home inventory with photos
- Family photos
- Birth and death certificates
- Backup of computer files
- Medical records
- Passports, visas
- Banking and investment information
- Wills and trusts
- Pension and employee benefits information
- Court documents
- Mortgage records
- Tax returns
- Business records
o Gum and hard candy
o Flashlight & extra batteries
o Basic tools, such as work gloves, pry bar, N95 masks, duct tape, sheet plastic
o Lotion, sun block, lip balm
o Pocket knife
o Waterproof matches
o Cards, games, books, etc. for entertainment
o Extra house and car keys
If you have children, seniors, pets, or disabled members of your family, make sure that any special items they may need are included in their kits.
If there are items that you may wish to take from your home, such as family keepsakes, be sure to make a list so you know just what to quickly grab. Keep that list with your kit.