Every family can prepare for the worst before the electricity goes out, the dog starts barking and the children start crying. The first step? Assemble an emergency supply kit. Ready.gov , a national campaign to help people prepare for emergency situations, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency outline 12 essentials you should have on hand.
- Water: The most basic necessity. Store enough water to last for at least three days, which equals 1 gallon per person, per day. FEMA suggests stocking up on extra water if you live in a warm climate or have children.
- Food: Keep a three-day supply of nonperishable food on hand. FEMA suggests stocking up on staples and canned goods that don't require refrigeration, cooking or water. A manual can opener is also a must.
- Whistle: A great way to signal for help.
- Battery-powered or hand -cranked radio: The best way to stay informed and track inclement weather. Be sure to buy extra batteries.
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- First aid kit: Should include sterile gloves, sterile dressings, soap, antibiotic ointment, bandages, eye wash, a thermometer and prescription medications. Ready.gov also recommends over-the-counter pain relievers, antidiarrheal medication, antacids and laxatives.
- Dust mask.
- Hygiene and sanitation supplies: Moist towelettes, garbage bags, toilet paper and plastic ties can help keep you and your shelter clean.
- Wrench or pliers: You never know when these multipurpose tools will come in handy.
- Local maps: Learn different routes out of town in case some roads are closed because of traffic or others hazards.
- Cell phone with chargers: Keep in contact with loved ones, emergency personnel or rescuers.
- Extra clothing: If you live in a cold climate, FEMA suggests packing jackets, hats, mittens, scarves and one warm blanket or sleeping bag per person.
What else would you pack in a survival kit? Leave a comment below.