Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Emergency prep list

If recent weather events have not yet prompted you to create a comprehensive emergency kit, then you are simply thickheaded. Especially if you have kids. You're just asking for trouble. So, below a list of suggested emergency kit items.

Home emergency kit:

  • Clothes, shelter and warmth: Blanket/shock blanket, tarp, heavy-duty plastic dropcloths; shoes, socks, shirt, pants, hat and gloves for each of us; camp towels; sunglasses; rain ponchos.
  • Nourishment: Water, Gatorade, food bars, nuts, tuna, canned fruit, Emergen-C, protein powder, plastic dishes & bowls.
  • Cleanliness and sanitation: Bleach, iodine tablets (for drinking water purification), antiseptic towelettes, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, vinyl gloves, dust masks, plastic bucket with lid, garbag bags, ziplock bags.
  • Toiletries: Toilet paper, bar soap, all-purpose liquid soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, lotion, sunscreen, lip balm, femine supplies, ponytail holders.
  • First aid and medication: Well-stocked first aid kit, Pepto, antacids, immodium, benadryl, ibuprofin, poison control kit (ipicac & carbon), saline eye wash.
  • Basic stuff: Batter-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, extra flashlight bulbs, candles, matches, laminated city map, paper & pens, army knife, whistle, rope, duct tape, rubber bands.
  • Tools: Leather work gloves, hammer, crowbar, wrench, pliers, screwdriver, folding hand saw, shovel.
  • Pets: Leashes, carriers or crates; harnesses, muzzle, sedatives, protective booties, pet food, canine/feline first aid manual.
  • Paper: Copies of important documents, bank account and insurance policy numbers and phone numbers, copies of pet licenses and shot records, extra cash.
  • Underrated handy items: Bandanas (can be used as hairnet, hankerchief, washcloth, dish towel...lightweight, quick-drying, very handy); carabiners (handy for stringing, hanging and securing things).
  • Luxury items: Solar shower, deck of cards, bottle of wine, corkscrew, rawhide chewies.

Car emergency kit list
  • Water
  • Food bars
  • Emergency/shock blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Lighter/matches
  • Paper & pen
  • Basic first aid supplies
  • Antiseptic towelettes
  • Funnel
  • Shovel
Storage – What do you put this stuff in? Here in earthquake land, we’re advised to keep most emergency supplies (except for papers, cash, etc.) outdoors, since they won’t do you much good buried under rubble should your house collapse. That’s challenging for people in apartments/condos, of course…and anyone in flood zones will have a different set of issues. But, here are some handy suggestions.
  • Garbage bin with wheels ($15)
  • Storables has nice plastic boxes with handles, suitable for car kit or first aid kit - $9.95; and also cooler-sized box with latch and carrying strap for $9.95
  • The thick/zippered plastic pouches that sheets and blankets come in are great for organizing and segmenting stuff
  • Store batteries separately so they don't corrode electronic equipment
  • Fire-proof safe (a small one is about $50 at hardware or office supply stores)
  • Portable hard drive for computer backup - can be stored inside fire safe
General tips:
  • Set yourself a calendar reminder to review the kit once a year and replace items that are at their expiration date. Rotate out drugs, food and other items into the house for consumption before they expire so they don't go to waste.
  • Keep your full first-aid kit inside the house (rather than duplicating everything outside) but in an easy-to-carry container so it can be removed.
  • Have at least one old-fashioned (non-cordless) phone in your house that will work without power.
  • Army surplus stores are a good source for cheaper tarps, warm clothing, rain ponchos - all kinds of stuff.
  • Agree with your fellow household members on a person OUTSIDE the area that you will call into to report your location and condition, in case you are separated during a disaster. Keep this phone number with you in your cell phone or wallet.
  • Don’t let your car get below a half tank of gas.
  • A camp stove and stove fuel are handy for cooking and boiling. However, NEVER use a camp stove indoors.
  • If you have a house security alarm, it may go off when the power goes out, the backup battery dies, or the power comes back on. Know how it works, or write down instructions if you don’t use the system frequently.

1 comment:

Shelly said...

I have thought about doing this, but here in the Midwest we only have to fear tornados (um, I think), and those would probably sweep away the emergency supplies!

I used to have a kit in a plastic box my car and then the emergency candles melted and ruined everything in the box, so I haven't done one since then.