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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Emergency Kit Tips

While your home will probably be safest place to be during an emergency or crisis, there may be times when you will need to evacuate the area or leave your home. Here are some essentials tips for your emergency kits.

Emergency Kit Tips

(1) Your emergency kit should be placed in portable containers located near an exit of your house. This is so you can grab them quickly on your way out of the house in a serious emergency or disaster. Do not overload your kit, backpack or portable container. If you wind up having to carry it a long distance to reach safety or shelter you will appreciate the lighter weight.

(2) Each family member should have their own kit with food, clothing and water. You may want to include an extra emergency kit for any relatives or persons visiting you. In an emergency this will give you needed additional items and resources in an emergency. You can distribute heavy items between the emergency kits for adult members to keep the weight of children’s emergency kits at a minimum.

(3) Enclose the extra clothing, matches, personal documents, and other items damageable by smoke or water in plastic to protect them. Make sure it’s weather appropriate for the time of year. Don’t forget to include raingear. If it's raining when you have to evacuate, you will appreciate having dry clothes.

(4) Keep a small flashlight handy in the top portion of your kit. This way you can find it quickly and easily in the dark. Have more than one! If a flashlight gets lost or broken, you will need another one.

(5) Personalize your kit. Be sure you fill the needs of each family member and don’t forget to provide any needed prescriptions for inhalers, medicines, eyeglasses, etc.

(6) Inspect your emergency kit at least twice a year. Make sure there aren’t any missing items. Rotate your food and water. Check your children's clothing for proper fit and size. Adjust clothing for winter or summer needs. Check the expiration dates on all batteries, light sticks, hand warmers, and any extra food items and water you have stored. Be sure to include appropriate foot gear, such as hiking or snow boots.

(7) Consider the needs of elderly people as well as those with handicaps or other special needs. For infants, store diapers, washcloth, ointment, bottles and pacifiers, as well as other special supplies.

(8) Be sure to make copies of important personal and business documents and store them in a safe place. Include photos and I.D. for all family members.

(9) Identify an out of state contact person so family and friends can communicate with you during an emergency. Keep the information written down and easily accessible.

(10) Plan for a meeting place if you cannot meet at home. Designate an emergency meeting place if you become separated during a disaster or emergency.

It is difficult to prepare for every emergency situation that you may face. Having an emergency kit handy and easily accessible may give you the needed edge to survive.

Staying above the water line!



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