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emergency preparedness

How to Build an Emergency Kit

Even though emergencies and disasters rarely happen, we all want to be prepared when these things arrive. It could mean saving our family and being comfortable when things go from bad to worst. It is better to have a back pack ready for transport when the government issues an evacuation order or if time won’t permit us from packing things which we’ll eventually need after a disastrous event.

I have here a few tips on how to pack an emergency kit, excluding the very basic food and water. If you want your family to be a little prepared (because we are not supposed to be totally prepared with these things), you’d want to check these out and start making or revising your emergency kit.

First-aid kit and medications. It is important to think of this stuff when you are planning the things that you’ll pack in case of disasters. You might sustain an injury when disaster strikes and you know how important it is to treat wounds immediately to avoid infection. It is also crucial to pack medications, especially if some of the members in your family need to take medicine because of chronic illness.

Source of light. In case of power cut-off, you should have another source of light aside from electric-powered ones. You could pack solar-powered torch light and some battery-powered flashlights and extra batteries. Also, remember to change the battery once a year so that you’re sure that you have good, working batteries in times of need. It is also advisable to pack candles, matches and lighters (water-proof).

Radio. Of course, it is given that it’s battery-powered or wind-up radio. In case where televisions won’t work because of power cut-offs, you can still hear the news and government-issued announcements.

Clothing. A change of clothing is also a recommended item to pack ahead in case of an emergency. Remember to take into account the climate especially when it is cold. Also, pack your clothes in a separate plastic bag so it won’t get wet.

Money. It is advisable to bring travellers cheques and cash especially smaller bills because ATM machines might not work after a disaster.

Basic Tools. You might need to fix things up so it is better to have handy tools in hand like hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, work gloves, dust mask and the ever useful Swiss Army knife. Also include some duct tape—it is extremely helpful in binding things specifically if you need to tape up your shelter.

Toiletries/ Personal Care Supplies. This includes but is not limited to the following: toilet papers, tampons and pads, soaps and hand sanitizers for you

Shelter. As much as possible, you want to be ready when disaster strikes. The government would probably provide you with shelter but it is good to be self-sufficient during these times. If you can or if you have any, bring tents or if not, at least some sleeping bags or warm blankets for each member of the household.

Whistle. Or it could be any small object (which is easier to pack) that creates a loud noise. This is important because you might need to signal for help.

Documents. In case of fire or any other emergencies, your documents should be ready for immediate evacuation. This includes a copy of your emergency plan, local maps, your contact information, birth certificates, the deed of the house, passports and visas, insurance papers and cards, drivers’ licences and other legal documents. Also, it is better if you secure them in a plastic wrapper so that it won’t get wet.

Sentimental things. When disaster strikes you can lose everything, including the things you consider important not because it’s expensive but because of its sentimental value. This may include keepsakes, photo albums, home videos and family heirlooms like original paintings and jewelries.

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