September is National Preparedness Month. The goal is to educate the country about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time.
2021’s theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”
Each week has a designated theme.
Week One was “Make a Plan.”
Week Two: Build a Kit
The second week of National Preparedness Month begins September 5 and runs through the 11th.
This week’s purpose is to encourage people to put together their emergency supply go kit. When putting together your kit, make sure you gather enough supplies to last for several days after a disaster. This means enough for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to think about the unique needs for each person or pet in case you have to evacuate quickly. Check in with the Centers for Disease Control when making your kit as guidelines have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can keep this kit with you if you ride out the storm at home or make sure it’s easy to grab if you evacuate.
We’ve put together a list of five things you need in your emergency supply go kit.
#1- Midland ER-310 Emergency Crank Weather Radio
This radio is a must for emergency supply kits.
The ER310 will keep you and the family informed in case of severe weather- before and after the storm. The NOAA weather radio alerts will keep you updated as the weather evolves.
You can keep the ER310 at home or in your car. It’s perfect for monitoring the severe weather situation if you find yourself evacuating to avoid the storm.
With AM and FM radio, you can receive the latest information from the local news. This is crucial for post-disaster information.
This radio has multiple sustainable power sources- solar, hand crank, and rechargeable battery. You can also use six AA batteries, giving you another source of power. That means you never have to sacrifice your alerts and notifications even if you lose access to electricity for charging.
Speaking of charging, you can use the ER310 to charge your USB compatible devices. This will help you keep your phones and tablets charged when power is lost.
For during and after the storm, the ER310 has an extremely bright LED flashlight. This will help you navigate your home or shelter at night and when power is lost.
With several accessories in one item, the ER310 should be at the top of your emergency kit list.
#2- Water and Food
Water and food are must have survival items for your emergency go kit.
Water is needed for both cooking and sanitation. You’ll need to have three gallons of water per person, per day.
Your food choices should include items that don’t require cooking. It might be a good idea to also include a manual can opener. Ready.gov suggests foods such as fruit bars, dry cereal or granola, peanut butter, dried fruit, crackers, non-perishable pasteurized milk, and food for infants.
Experts recommend having enough water for a minimum of three days. Some states in hurricane and earthquake zones now suggest having two weeks worth of supplies.
#3- Personal Hygiene, baby supplies, and pet supplies
Staying clean after a disaster is difficult so it’s important to have as many hygiene supplies as possible in your kit. This can include hand sanitizer, toilet paper, trash bags, antibacterial wipes, full body cleansing wipes, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and tissues.
While putting your kit together you’ll also need to remember to think of the unique needs of everyone inside your home including infants. Ready.gov suggests using ready-to-feed formula. If you must mix infant formula, use bottled water or boiled water as a last resort.
Family pets should also be considered as you put your emergency go kit together. Make sure you have bottled water, one to two weeks’ worth of your pets’ food, collapsible food and water bowls, blankets, cat litter and pan, a leash; collar; and harness, pet life jacket, paw protectors, pet medications, and more. It’s also important you check in with public shelters to see if pets are allowed.
#4- Medicine and eyeglasses
As you get your emergency supply kit together, it’s important you have the right medication included.
You’ll want to have at least seven days worth of over-the-counter and prescription medications you take on a regular basis. Label the containers clearly.
Some of the non-prescription medications you should include are pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medications, antacids, an antihistamine for allergic reactions, and mosquito repellent.
Experts also recommend packing band aids, gauze, aloe gel, antibiotic ointments like Neosporin, and thermometers.
Make sure you have your eyeglasses and contact solution packed as well.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control is encouraging people to update their kits with masks for everyone ages two and up, along with soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes to wipe down surfaces.
#5- Important paperwork
In case of an evacuation order, keep your important paperwork in one place so it’s easy to grab and add to your emergency supply go kit. You don’t want to lose time searching for these important documents on your way out the door.
Important paperwork to include is proof of your health insurance, homeowners insurance, list of medications (human and pet), phone numbers, pet vaccination and medical history, veterinarian information, and photos of your pet in case they get lost.