Some disasters strike without any warning. Have you thought about those supplies you’ll need the most? They will usually be the hardest to come by. If you have children enlist them to help gather supplies for your family’s emergency kit. It’ll bring you a sense of relief, and your kids a feeling of empowerment. Make sure you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Think about where you live and what your specific needs would be. Consider having a large kit at home, and smaller portable kit in the car or your workplace. Don’t feel you have to put this all together in a day, just add a bit day by day and before you know it your Emergency Kits will be ready and waiting, just in case.  For more information on emergency preparedness go to www.ready.gov
Here is a  list of items you may find helpful to have on hand in case of an emergency:

Emergency Supplies List
3-day supply of non-perishable food (dried fruit, canned tuna fish, peanut butter, etc.)
Non-Electric Can opener
Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, paper towels
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Water – at least a gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene
First aid kit
Prescription medication and glasses
Sleeping bags or warm blankets for everyone in your family
Change of clothes for at least 3 days, including sturdy shoes (consider the time of year and the weather where you live when deciding)
Several lighters and matches
Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and other personal items
Feminine hygiene supplies
Fire extinguisher
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities (know where they are and how to turn them off)
Dust mask, and plastic sheeting and duct tape, to help filter contaminated air
Battery-powered, solar powered and hand-cranked NOAA radio and extra batteries
Flashlights and lots of extra batteries
Cell phone with extra battery packs, extra battery and solar charger
Whistle, compass, mirror signal for help
Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper (when diluted to nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.)
Local maps
Cash (Get extra cash out of the bank, ATM’s may not be available)
Emergency reference material such as first aid book or information from emergency web sites
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, ID, and bank records in a waterproof, portable container
Infant formula and diapers if you have a baby
Paper and pencil
Books, games or puzzles (let your kids pick these out themselves!)
Your child’s favorite stuffed animal or security blanket
Pet food and extra water for your pet, pet supplies (collar, blanket, leashes, pen)
Fill your vehicles with gas
Fill plastic bags with water and place them in the freezer (will help food stay frozen longer when power is out)
Make sure you have enough medicine and first aid supplies
Don’t forget to think about infants, elderly, pets, or any family members with special needs!

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