Make your emergency kit now
This time of year, the hurricane preparedness message always bears repeating.
With our area threatened by its first tropical system — Elsa, which will be moving through on Thursday and bringing the potential for heavy rain and tornadoes — it is never a bad time to think about preparedness, if not for this system, then maybe for the next one.
A little over a month ago, we addressed hurricane preparedness in this space and urged you to download the FEMA app to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service; to enable Wireless Emergency Alerts on your smartphone or use a NOAA Weather Radio; to purchase flood insurance, for which you can find more information on floodsmart.gov; and to know your zone, for which you can find more information on knowyourzoneva.org.
Here, we will talk specifically about what should be in your emergency kit, which can help you not only in a hurricane but also in any number of other emergencies. Here are some of the most vital items for your kit:
An out-of-town contact to help your household reconnect
At least a 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food
Infant supplies such as formula, diapers, baby wipes, etc.
Medications for at least one week and copies of prescriptions
Medical equipment, assistive technology and backup batteries
First aid kit and antibiotic ointment
Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers and antacids
Prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and solution
Medical alert tags/bracelets
Flashlight and extra batteries
Multipurpose tool and can opener
Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
Paper cups, paper plates and plastic utensils
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
Cell phone, charger and a backup battery
Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above)
Warm clothing and sturdy shoes
Blankets or sleeping bags
Emergency cash funds to sustain your family several days. Credit or debit cards may not work if networks are down.
Waterproof storage bag or container for critical paperwork. Consider storing a password-protected backup of your records on a virtual cloud service.
Driver’s licenses and passports
Vehicle registrations and proof of insurance
Medical and vaccination records
Prescription medicine labels
Social Security cards
Marriage certificates and wills
Proof of residence (deed or lease)
Business and personal tax records
Bank account records
Household inventory (photo or video)
Garbage bags and plastic ties
Surface disinfectants and wipes
Bleach and rubbing alcohol
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Books, games, puzzles, favorite stuffed toys and sensory items for children
Valuables and jewelry
Place ID tags on collars and micro-chip pets
Description and current photos of pets
Immunization and medical records
1.5 gallons of water and sufficient food and medicine for at least three days per pet
Pet medication, copy of feeding and medication schedule for caregiver, shelter or boarding staff
Collar, leash and carrier
Pet toys and bedding