It’s Time to Get a DIY Emergency Preparedness Kit

September is National Preparedness Month and after what happened in Houston with Hurricane Harvey and with the impending landfall of Hurricane Irma, now more than ever is a good time to make sure you are ready in the event of a major emergency. While the task of creating an emergency preparedness kit may seem daunting, rest assured that it’s not. If you’re above asking your dad for help like I did, this checklist and a trip to your local Dollar Store will help!

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit from Ready.Gov

  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Miscellaneous Items

  • Prescription medications and nonprescription medication
  • Back up copies of important documents (birth certificate, insurance documents, identification, etc.) held in a waterproof bag
  • Complete change of clothes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Solar powered phone charger

Don’t forget about your pets either! If you have pets you should not only have extra pet food in your kit, but also don’t forget extra water. Items such as an extra collar and leash may also come in handy. Additionally, keep a running list of pet friendly shelters in your area.
Emergency Preparedness Kit for Pets

  • Pet food
  • Spare leash/collar/harness
  • Spare toys
  • Chew sticks and/or treats

Emergency Preparedness kits should be kept in multiple locations. Ideally, you will have one for your home, one for your car, and one for you place of work. If you’re not into DIY you can buy a premade Emergency Preparedness Kit on Amazon.

If you think that you don’t need an Emergency Preparedness Kit just because you don’t live near the coast, think again. Whether you’re dealing with hurricanes, earthquakes, or snow, everyone needs an Emergency Preparedness Kit. While having an emergency preparedness kit is just the first step in making sure that you are truly prepared for an emergency, it is an easy step you can take to put yourself more in control when adverse weather hits.

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For more information on being prepared for an emergency in your area, check out this handy Social Media page from ready.gov that lists all of the FEMA accounts by region. You can also check to see if your local county or town has their own Emergency Management office has a website or Facebook page.

Darrian Duckworth

Darrian Duckworth

Darrian is a New York transplant who originally hails from the great state of West Virginia-- yes, it is a state and no, it’s not close to Virginia Beach-- where she was born, raised, and went to college (Let’s go, Mountaineers!). After college, she fled the state she loved and emerged from the suffocating atmosphere of small town life and coal dust only to find that she has (happily) traded in the small town life for that of a (soon-to-be) Army wife. When she isn’t working her day job, it’s a safe bet you can find her writing, knee deep in wedding planning, documenting her nearly daily life on YouTube, and/or taking way too many pictures of her dogs.
Darrian Duckworth
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