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Disaster Preparedness: Preparing Your Family for the Unexpected (Part 2)

After discussing with your family your disaster plan, your next step is to prepare the things that you will need during and after a disaster. These include a supplies kit and first-aid kit. Having adequate supplies and everything that you need will help you survive the aftereffects of any disaster or emergency.

1. Supplies kit in your car – Keeping a small portion of your emergency needs in the trunk of your car will help you survive in case you become stranded and waiting for help. To keep these supplies from spoilage, keep them in an airtight container. And to ensure freshness, replace food and water supplies at most every six months. For prescription medication, ask your doctor about the possibility of acquiring medicines and storing them.

Basic Components of Car Supplies Kit

  • Ready-to-eat food or those requiring minimal preparation
  • Water that can last for at least three days
  • Can opener (if bringing canned goods)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Prescription medicines
  • Personal identification of all members of the family
  • Signal flare and whistle
  • Lighter or matches
  • Special needs for children, seniors or members with disability

2. Go-Bag – In case of emergency and you are in the house and there is a need to evacuate very quickly, the go-bag will come in handy. It can be a backpack or any easy-to-carry bag. It should contain personal and emergency items each family member needs during and after a disaster. The go-bag should be easily accessible and ready to carry and every member should know where it is. Preferably, it should be placed near the door or exit locations.

Basic Components of Go-Bags

  • Flashlight
  • Portable battery-operated radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Dust mask
  • Whistle
  • Pocket knife
  • Lighter or matches
  • Personal stuff like clothes, sturdy shoes, underwear, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
  • Basic supplies like food, water and special needs like medication that can last for at least three days (food should be ready to eat or that requires little preparation)
  • List of contact person in case of emergency
  • Map
  • Details about evacuation areas and escape routes
  • Other things you deem important to bring

Make sure that everyone’s basic needs are included in the go-bag. Just like with your supplies kit for the car, make sure that food and water in the go-bag are fresh by replacing them at most every six months.

3. Evacuation kit – Apart from the supplies mentioned above, there are other things that you might want to consider bringing especially if you are informed in advance by your local government to prepare for an emergency. These could include:

  • Manual cooking supplies
  • Unbreakable plates, glasses and utensils
  • Proper clothing in case of cold or warm weather
  • Household bleach for water purification
  • DIY tools
  • Sleeping bag and blanket
  • Rope
  • Any other supplies you wish to bring that can give comfort to your family while in an evacuation shelter

4. First Aid Kit – An emergency checklist will never be complete without a First Aid Kit. It is very basic and you need to have ready first aid supplies in case someone in your family gets hurt during or after a disaster.

Basic Components of First Aid Kit

  • Sterile dressings
  • Disposable gloves
  • Soap or any cleansing agent
  • Alcohol
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn ointment
  • Eyewash solution
  • Different sizes of adhesive bandages
  • Scissors
  • Over-the-counter medicines for headache, body pain, diarrhea and others
  • Prescription medication and prescribed medical supplies of any family members with special needs

All the things listed here are not all encompassing. There might be other things which you want to add in any of the list; feel free to add it. There is nothing wrong with too much preparation. In fact being too prepared can help save your life and the life of your family.


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