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HOW TO START A FAMILY EMERGENCY KIT

Hurricane Season is upon us and it is important that we are prepared. The ability of your family to experience a hazard and recover with little disruption to your standard of living is to be prepared. Having an emergency supply kit is an essential component of personal and family preparedness.

Why not start with your family emergency kit? Here are some of the basic items that you should include in order to make sure you and your family are ready for the Hurricane Season.

Don’t be surprised if you find that you already have most of them in your household!

An emergency kit should include a variety of emergency supplies to help sustain you and your family for up to 3 days.

Here are some of the items that your family emergency kit will need:

 

Non-perishable food items:

Whether its peanut butter, crix, cereal, dried fruits and dried nuts, or canned food, there’s a whole range of non-perishable, easy-to-make food items that you can add to your emergency kit. Not feeling the healthier options? Trying adding some cookies to your kit. Just make sure that it is not going to expire soon and has a long shelf-life. So next time when you’re at the grocery, grab some extra food items to add to your home kit. While you’re at it, stock up on some delicious snacks like granola bars or potato chips. Don’t forget a can opener!

 

Water:

It is recommended that you stock up on one gallon of water per person per day. This may seem like a lot, but this water is not only for drinking, but for bathing and washing up as well. Store your water in a cool dry place away from the sun.

Remember you do not have to buy bottled water. You can keep extra water in clean buckets away from the sun.

 

First Aid Kit:

Be sure to pack a first aid kit with essential items such as a gauze, scissors, latex gloves, bandages of different shapes and sizes, painkillers and safety pins to name a few. These items can come in handy in case of injury or illness so make sure you stock up every two-three months and replace expired items.

Personal Hygiene kit:

Updating your monthly stock of shampoo or shavers? Buy an extra one or two to create your own personal hygiene kit. This should include items such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, moist towlettes etc.

 

Battery-powered radio and extra batteries:

During heavy rainfall and strong wing events there may be power outages, making it difficult for us to receive updates and emergency measures such as whether we should evacuate.

Having a battery powered radio is key to knowing what is happening around you.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management and the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service keeps the media informed via releases. This information will come across your radio during an emergency. Be sure to keep a battery-power radio and keep extra batteries on hand in case you run out.

Flashlight:

It’s nightfall and there’s a storm occurring. You’re hoping it’ll just pass in the next half hour or so then…Boom! Current goes and the place is in complete darkness. Having a flashlight in emergency situations are important to prevent a disaster within a disaster. You should also keep candles and matches in a waterproof container in case you may be caught without electricity for some hours.

Personal Documents stored on a flash drive and/or in a waterproof container:

Important documents such as Photo ID’s (driver’s license, passport), Personal records (birth certificate, marriage certificate), medical records, bank and credit card information, Property records (deed, leases, and insurance policy), Photo album, Valuables etc. should be stored in a safe dry place in case of flooding or fire hazards. Place the original documents in a waterproof container on a high shelf, as well as a soft copy in case originals are damaged.

Extra infant supplies and formula:

 

 

If you have infants, don’t forget to have extra supplies on hand just in case. If making infant formula, ensure you have bottled water. A toy can also come in handy to keep them occupied during the commotion.

 

Pet supplies:

Do not forget to prepare for your pet(s). They need a comfortable place to stay and extra supplies during an emergency.  Be sure to have a carrier, leash and emergency food and water for your pet(s).

 

Extra clothing/comfy shoes:

 

Although you may have clothes at home, it’s always good to keep an extra t-shirt or clean underwear in your emergency kit. If your family is large, be sure to keep enough to cover everyone.

Here are some extra things that you should have on hand in case of an emergency:

  • Bleach- in case you run out of water, it is advised to boil your water and add 2-3 drops of bleach in each gallon before consumption
  • Multi-purpose tool- including pieces such as a knife, can opener, bottle opener etc.
  • Whistle
  • Matches/lighter in waterproof container
  • Contact information for family, work, doctors, etc., including phone numbers and email address in a waterproof container
  • Cell phone
  • Medication for at least one week and prescription copies
  • Soap/disinfectant/ sanitizer
  • Paper towels/ moist towelettes
  • Toilet paper
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Books and puzzles, Stuffed toy for young children
  • Garbage bags

To learn more on how to get ready this Hurricane Season visit www.odpm.gov.tt/hurricaneguide

LET’S GET READY AND STAY READY!

 

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