March 7, 2009

Emergency Preparedness: 72-Hour Kit

Be ready for an emergency situation. Ease your mind by ensuring your home has these essential items in an Emergency Preparedness Kit.

  • Water: Store four and a half litres of water per person, per day. Two and a half litres for drinking and two litres for food preparation and sanitation. Ensure there is at least a three-day supply of water. Change stored water and food supply every six months so it stays fresh.
  • Food: Store a minimum three-day supply per person of non-perishable foods. Ready to eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables, canned juices, high energy foods like peanut butter and jelly with crackers and granola bars, vitamins, comfort/stress foods like chocolate and a loaf of bread frozen in the freezer to defrost for sandwiches. Remember: keep all items in air-tight plastic bags in an easy to carry container.
  • First Aid Kit: Assemble a kit including: sterile gauze pads and bandages in various sizes, surgical tape, scissors, tweezers, moistened towelettes, antiseptic, latex gloves, soap, petroleum jelly, non-prescription drugs such as aspirin, anti-diarrhea medication and antacid. Consult a physician or pharmacist for advice on storing prescription medication.
  • Tools and Supplies: Flashlight and extra batteries, battery operated radio, cash, traveler's cheques, change, non-electric can opener, utility knife, compass, signal flare, pencils, paper, paper plates and plasticware, rain ponchos and spare car and house keys. Always have a telephone that doesn't require electricity to function (most cordless and multi-feature phones will not work in a power outage) as well as a contact list of important numbers, updated regularly to include loved ones and medical professionals.
  • Sanitation: Toilet paper, soap, liquid detergent, clothing, bedding, plastic bucket with tight lid (this can serve as a waste receptacle if required), plastic garbage bags, zip-lock bags and disinfectant.
  • Special Needs: Be sure to include items for family members with special needs such as infants, elderly or disabled persons. Keep important family documents in waterproof, portable containers (e.g. birth certificates, recent photos, health card numbers, passports and insurance policies). Have an ample supply of pet food and litter on hand.