To give you an idea of what you should have in a emergency kit, I'm sharing a list of what I have in my own personal kit. Everyone will have personal preferences of what they would want in their kit, but this is a good basic list to get you started.
- Water: one gallon per person (3 day supply)
- Food: non-perishable (3 day supply) - Can opener if any of the food is canned
- Flashlight, with extra batteries
- Battery Powered Radio with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply)
- Personal hygiene items and garbage bags
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Complete change of clothing, including a pair of sturdy shoes and a hoodie or jacket
- Cell phone with charger (Make sure you have a car charger that plugs into the 12V cigarette lighter slot. Another option, although a bit expensive, is a product called the K-TOR Pocket Socket It's a small hand-crank generator that will charge your cell phone. They run around $55.
- Family and emergency contact information
- Copies of personal documents in a waterproof container (medication list, medical information, proof of address, birth certificates, insurance policies, bank account record)
- Extra cash
- A sturdy backpack to hold everything
For people with disabilities, there is a great two minute PSA video, of how you can take charge and prepare you and your family as well.
Setting up a emergency kit can be a little expensive, especially if you have a large family. One way I combat that is by buying my supplies when they are on sale, or you can find some great deals at a Dollar Store too. If money is tight, don't try to buy everything at once. Make a plan to purchase one or two items a week, and before you know it your kit will be stocked and ready to go.
*Update 8/5/16: Stay tuned, because I will be writing a post soon, along with a video, to search out some good deals on things for your emergency bag.
For even more help and information, visit ready.gov. It's a great resource that can help you make a plan, build a kit, as well as educate you about the different types of hazards that we could face, and how to deal with them. They have two great articles on their site that I found really helpful. Family Communication Plan, which gives you tips on what to do if your family members are in different locations when an emergency strikes, and Caring For Animals has ideas on how to care for your pets during a disaster as well.
Do you have an emergency plan and kit ready?