This article and related posts can help you buy and create your stock of emergency supplies while saving money, but not skimping on the most important things….
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Emergencies can arise anywhere at any time from a natural disasters (flood, fire, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.), health emergencies (pandemic flu or other fast spreading disease), man-made disasters (derailed train carrying chemicals, arson fires, wide spread black outs, etc.), crime (riots), terrorism, or acts of war.
EVERYONE should have an EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS BAG or KIT Ready To Go
AND a separate stash of EMERGENCY SUPPLIES FOR STAY AT HOME USE.
An Emergency Preparedness Bag or Kit is also known as an “Emergency Kit”, “Disaster Kit”, “Go Bag” (for when you must take ermergency supplies with you and go), “GOOD Bag” (GOOD = Get out of Dodge), or a “WTSHTF Kit” (WTSHTF = When the shit hits the fan).
Whether you live alone or if you live with a spouse or family, you should have a stash of emergency supplies for use while at home AND you should have one or more kits/bags prepared and ready at all times to take with you if you need to leave your home in an emergency.
TYPES OF EMERGENCY BAGS & KITS
(details for each type of kit are included below these summaries)
STAY AT HOME SUPPLIES:
Every household, no matter how many people are living in it, should have a stash of all emergency supplies needed for everyone living in the home, for use while at home in an emergency situation. They should be organized and kept all in one place in your home or at the very least two places (one for food & drink, one for everything else). But you should never just rely on what you normally have around the house in the event of an emergency – you should have designated supplies that you do not use except in the event of an emergency so you know they are always there for you. Your at home emergency supply kit may be different from a kit you keep in your car or take with you if you must leave in a hurry. More details below.
EMERGENCY OFFICE/WORK KIT:
Your office/work emergency supply kit is just as important as your home supply kit since most of us spend 8 to 12 hours at work. Depending on where you work and what you do your office/work emergency supply kit contents will vary greatly. It would also be wise for your employer to have a supply kit or supply pantry for the entire office or work force (each department or area). If they don’t already have one we strongly suggest you meet with your employer and ask about having one created and a meeting with all employees be conducted regarding where the supplies are located, what is available, how to access them, and make plans for evacuation if and when needed. Most work places have basic plans and nothing more. Today that simply is not enough. If you work off site special plans should be made for each situation you and your fellow employees may be in.
EMERGENCY CAR KIT:
Your at car emergency supply kit will be different from a kit you keep at home or at the office, or take with you if you must leave your home or office in a hurry. A car emergency kit is first and foremost intended for use when you are unexpectedly stranded in your car for any reason. It can also be an extension of your “Go” or “GOOD” bags that you take with you if you must leave your home or office in a hurry or if you simply get caught in a disaster situation while in your car and cannot get to your home or office.
FOR SINGLE ADULTS & COUPLES W/O CHILDREN:
You should create one personal “Go Bag” for every physically able adult in your home. We recommend this be a back pack that also has a handle or shoulder strap so it can easily be carried any way needed. Details of what this kit or bag should contain is listed below.
FOR DISABLED ADULTS:
If there is a disabled adult in your home then the able adult needs to carry a “family” Go Bag that contains supplies for those who are disabled. An alternative would be if the disabled adult member of your household has a wheel chair, they can have their own adult Go Bag as long as you have it set up so it can be easily, securely, and quickly anchored to the wheel chair for travel. See below for recommendations on what should be included in both family and single adult Go Bags. Details of what this kit or bag should contain is listed below.
FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES:
You should create one family “Go Bag” if you have children, which holds supplies for two parents and all children. If you have more than 2 children and there are 2 physically able adults in the family we recommend you have two family Go Bags – each adult carries one. We recommend each able bodied adult in every family carries their own Go Bag. That means if you have an adult child in your home they should carry their own Go Bag. This way the parents do not have to have the extra burden of carrying supplies for that adult child. If you have under age children in your household, then every adult in the family (parents and adult children) should carry extra supplies for the under age children in the family. Again, this is so one parent is not burdened with all of the supplies for all of the children. Having all adults in the family carry supplies for under aged children and having all able bodied children carry some of their own supplies is also a good idea just in case members of the family are separated. Having all your eggs in one basket is usually not a good idea but every basket should have as many eggs as possible in it. Details of what each kit or bag should contain is listed below.
You can NOT neglect making a plan and preparing a kit and supplies for your pets or livestock, no matter how big or small they are, chances are if you do not make a plan that includes them they will die.
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EMERGENCY PLANNING WEBSITES (all links open in a new browser window)
These websites are a MUST for EVERYONE!
Visit, Read, Plan.
Ready.gov: Visiting this website and exploring all the information it has to offer is a MUST for everyone in the United States. It contains a basic overview of emergency preparedness (by the US government) as wells as very specific information and suggestions to plan for in the event of different kinds of disasters and emergencies. It also has links to information for every state. The site can be accessed in many languages.
FEMA.gov: Contains information similar to Ready.gov (above) but we recommend you visit both websites and read all the information they both have to offer.
RedCross.org: The American Red Cross offers a wide selection of CPR/AED, first aid, lifeguarding, swimming and water safety, care-giving, disaster response and emergency preparedness training. All adults should at least be trained in basic CPR and first aid. Get recommendations from the Red Cross as to what age a child should be before being trained… then schedule training now, before you need it!!
NYC.gov: The official emergency preparedness website and information for those living in and near New York City. Because NYC is such a huge city with so much going on it, like other large cities its citizens and visitors can become vulnerable to disasters. And as we all know too well NYC is one of the main targets of terrorists. So, if you live in or near NYC or plan to visit, you should visit this website, take in all it has to offer, and be prepared.
72Hours.org: The official emergency preparedness website for San Francisco CA. Filled with information for those living in and visiting the San Francisco area. This extremely valuable information can easily be printed out and given to those who don’t use computers, or to keep on hand in case the Internet is not available. But it’s not just for those living in or visiting San Francisco. Much of the information found on this website can be used by anyone in the United States, especially those living on the west coast.
FCS.UGA.edu: A consumer’s guide to emergency preparedness food and water supplies – how to prepare, how to plan, what you will need, how to store your supplies, and much more. This site is brought to us by the University of Georgia. Another must read for ALL.
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WEBSITES FOR SUPPLIES (all links open in a new browser window)
Or just to get an idea of what you might need
These are the websites and/or items we recommend you consider.
We are not endorsing these specific websites. We only include them so you can explore your options.
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