September is National Preparedness Month

By BUCA Elizabeth Mills, NCBC Gulfport Public Affairs



Build an emergency kit before disaster strikes

In the event of a disaster, having the proper necessities put together ahead of time will help you and your family weather the emergency. You can do this by creating a preparedness kit well in advance of the emergency. A preparedness kit should include everything you and your family members (and pets) will need to survive for at least three days without outside assistance.

According to the website, advance assembly of your kit is very important because you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice. There may not be time to search for supplies or shop for them. And, in the event of a disaster, electricity, gas lines, water, telephone lines and cellular telephone service may be affected.

The following items are recommended for a basic disaster supply kit:

  • Water – one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable items
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert; extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air, and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Medications
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents and personal information
  • Sleeping materials for each family member
  • Mess kit, paper plates, cups, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Books and games for children

Your family should also know where the supply kit is stored in case you need to leave your home quickly.

If sheltering at work is a necessity, you should be prepared to shelter for at least 24 hours. Make sure  you have food, water and other necessities such as medicines in your office kit. A kit should also be prepared and maintained in all vehicles in case you are stranded. Depending on the climate, a car kit should include:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • First aid kit and necessary medications
  • Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener
  • Water for each person and pet in your car
  • AM/FM radio to listen to traffic reports and emergency messages
  • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
  • Shovel/ice scraper
  • Rain gear/tarp
  • Warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes
  • Blankets/sleeping bags

For more information on emergency kits and National Preparedness Month, go to:

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