I heard the wind blowing the other night and thought it was getting to be that time of year. The days are getting shorter and the windy, rainy season is starting. Since moving into my current home 12 years ago, the only disaster we have encountered is a 4 day power outage. Although, we have seen flooding in Lewis County, Washington. And of course Mount St Helens is currently the only Washington Volcano that is actively erupting; however, Pierce County sits in Mt Rainier’s lava flow and is considered an active volcano. It’s always best to be prepared…just in case. I hope you never need to use it.
Assemble the following items to create kits for use at home, the office, at school and/or in a vehicle:
• Water—one gallon per person, per day (3¬day supply for evacuation, 2¬week supply for home)
• Food—non¬perishable, easy ¬to ¬prepare items (3¬day supply for evacuation, 2¬week supply for home)
• Battery ¬powered or hand¬ crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Medications (7¬day supply) and medical items
• Multi¬purpose tool
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items
• Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Extra cash
• Emergency blanket
• Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
• Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
• Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
• Games and activities for children
• Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
• Two-way radios
• Extra set of car keys and house keys
• Manual can opener
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:
• N95 or surgical masks
• Rain gear
• Work gloves
• Tools/supplies for securing your home
• Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
• Plastic sheeting
• Duct tape
• Household liquid bleach
• Entertainment items
• Blankets or sleeping bags
Pack the items in easy-to-carry containers, label the containers clearly and store them where they would be easily accessible. Duffle bags, backpacks, and covered trash receptacles are good candidates for containers. In a disaster situation, you may need access to your disaster supplies kit quickly – whether you are sheltering at home or evacuating. Following a disaster, having the right supplies can help your household endure home confinement or evacuation.
Make sure the needs of everyone who would use the kit are covered, including infants, seniors and pets. It’s good to involve whoever is going to use the kit, including children, in assembling it.
Benefits of Involving Children
• Involving children is the first step in helping them know what to do in an emergency.
• Children can help. Ask them to think of items that they would like to include in a disaster supplies kit, such as books or games or nonperishable food items, and to help the household remember to keep the kits updated. Children could make calendars and mark the dates for checking emergency supplies, rotating the emergency food and water or replacing it every six months and replacing batteries as necessary. Children can enjoy preparing plans and disaster kits for pets and other animals.
Disaster Supplies Kit Checklist for Pets
• Food and water for at least three days for each pet, food and water bowls and a manual can opener
• Depending on the pet, litter and litter box or newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach
• Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container, a first aid kit and a pet first aid book
• Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets cannot escape. A carrier should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours. Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets. These may require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth and other special items
• Pet toys and the pet’s bed, if you can easily take it, to reduce stress
• Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated, and to prove that they are yours
• Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems and the name and telephone number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.