10 Items Every Emergency Preparedness Kit Needs

If a hurricane, tornado, thunderstorm or power outage hit your city or town, would your family be ready? Many Americans aren’t. According to a National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) survey, nearly two-thirds of American households have inadequate plans and supplies for a disaster. This leaves them vulnerable to any number of uncomfortable situations that may follow, like hunger, thirst or medical issues. What’s more, some researchers say that extreme weather is more common than ever before.

“We are experiencing a continuous increase in the number of extreme weather events, and 10 years after Hurricane Katrina and three years after Superstorm Sandy, the vast majority of Americans remain unprepared for major disasters,” says Dr. Irwin Redlener, NCDP director.

Weather-related events represent only one possible emergency situation. Other natural disasters, environmental hazards and even terrorist attacks could all lead to situations where an emergency preparedness kit could come in handy.

Emergency Kit List

Based on recommendations from the American Red Cross and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, there are the 10 essential items that every emergency preparedness kit needs:

  1. Water: one gallon per person, per day (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  2. Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  3. First aid kit, medications (seven-day supply) and medical items
  4. Flashlight
  5. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  6. Cell phone with additional chargers and portable batteries
  7. Extra batteries
  8. Sanitation and personal hygiene items, including moist towelettes
  9. Multi-purpose tool with can opener
  10. Extra cash

After you gear up, there’s one more thing to do: talk to your family about your kit, what’s inside and where it’s kept. Make a plan in case an emergency occurs and your family is separated.

Prep for your pets, too!

More than 48 percent of homes in the U.S. include at least one pet, which means Fido or Felix will need an emergency kit of their own. The American Red Cross suggests that your pet’s kit include:

  • Pet identification
  • Food and water for each pet (three-day supply for evacuation; two-week supply for home)
  • Food and water bowls
  • Medical records
  • Medical records and vet information
  • A pet first aid book

Can’t get hold of a “pet first aid book?” No worries! The American Red Cross has a free app that gives dog and cat owners instant access to expert guidance on how to maintain their pet’s health, what to do in emergencies and how to include pets in their household’s emergency preparedness plans. Download it in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store today!

Thinking ahead is key

As the saying goes, “being prepared is half the victory.” Like natural disasters or other emergency situations, an injury or health problem can happen in a matter of seconds and take days, weeks or even months to recover from. You can prepare for such an event with health insurance coverage to help protect you and your family financially. If you need help finding coverage, call 855-652-3171 to speak with a VelaPoint licensed agent who can help you with your insurance needs.