Celebrate National Preparedness Month: Make a plan, get a kit, be informed!

September is National Preparedness Month.  There are many ways that your family and community can prepare for an emergency. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be showcasing some of the simple steps that you can take to get prepared.

Oklahoma Tornado One Year Report 2014Carney, Oklahoma Home Kit DeliveryThe simplest way to prepare for a crisis is to have an emergency kit ready to go. An emergency kit is made up of basic necessities that will help you and your loved ones survive sheltering in place. (To shelter in place means that you are staying in a safe space in your home for any amount of time, like when you go to your basement or other enclosed area during a tornado warning.)

The core items needed for a basic emergency kit are available at many of the locations where you do your weekly shopping, so it doesn’t even require a special trip to get started!

Your kit should include:

  • Water
    • one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food
    • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables
    • Protein or fruit bars
    • Dry cereal or granola
    • Peanut butter
    • Dried fruit
    • Nuts
    • Crackers
    • Canned juices
    • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
    • High energy foods
    • Vitamins
    • Food for infants
    • Comfort/stress foods
  • Can Opener
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
    • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
    • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
    • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
    • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
    • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
    • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
    • 1 blanket (space blanket)
    • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
    • 1 instant cold compress
    • 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
    • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
    • Scissors
    • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
    • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
    • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
    • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
    • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
    • 2 triangular bandages
    • Tweezers
    • First aid instruction booklet
  • 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 – paper copies and on a usb stick)
  • Cell phone and/or chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket(s)
  • Map(s) of the area

Don’t forget to include specialized items for all of your family members, especially the tiny or four-legged ones! If relevant, be sure to include:

  • Baby supplies
    • Bottles
    • Formula
    • baby food
    • diapers
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies
    • Collar
    • leash
    • ID
    • Food
    • Carrier
    • Bowl
  • Medical supplies
    • hearing aids with extra batteries,
    • glasses
    • contact lenses
    • syringes, etc

And some additional supplies that would be good to keep at home or in your survival kit (based on the types of disasters common to your area):

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

For more information on building an emergency kit, visit www.redcross.org/prepare or download our free Situational Emergency apps.

On Twitter? Show us your kit! Tweet a picture, tag @neoredcross and use the hashtag #NatlPrep. 

A Month of Preparedness, sneak peek into September at the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio

One piece of the mission of the American Red Cross is to prevent human suffering in the face of emergencies. The simplest way to do that is to help individuals and families learn how to be prepared for the disasters that happen in our communities. When a disaster strikes, because it can and will happen, everyone will have the tools and knowledge to respond accordingly.

The month of September is National Preparedness Month. For the Red Cross and many of our partner organizations, September is the perfect opportunity to voice the power of being prepared in our homes and in our communities.

There are so many simple, quick ways to prepare for an emergency situation.

  1. Check your smoke detectors once a month and change the battery at least once a year.
  2. If you don’t have smoke detectors, install them. One in every bedroom, one outside of sleeping areas and one on every level of your home. (NOTE: carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors are not the same thing.)
  3. Make a Fire Escape Plan and teach it to every member of the household.
  4. Practice your plan twice a year.
  5. Know what emergencies can affect your area: Flooding, Tornadoes, etc.
  6. Create a 72-hour Emergency Kit filled with necessities to keep your family safe and sound for 3 days.
  7. Take a first aid and CPR course.
  8. Download the FREE Red Cross Apps through iOS or Android app marketplaces.
  9. Make your neighbors part of your emergency plan (and you become a part of theirs), especially if they are older adults or have young children in the home.

All September long, our blog will be dedicated to details ways that you can get your family prepared, so be sure to subscribe or check back often.

If you are regular reader of this blog or just happened here through Google, please, share this link with your friends and colleagues. It is vitally important that we help ourselves and each other before an emergency situation happens.