This is part three in a seven-part series on building your kit. It seems that lots of folks don’t know where to start or what items to include in their kit. How about sitting down with your family and make a list of what you would need if you couldn’t go to the store or get to the bank for several days? Then go to work and bit by bit, build your kit. It can be a fun family project that has an added benefit of offering a greater piece of mind when a disaster does strike. Besides, everyone is invested in the project.
Building a kit following this seven-part, step-by-step plan will give you the basics. You will have a 72 hour kit. It is my experience that most kits expand over time and eventually you will want to have a 14 day kit on hand, but this is a good beginning.
Things to buy for Week Three:
- Dust filter masks. Look for the ones rated “N95”, they are designed to keep out airborne dust, pollen and possibly protection from disease.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Finish buying water, at least one gallon per person per day.
- Cash. Set aside as much as you can reasonably afford. Small bills are best. During a widespread power outage your debit card is of no value. Neither is the money you have stashed in a savings account.
- Make copies of your important family documents. You can scan them to a flash drive and store in either a “go bag” or other safe location away from your home. These documents may include copies of insurance policies, deeds, passports, birth certificates and titles to your vehicles.
- Regular, unscented, household bleach for purifying water. Also pick up an eyedropper. Experts recommend 16 drops of bleach to purify one gallon of water.
- Juice. Get the single-servings as refrigeration may not be available
- Nutrition/high energy bars
Plan and discuss how you would evacuate your home in the event of a sudden emergency.
Tap water may need to be purified with bleach in the event of a disaster. Consider purchasing or building a stand-alone water filter. (Email me for a free set of plans to build an effective, low-cost filter.)
Plan to have at least one can of meat or meat entrée for each family member per day.
Select two places to meet with your family after an emergency or disaster-one near your home and one outside of your neighborhood in case its not safe to return.
As always send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns are on my blog at www.disasterprepdave.blogspot.com. Dave Robinson is the Postmaster in Bandon, Oregon, and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available at barnesandnoble.com and other online booksellers.