Whenever an emergency situation occurs, best way to cope with it is by being prepared. There are six supply categories everyone should prepare in advance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
1. Water – a 3-day supply of water should be kept on hand, for every member of the household, including pets. Per person, that is approximately 2 gallons of water and portions of it need to allocated for various purposes: drinking, cooking, bathing. One gallon of water is needed for drinking daily, per person.
2. Food – a 3-day supply of nonperishable food is required, such as canned meat, fruits, cereal, granola bars, juices, peanut butter, pet and baby food. Items that require preparation can also be used, such as powdered milk, coffee, tea, canned soup. Rotate food when buying new supplies and watch the expiration date.
3. First aid kit – purchasing pre-packaged first aid kits is a good option, but also add gauze pads, bandages, latex gloves, aspirin, safety pins, soap, tweezers, needle, scissors, thermometer and medications your household uses on a regular basis.
4. Clothing, bedding and sanitation supplies – keep at least one clothing and shoes change per person. Sleeping bags, blankets, jackets, hats, gloves, socks, feminine supplies, long pants and long-sleeved shirts, shoes or boots, soap, garbage bags, toilet paper, liquid detergent, bleach are also some of the items recommended to have.
5. Tools – keep aluminum foil, cash or checks, flashlight, batteries, fire extinguisher, compass, plastic sheeting, matches, nonelectric can opener, utility knife, paper and pencil, pliers, plastic storage containers, among other things.
6. Special items – keep cash and important documents in one place, in waterproof and fireproof container. You can also add items unique to each family member, such as diapers or eyeglasses.