If we’ve learned anything from recent events across the country -- from wildfires in California to tropical storms in Florida -- it is the need to be prepared when, not if, disaster strikes.

Stay one step ahead of Mother Nature by having an emergency kit ready to go with all the essentials your household may need in uncertain times.

It sounds simple, but a recent nationwide survey showed that 62% of Americans have not prepared an emergency kit, and 46% haven’t thought about or even discussed an evacuation plan or meeting place away from the home for their family.

There is not a better time than now to prepare an emergency kit and give yourself peace of mind.

A complete emergency kit should contain everything your family would need to survive for three days without any other resources. Fortunately, these items are inexpensive and easy-to-find, and could save a life during a time of great need. Here are the basics:

Water – the average rule-of-thumb suggests one gallon of water per day, per person or pet.

Food – you should have at least three days’ worth of food, focusing on non-perishable items that don’t require refrigeration or much prep or water. Granola bars, canned foods, and energy –rich snacks are ideal. Consider the needs of each family member.

Medication – keep extra medication on hand for those times when you may be unable to leave home to fulfill a prescription. A supply of over-the-counter medications is important as well, including painkillers, allergy medication, and contact lenses if necessary.

First-aid kit – this should contain latex gloves, gauze pads, a thermometer, sterile bandages, petroleum jelly, burn salve, antibiotic ointment, hand sanitizers, sunscreen, dust masks, and hot and cold packs.

Tools – items such as candles, waterproof matches, scissors, tweezers, a sewing kit, and flashlight with extra batteries, a small fire extinguisher, a manual can opener, knife, radio, and a hand wrench could be vital in an emergency. It may be helpful to have a map of your area as well.

Hygiene products – no kit is complete without toilet paper, feminine products, diapers, wet wipes, and toiletries.

Clothing – at least one change of clothing for each person, including durable shoes and items suitable to your climate, such as rain gear or cold-weather clothing.

Important papers – these include documents such as family records, social security cards, banking information, driver’s licenses, and a list of important and emergency phone numbers. Also, don’t forget a copy of your will, insurance policies, and other contracts, and cash.

Micellaneous– blankets, sleeping bags, paper cups, paper plates, and plastic utensils. Candy and small games and toys to keep children entertained, a whistle to signal for help, garbage bags, soap, bleach, disinfectants.

MAINTAINING YOUR KIT

Where and how you will store your emergency kit is just as important to thoughtfully consider. A cool, dry location is ideal, and because your kit will contain food items as well as essential documents, it’s imperative that your storage containers be durable and watertight.

Since disaster can strike anywhere, consider creating three separate kits, one for home, one to keep at work, and one to keep in your vehicle. Don’t forget to update your kit once or twice a year as your family’s needs change.

IRIS has just the containers you need to get started. We created our Weathertight storage boxes to be extra durable, with up to three times as many latches as typical storage boxes and an inner seal that locks out moisture, debris, and pests.

Check out our emergency bundles for savings on the storage containers that suit your household best.

 

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