Emergency Supplies

This is list from Homeland Security.  Maybe you are 100 percent ready to shelter in place and don’t need this list. That is great!  But you might want to use it to check.

water – one gallon per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation.  Empty bleach bottles make excellent storage containers for water, just be sure the bleach had no additives.  The trace amount of bleach in the empty bottle will serve to keep the water for a good long time. Label the bottles H2O and line the back of seldom used closets with them.  Three days is a minimum by the way.

food – at least a three day supply of non-perishables. You should easily be able to keep this much food on hand by rotating your normal pantry and having extra nut butters, granola bars, etc.

battery-powered and/or crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries.   If you can, get a radio that can use radio, has a solar charger, and lets you hand crank it that also has a place for charging a phone.  Don’t store the batteries in your emergency radio – you don’t want to find them corroded  inside it.  The NOAA Weather Radio ought to be a part of daily life.

flashlight and extra batteries at minimum.  If you want to be really prepared for the power going out and staying off for a period of time, there are special bulbs that fit in regular fixtures that use batteries when the grid goes down.  One could strategically replace a few bulbs around the house with these for emergencies.  There are lanterns that work off batteries too worth considering.  We suggest that each person ought to have their own flashlight.  For the long haul, you might want a couple of lamps that use lamp oil and/or study how folks used to make lamps that used oil for light

first aid kit – how extensive you want this to be is partly a function of your own skill set.  If, by chance, you have taking emergency medical training, we suggest you put together an extensive first aid kit to enable you to help others in a disaster.

whistle  to signal for help, because people get tired of yelling – for the same reason, a hand mirror is useful to signal to a plane

dust mask – to filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place. When you can once again purchase N95 masks, you might want to get a box, along with a roll of plastic sheeting and lots of duct tape. The this I would add contractor bags which can be turned into sleeping bags or tents or porta potties (see below).

moist wipes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation.  It is possible to turn a conventional toilet into one that can be used during an emergency.  When it is empty of water in the bowl and tank (the water in the tank can be used for washing clothing – don’t discard it), line the bowl with a heavy plastic bag.  If you have cat litter (you don’t need to own a cat to purchase litter) it can be added after each use to control odors.  Daily, tie up the bag and dispose of it outside where you are sheltering.

wrench or pliers to turn off utilities  – which of course means you have some idea of where the turn off valve for your water supply is located and it still works.  If not, you might want to go to the effort to get that fixed.

can openers – for the food you have stored in cans (and I would add to this a way to heat the foot, whether a little camp stove or a fireplace and cast iron pots)

local maps – which will be worthless unless the folks using the maps can read a map

additional items you might need

prescription medicaton and glasses

infant formula and diapers (even if you don’t have an infant, having this might make you a blessing for someone else)

important family documents such as insurance policies, identification, bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

cash and change

emergency reference material such as a first aid book

complete change of clothing, including long sleeved shirt, long sleeved pants and comfortable hiking shoes, if you live in a cold weather climate be prepared

household chlorine bleach and a dropper – 9:1 makes a disinfectant while 16 drops per gallon of water will make it drinkable

fire exinguisher

matches in a water proof container

feminine supplies

mess kits, paper cups, plates, plastic utensils and paper towels

paper, pens and pencils

books, games, and activites for children







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