Additional Items for Your Emergency Preparedness Kit
As we mentioned on our page about building a basic emergency preparedness kit, there are some additional items that you might want to consider including beyond the essentials. Consider your family's dietary and medical needs and go over the following checklist to make sure all of your bases are covered:
Your best bet: stock up a week's supply or two week's supply of everything you need and keep it in storage. Rotate it out with what you normally take to ensure that it doesn't expire.
- Prescription medications - If grocery stores close down, so too will pharmacies. While relief workers may have basic medications, they may not have your prescriptions on hand, plus there are a number of logistical hurdles to getting prescription medicine during an emergency.
- Prescription glasses - If you wear contacts, make sure to pack some glasses. Contact solution may be scarce or non-existent. But more importantly, you'll want to avoid touching your eyes if you cannot properly sanitize your hands or your contact case, as this can cause an infection. Instead, rely on a good pair of glasses with a recent prescription.
- Vital family documents - Get copies of insurance policies, bank account records, and identification and put it in a waterproof, portable container.
- Traveler's checks and cash - Include some change and small bills, for payphones, vending machines and transactions where someone may not be able to break a large bill.
- Household chlorine bleach - Get a non-scented, normal bleach - don't get the kind that is color safe or has added cleaners for use in the laundry machine. Get a medicine dropper as well. This can be used as a disinfectant, or, it can be used to treat water (16 drops per gallon of water).
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches - Keep them in waterproof container
- Paper plates, cups and utensils
- Pet food and extra water - If you don't bring food and water for your pet, you'll have to give them some of your own, which will cut down on your supply.
- Feminine hygiene products
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list - depending on your needs, you may need to include additional items. Sleeping and lighting for example. You may also want to consider items for comfort, such as books or games to keep children occupied or toys for your pets. As you go about your day, consider the things that you can't do without and do your best to include them - even if they aren't absolutely essential. Keeping your spirit up is almost as important as keeping you hydrated and fed.