September is designated as Disaster Preparedness Month, reminding everyone to get a emergency supply kit prepared or updated.
If a natural disaster occurs, such as a hurricane, an area may be without electricity for days or weeks. An emergency kit should have enough food and water to supply a family for at least three to seven days. Most families have the items around the home already.
Gather them together and place them in a water proof container. Some of the essential items in a kit should be:
• Water – 1 gal. per person per day
• Bleach for sanitizing water (16 drops per gallon)
• First Aid Kit plus necessary medications
• Non-perishable foods that can be eaten cold
• Non-electric can-opener
• Fire extinguisher
• One extra change of clothes and blankets
• Baby supplies
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Portable radio with batteries
• Seasonal clothes plus sturdy shoes
• Sleeping bag and blanket per person
• Cash and change plus important documents
• Sanitation Supplies
• Trash can plus bags
• Shampoo, soap toothpaste and brushes
• Toilet paper, paper towels and rubber gloves
• Pet food and supplies
Preparing ahead will add to a family’s safety and comfort during and after a disaster. Bleach will sanitize contaminated water but wait 30 minutes before using. If people are unable to get bottled water, boil for one minute. Consider all water from wells and other delivery systems in the disaster area unsafe until tested. For more information, contact the NC Cooperative Extension Center at 336-679-2061.