What's in an emergency kit?

emergency kit.jpg
Photo credit:{ }FEMA/MGN

Hurricane Florence swamped coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power Thursday, and forecasters say conditions will only worsen as the hulking storm slogs inland.

That means people in Western North Carolina need to be prepared for rain -- and lots of it. Power outages are likely. So, be prepared.

If you don't have an emergency kit, make one. There's some basic items you need, as well as a few items you might want.

Basic supplies:

  • Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle or air horn
  • Dust mask
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties
  • Wrench or pliers
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Camp stove or grill
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape

Additional or add-on supplies

  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Basic tool kit

Store your items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in a plastic bin or a duffel bag.

Maintaining Your Kit

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
  • Replace expired items as needed
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

Storage locations

  • Home: Keep the kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure everyone in the family knows where it is kept.
  • Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours.
  • Vehicle: Keep a kit of emergency supplies in your vehicle in case you get stranded.