How to Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit
A emergency preparedness kit is a collection of items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
You should assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may need to evacuate at a minutes notice and need to take your essentials with you. You will most likely not have time to look for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive without help after an emergency. Because of this, you will need to have your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at a minimum of 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers may or may not be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days or weeks.
Here is what you should include in your emergency preparedness kit.
You will need at least 2 gallons of water for each person per day for drinking and washing. Plan for at least 1 week minimum.
It is best to store water in manageably sized containers that you can move when filled. If you can't afford enough small containers, it is better to use a few large storage containers than nothing at all. A good water pump is nice to have for 5 gal containers and essential for larger containers like 15 gals and up.
To provide for your food needs, it is best to prepare for the worst disaster that is likely to happen in your area. Prepare for 6 to 12 months without access to food from stores. You can start small and buy what you can as you can afford it. A little is better than nothing. We recommend #10 cans of storable food for at least part of your supply, as they can survive many hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Cardboard boxes of food from the supermarket usually don't survive disasters very well. If your food gets wet or smashed it will do you no good.
At minimum, your family should have enough stored food to last 2 weeks. You can buy a few cans at a time or get a pre-planned supply.
Types of foods to include:
Grains: rice, wheat, corn, oats, and pasta
Potatoes: 30 lb of fresh, dehydrated dices, slices, and grated
Beans: dried pinto, black, navy, and freeze dried refried bean flakes
Vegetables: freeze dried or dehydrated peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, sweet corn, bell peppers, and onions
Fruit: freeze dried or dehydrated bananas, apricots, apples, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, raisins, and mangos
Seeds: pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and flaxseed
Seasonings and cooking items: onion and garlic granules, tomato powder, herbs, salt, sugar, and oil
Easy Prep meals: there is a wide selection of entrees, soups, breakfasts, meat, eggs, and snacks available when you want something easy to prepare that tastes great. They are not the most healthy but they are fine for a short period of time.
If you know how or want to learn how to make your own bread, we recommend storing a five gal sealed bucket of hard red wheat berries and a grain mill that can be run by hand.
You can either make yeast bread or the quick and easy method if you don't have access to an oven when the power is off is to make flat bread. You can make enough bread for your family for several days in about 30 min. All you need is a skillet or griddle, large bowl, large spoon, and a rolling pin or tortilla press.
Quick recipe for flat bread.
4-5 cups of flour
about 2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
Add and stir together all dry ingredients and oil. Then add enough water slowly to make a good dough that holds together but not sticky. Take out enough dough to make a 1 in diameter ball. Smash flat with your hand and roll out to make a 5 in. diameter round loaf about 1/8 in thick. A tortilla press works great for this job. Place your loaves on a hot skillet or griddle. Cook on each side about 2 min. Similar to cooking pancakes. Eat and enjoy.
Be sure to have a hand crank and/or solar powered FM, AM, Short Wave, and NOAA Weather Radio in your kit. It is important to know what is going on in the world and what weather conditions might be headed your way.
A flashlight and lantern are always important components of an emergency kit. There are many types of flashlights available. You should make sure it outputs at least 120 lumens. A secondary dynamo crank flashlight is a good backup if your batteries run out. They are usually not as bright but you can crank them to recharge the batteries. A good lantern for lighting a room when the power is out and it is evening or night is useful for cooking, cleaning, reading, or other activities. A good LED dynamo lantern is a safe kind to get for indoor use.
First aid kit
Assemble a basic kit for home or car. Items to include: antiseptic, soap, bandages, gauze, tape, scissors, latex gloves, needle, tweezers, sunscreen, aspirin pain reliever, antacid, anti-diarrhea, etc.
Whistle and signal flare to signal for help
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Soap, toilet paper, personal hygiene items
Matches (in waterproof container)
Chlorine and rubbing alcohol for disinfectant
Wrench, pliers, hammer, pocket knife or hunting knife
Manual can opener for food
Plastic plates, cups, utensils
Local maps and a compass
Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
One complete change of clothing per person including sturdy shoes, thermal underwear, rain gear, hats, gloves, blankets or sleeping bags.