In a hurricane or other widespread disaster, it could take several days for help to arrive if power is lost, businesses close and fallen trees block roads. Therefore, it is important to have a three-day supply of necessary items for each member of your family.
Recommended Items for a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
Basic Supplies for Any Good Emergency Kit
- 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 with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towlettes and garbage bags for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
Completing Your Emergency Kit
Once you have the essentials, it is a good idea to add these additional items to your kit:
- Written list of each family member's allergies and prescriptions (include prescribing doctor's name and contact information)
- Toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, feminine supplies and other personal hygiene items
- One-week supply of each person’s prescription medication and extra contact lenses or glasses
- Change of clothing, sturdy shoes and a blanket or sleeping bag for each person
- Food and water for pets (their prescriptions as well if any)
- Special items that may be needed for an infant (i.e. bottles, diapers, formula, baby food), the elderly (i.e. cane or hearing aides), or disabled family members (wheel chair).
- Water-purification supplies - iodine tablets or plain household chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper - diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. You can also treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water if necessary.
- Cash or traveler's checks and change
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov.
- Fire extinguisher
- Lighter or matches in a waterproof container
- Mess kits, paper cups & plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for kids
- Also keep a recent photo of your children in your go-bag
Hurricane Preparedness Week & Tax Exempt Supplies
It is a good idea to review the items in your kit once each year. Hurricane preparedness week, which each year is observed the last week of May, is a great time to do it because Virginia has instituted a tax-free holiday to help make purchasing supplies more affordable.