National Preparedness Month: Tailor an emergency supply kit around your needs

ajc.com

As part of National Preparedness Month, the second week’s topic is building a disaster-supply kit.

Once an emergency plan is established to address specific needs following a disaster, your family should assemble an emergency supply kit — enough supplies for at least three days.

Lists can be exhaustive and vary based upon the needs of an individual or family. For helpful lists of what to have in your emergency supply kit, resources are available at www.BeReady.af.mil and www.Ready.gov/kit. Anyone can download information there and tailor a list to meet their needs.

There is not a “one size fits all” solution, as one might imagine. Kits become drastically different when pets, young children or seniors are in the household.

Once a kit is built and aligns with the family’s emergency plan, it should be maintained and stored properly. Keeping canned food in a cool, dry place; storing boxed foods in tightly closed plastic or metal containers, and restocking perishable objects prior to expiration is a must.

Reevaluate your kit every year to ensure it aligns with the family emergency plan, and adjust it as family needs change. Make sure all family or household members know where the kit is kept.

In addition, it is a good idea to be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours in the event of an emergency, as well as keeping an emergency supply kit in your vehicle. You and your family won’t always be home when disaster strikes, so having various kits in different locations can prove beneficial.

Since 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people add items to their kits to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as coronavirus. They include masks and medications.

For more information, contact your unit emergency management representative or Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Office of Emergency Management at 937-257-3634. In addition, tech-savvy individuals can find the Air Force Be Ready app available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.