Are you prepared for an emergency?
Putting together a home emergency preparedness kit you hope never to use may seem like a waste of time and money. But San Diego is not immune to disasters. And, when things happen that are beyond your control, you can take charge of how you respond.
Store all items in an easy-to-carry bag or suitcase that’s readily accessible and make sure everyone in the family knows where it is kept. If you need to evacuate your San Diego home quickly, here are the essentials you’ll need for a basic “grab and go” kit:
▪ Water: A gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation; if you live in a very hot climate you want to double the water. Bottled water is best, but you can also store tap water in food-grade containers or two-liter soda bottles that have been sanitized. Don’t forget about your pet’s water needs.
▪ Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishables and a can opener. Pack protein, fruit, and vegetables. Include cereal bars, trail mix, and candy bars. Store food in pest-proof plastic or metal tubs and keep it in a cool, dry place.
▪ Flashlights and extra batteries: Candles are not recommended because there are many house fires caused by candles left unattended.
▪ First-aid supplies: Several pairs of sterile gloves, adhesive bandages and sterile dressings, soap or other cleanser, antibiotic towelettes and ointment, burn ointment, eye wash, thermometer, scissors, tweezers, petroleum jelly, aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, and stomach analgesics such as Tums or Pepto-Bismol, and a laxative.
▪ Sanitation and hygiene supplies: Moist towelettes in sealed packets, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and plastic ties. You might also want travel-size shampoo toothpaste/toothbrush, and deodorant.
▪ Radio or TV: Keep a portable, battery- or crank-operated radio or television and extra batteries to remain connected in case the power goes out, as well as an extra cell phone charger. Helpful extras: Duct tape, dust masks, a signal whistle, toys for kids.
▪ Cash: Have at least $100 in your kit.
As an alternative to making your own kit, you can buy a fully stocked kit from the American Red Cross. A kit with a three-day supply of essentials for one adult costs $50 to $70.