If you are preparing an emergency kit for a natural disaster, you probably know to include nonperishable food and first-aid kits. But what else?
Melinda Davis with the Red Cross said most of the things you should include in your kit are “common-sense stuff.”
The sprawling display of emergency items caught the eye of many who attended Mercy Corps‘ “The Day After” discussion on Monday night. Speakers explained how the city of Portland was bracing for an expected megaquake off the West Cost, but people still wanted to know what they could do at home to prepare. The answer? Assemble an emergency kit.
“It’s stuff you have at home already,” Davis said. “Then you got to put it all in one place, so you can get to it and check on it to make sure it’s not expired.”
Here are the often overlooked items Davis said should be included in your emergency kit:
- Manual can opener: Many people stock up on canned food, but Davis said some forget the all-important can opener.
- Photocopies of personal documents and identification: “If you lose all of that in an emergency, it can be really hard to replace them,” Davis said. “Having copies of things go a long ways.”
- Water storage: Davis said each person will likely have a different way of storing or accessing clean water in the event of a natural disaster. A backpacking water filter makes sense if you’re near water, but some households will need to store gallons of drinking water that will last for three days.
- Ways to pass the time: You’ll want things to keep you busy, like a pack of cards.
- A little something from home: Davis also recommended packing comfort items that wouldn’t be included in a standard kits. For her, it’s coffee.
Your kit should also include cash, extra glasses and contacts, and a map.
You can see the Red Cross’ list of suggested items for your survival kit here.