Sunday, September 22, 2013

First Day of Fall Project: DIY Emergency Survival Kit

by Sydney Holt, volunteer contributor

Y’all may not have even realized, but today is the first day of the fall. While the start of this colorful season typically signifies cooler weather, those of us in Dallas-Fort Worth and the surrounding areas are still experiencing highs in the upper 90s and even 100s! I don’t know about you but I don’t plan to spend my Autumnal Equinox digging sweaters and jeans out of my closet when I won’t need them for another few weeks, even months.

Instead, I plan to catch up on a few do-it-yourself projects, one being a DIY survival kit. Not handy? Don’t sweat it – this project is easy and can be done completely inside. 

Below are a few tips for helping you get Red Cross Ready for the entire year. 

1. Grab A Container! While a shoebox or extra container might seem like the easiest option, remember to choose an easy-to-carry, durable container such as a backpack or lightweight container with handles.

2. The Minimum. At a minimum you should have the following supplies. 

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit 
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area

3. Comfort Items. While the bare necessities are absolutely your first priority, having an array of comfort items is always a good idea – especially when dealing with children and pets. Examples include:

  • Small games (non-electronic), puzzles, coloring books, cards
  • Rain gear
  • Blankets, sleeping bags and pillows
  • Pet supplies – food, toys, carriers and sturdy leash or harness
  • Wet wipes
  • Towels
  • Bug repellant

4. Awareness. Finally, be sure your kit is easy to access and all members of your household are aware of its location. Use this time to talk about your plan in case of an emergency situation and review the FREE Red Cross resources, such as our suite of mobile apps and the Plan & Prepare section of our website.

For more on what goes in an emergency survival kit, check out Hint: It shouldn't look like this.

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