There are disasters you can prepare for and disasters you cannot. There are disasters such as fire, for example, as in the case of Paradise, California, when you have to just flee. A shelter in place kit and stock piling of supplies would not be helpful, but something you could just grab as you are running out the door would be very wise. So, in this article we will discuss two types of medical disaster preparedness supply kits. One kit will be for a shelter in place type of situation. And another kit will be something you can grab on your way out the door in case you have to leave your home quickly. This is called a grab and go kit.
Shelter in Place
It is recommended to have one gallon per person or pet per day at home. You should have at least a three day’s supply for your family.
You should have non-perishable food in your kit. This is food that does not require much prep or water. Cereal, canned fruits and vegetables. Energy rich snack bars and granola. Vitamins and special foods for babies and the elderly if needed. You should have at least three days of food stored up in your supply. Local grocery stores can only stock about 7 days’ worth of food for an average neighborhood, so if stores do not get restocked, that is how much they have. If you can get out, maybe go to the store quickly.
Have some extra medication on hand for times when you have to shelter in place, and you can’t leave your home to refill your prescription. Remember to also store over-the-counter medication like painkillers, antihistamines, calamine lotion, Alka-Seltzer, laxatives, anti-diarrhea medication, sterile eyewash, and contact lenses if anyone in the home uses them.
4. First Aid Supplies
Finally, the actual first aid supplies in the medical supplies in this kit. You should have latex gloves, gauze pads, a thermometer, sterile bandages, Band-Aids, petroleum jelly, salve for burns, antibiotic ointment, adhesive tape, towelettes, hand sanitizers, sunscreen, and instant cold packs. You should always include feminine hygiene products.
5. Tools and Supplies
To fill your tool and supply section you should include items such as candles, matches in a waterproof container, scissors, tweezers, a sewing kit, a flashlight, extra batteries, a small fire extinguisher, a manual can opener, a knife, a hand-crank or battery-operated radio (with batteries), and a wrench to turn off gas and water. Be sure to also have a map of the area in case you need to look leave your home to look elsewhere for a shelter. Remember, when a disaster has happened, familiar landmarks may look very different. Cleaning products can be in this section as well.
Other Needed Items for Shelter in Place
If you have to shelter in place, it is a great idea to have extra clothes, bedding and blankets on hand in your shelter area. Another very important item that often people don’t think about, is the kind of shoes to wear. Sturdy shoes should be brought in with you, so when you leave your home, you aren’t barefoot, or in sandals. You should have good boots or sturdy tennis shoes.
Grab and Go Bag
This should be a draw string bag in a bright color that everyone in the family knows where it is located. It should be close to the door, but not in plain sight. The bag should be ready to go if you have to leave or you can grab this bag quickly if you are going to shelter in place. In either situation, you should have this bag with you.
Contents of the Grab and Go Bag:
• Protein bars
• Kids snack bars
• Family records
• Insurance policies
• Copy of your will
• Emergency phone numbers
• Other important contracts or papers
• Extra set of car keys
• Mini flashlights
No one wants a disaster to happen in any part of the world, but the fact remains, that there are times when floods, earthquakes, fires, tornados, and others do happen. And, managing preparedness for your family is a way to put your mind at ease. Even having a grab and go bag to take shelter with is better than not having anything.
Start with the grab and go bag and build up to a full medical supply disaster kit with food, water and first aid. Once you have a few things, it will be easier to complete the rest of the supplies. It is much better to be prepared and safe, then to be lost in the storm.