How Clinton County Citizens can prepare at home

Community Preparedness
Building an Emergency Kit

A disaster supplies emergency kit consists of basic household items that may be needed during an emergency. An emergency kit should be put together before disaster strikes, as you may not have time to assemble all of the necessary items before possibly evacuating or sheltering in place. It is recommended that you have enough food, water, and other supplies to last at least 72 hours. Additional considerations to plan for when building your emergency kit include disruption in utility services such as water, electricity, and gas.

A basic emergency supply kit should include the following items:
• Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
• Can opener for food (if kit contains food)
• Dust or filter masks – readily available in hardware stores, rated on how small a particle they filter
• First Aid kit
• Food – at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food, include items your family will eat and consider any food allergies (If possible, avoid foods that will make you thirsty and try to include foods high in protein and whole grains, get more information on which foods are recommended and food preparation and safety practices)
• Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
• Moist towelettes for sanitation
• Plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal the room
• Water – if possible, store 1 gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation (Further guidance for water storage and bottling can be found online)
• Whistle to signal for help
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, the following items should be considered, as appropriate:

• Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children
• Cash or traveler’s checks and change
• Complete change of clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes (Consider adding additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate)
• Emergency reference material, such as a first aid book
• Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
• Fire extinguisher
• Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – bleach can be used as a disinfectant when 1 part bleach is diluted into 9 parts water (Bleach can also be used to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water, do not use scented, color safe, or bleaches with added cleaners)
• Important family documents, such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records, in a waterproof, portable container
• Infant formula and diapers
• Matches in a waterproof container
• Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils
• Paper and pencil
• Pet food and extra water for your pet
• Prescription medications and glasses
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider adding additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate

Maintaining Your Emergency Kit

It is just as important to maintain your emergency kit as it is to build it, to ensure that your supplies will be safe when used. Use the following guidelines to help:

• Change stored water every 6 months (Write the date of storage on all containers)
• Discard any canned good that become swollen, dented, or corroded
• Keep boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers (This will protect your food from pests and extend its shelf life)
• Reexamine your needs every year and update your kit as needed
• Rotate your items, place new supplies at the back and bring older supplies to the front
• Store all canned food in a cool, dry place
• Use foods before they go bad and be sure to replace them with fresh items
Other Resources
CDC Public Health Preparedness and Response
ISDH Public Health Preparedness and Response
Ready.gov