Protect What Matters with an Emergency Preparedness Kit

For many families, planning for a vacation is more appealing than planning for a disaster. Only 12 percent of Americans are prepared to care for themselves and their families during a disaster, according to the 2013 World Disaster Report from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The lack of preparedness among American families is startling when you consider the facts:

  • The U.S. ranked second in a list of the top 10 countries with the most disasters from 2005-2014, according to data compiled by The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared 79 disasters in the U.S. in 2015, and has already declared 69 this year.

September is National Preparedness Month, making this the perfect time to ensure you are prepared for a disaster. One of the best ways you can protect your family is to create an emergency preparedness kit. These kits hold the critical supplies your family will need to stay healthy and safe during an emergency, and can be used at home or taken with you in the event of an evacuation.

When Seconds Matter, Turn to Your Kit

During emergencies, seconds matter, and you may not have the time or ability to gather the supplies your family will need. Emergency preparedness kits help you protect your family in a variety of ways:

  • In some cases, disasters can cause you to lose electricity or water service to your home. Storing nonperishable food items and plenty of water in your kit is one of the simplest steps you can take to keeping your family fed and hydrated in an emergency. As a general rule of thumb, you should have one gallon of water per person for three days, and only pack food that can be prepared without electricity.
  • When the lights go out during an emergency, your family will need to move freely and safely about your home. Keeping flashlights and extra batteries in an emergency kit is another simple yet critical way to keep your family safe.
  • Include copies of personal documents in your kit, such as medication lists, the deed or lease to your home, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies, to ensure you can quickly access these important items in the event of an evacuation.
  • Emergency kits can also store extra medication and first aid supplies, allowing you to address your family’s medical needs until help arrives.

Creating an emergency kit is an important step to ensuring the safety of your family, but it isn’t the only step you can take. To help every family stay safe in the event of a disaster, Boise Paper has once again partnered with the American Red Cross to encourage every family to #PledgeToPrepare before a disaster strikes. Visit redcross.org/pledge today to commit to the safety of your family and learn what more you can do to prepare for a disaster before one strikes.