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CDC tips for creating emergency supplies kit | Weather

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CDC tips for creating emergency supplies kit
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - If disaster strikes, you may not have access to necessities for a period of time.  By taking time out now to prepare emergency supplies, you can provide for your entire family.

Below is more from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

(http://1.usa.gov/OrBYpJ)

 

Disaster Supplies Kit

A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items that could be needed in the event of a disaster.

Assemble the following items to create kits for use at home, the office, at school and/or in a vehicle:

  • Water-one gallon per person, per day (3­day supply for evacuation, 2­week supply for home)
  • Food-non­perishable, easy­to­prepare items (3­day supply for evacuation, 2­week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery­powered or hand­crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7­day supply) and medical items
  • Multi­purpose 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

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two­way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

 

Pack the items in easy-to-carry containers, label the containers clearly and store them where they would be easily accessible. Duffle bags, backpacks, and covered trash receptacles are good candidates for containers. In a disaster situation, you may need access to your disaster supplies kit quickly - whether you are sheltering at home or evacuating. Following a disaster, having the right supplies can help your household endure home confinement or evacuation.

Make sure the needs of everyone who would use the kit are covered, including infants, seniors and pets. It's good to involve whoever is going to use the kit, including children, in assembling it.

Benefits of Involving Children

  • Involving children is the first step in helping them know what to do in an emergency.
  • Children can help. Ask them to think of items that they would like to include in a disaster supplies kit, such as books or games or nonperishable food items, and to help the household remember to keep the kits updated. Children could make calendars and mark the dates for checking emergency supplies, rotating the emergency food and water or replacing it every six months and replacing batteries as necessary. Children can enjoy preparing plans and disaster kits for pets and other animals.

Disaster Supplies Kit Checklist for Pets

  • Food and water for at least three days for each pet, food and water bowls and a manual can opener
  • Depending on the pet, litter and litter box or newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach
  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container, a first aid kit and a pet first aid book
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets cannot escape. A carrier should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours. Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets. These may require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth and other special items
  • Pet toys and the pet's bed, if you can easily take it, to reduce stress
  • Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated, and to prove that they are yours
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems and the name and telephone number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.

Additional Supplies for Sheltering-in-Place

In the unlikely event that chemical or radiological hazards cause officials to advise people in a specific area to "shelter-in-place" in a sealed room, households should have in the room they have selected for this purpose:

  • A roll of duct tape and scissors
  • Plastic sheeting pre-cut to fit shelter-in-place room openings

Ten square feet of floor space per person will provide sufficient air to prevent carbon dioxide buildup for up to five hours. Local officials are unlikely to recommend the public shelter in a sealed room for more than two-three hours because the effectiveness of such sheltering diminishes with time as the contaminated outside air gradually seeps into the shelter.

NOTE: Always keep a shut-off valve wrench near the gas and water shut-off valves in your home.

How and Where to Store Water

Learn where the water intake valve to your home is. If you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines, or if local officials recommend doing so, you would need to shut off water to your house at the incoming water valve to stop contaminated water from entering your home.

  • In a cool, dark place in your home, each vehicle, and your workplace.
  • Preferably in store-bought, factory-sealed water containers.
  • Alternately, in food-grade-quality containers made for storing water and available from sporting goods and surplus stores and other retailers. These containers must be thoroughly washed, sanitized, and rinsed. The water you store in them, if it's from your tap, may need to be treated before being stored. Ask your public health service or water provider for information on whether and how to treat the water. Follow those instructions before storing any.

Safe Use of Water Containers

  1. Wash containers with dishwashing soap and rinse with water.
  2. Sanitize by swishing a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water on all interior surfaces of the container.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with clean water before use.

Avoid using

  • Store-bought water past the expiration or "use by" date on the container.
  • Containers that can't be sealed tightly.
  • Containers that can break, such as glass bottles.
  • Containers that have ever held any toxic substance.
  • Plastic milk bottles and cartons. They are difficult to clean and break down over time.

Do

  • Change stored water every six months.

Alternate Emergency Water Sources Inside and Outside Your Home

Inside

If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use the water in-

  • your hot-water tank
  • pipes and faucets
  • ice cubes

If your tap water is safe to drink, so is the water in your pipes and hot-water tank, even if the idea seems unappealing. If you don't drink tapwater, the water in your pipes and hot-water tank may still be useful for sanitation.

To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, then open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank and turning on a hot-water faucet. Refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on. If the gas is turned off, only a professional can turn it back on.

To use the water in your pipes, identify and turn on the highest faucet in your home to let air into the plumbing. You then can get water from the lowest faucet.

Outside

If you need to find water outside your home, try

  • Rainwater
  • Streams, rivers, and other moving bodies of water
  • Ponds and lakes
  • Natural springs

Take steps to make water from any of these sources safer before drinking it. You should not drink flood water. Avoid water with floating material, an odor, or dark color. Use saltwater only if you distill it first.

Ways to Make Outdoor Water Safer

Note: These instructions are not for treating water to be stored, only for emergencies when no other water is available.

Untreated water can make you very sick. Besides having a bad odor and taste, it can contain toxic chemicals, heavy metals and germs that cause such diseases as dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis. Before drinking outdoor water, using it in food preparation or for hygiene, make it safer to use by

  • Straining it. Pour the water through paper towels, a clean cloth, or a coffee filter to remove any suspended particles.
  • Boiling it. In a large pot or kettle, bring water to a rolling boil for 1 full minute. Cool it and pour it back and forth between two clean containers to improve its taste before drinking it.
  • Chlorinating it. Using household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite (listed on the label) as its only active ingredient, add 16 drops (1/8 teaspoon) per gallon to water in a large pot or kettle. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. If it still does not smell of chlorine, find another source of water and start over.
  • Distilling it. Fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot's lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up inside the pot when the lid is upside-down without dangling into the water. Boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.

None of these methods is perfect. The best solution is to use all of them. Boiling and chlorination will kill most microbes but will not remove other contaminants, such as heavy metals, salts and most other chemicals. Distillation will kill or remove most of any remaining contaminates.

Make sure your cell phones are charged
Have car chargers ready or battery powered chargers ready to go. This is a good way for you to get information from THV and other news outlets in the event of tornado warnings during power outages.

For more information, contact any of the following:

 

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