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A Red Cross "ready to go" preparedness kit

Being properly prepared in the event of an emergency means having a good disaster supplies kit consisting of some basic items which could help save your life. It is critical to have your kit ready ahead of time, as you likely won’t get a chance to assemble supplies when you need to evacuate.

As Ready.gov points out, you may have to survive on your own in the aftermath of an emergency. Local officials and rescue workers won’t be able to help everyone immediately, so having enough food, water, and other myriad supplies to last for at least 72 hours is important. Help could come in hours, but it also might take days.

Read More: How to Prepare for Hurricane Season 2014

Check out the list below, via Ready.gov, to learn how to build your disaster supplies kit.

Disaster Supplies Kit

* Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

* Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

* Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

* Flashlight and extra batteries

* First aid kit

* Whistle to signal for help

* Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

* Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

* Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

* Manual can opener for food

* Local maps

* Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Read More: Disaster Evacuation Tips and Guidelines

Once Basic Supplies are Gathered, Consider Adding the Following Items

* Prescription medications and glasses

* Infant formula and diapers

* Pet food and extra water for your pet

* Cash or traveler’s checks and change

* Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit – EFFAK (PDF – 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.

* Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)

* Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

* Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

* Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it 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.

* Fire extinguisher

* Matches in a waterproof container

* Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

* Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils

* Paper and pencil

* Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Read more: http://www.ready.gov

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