Hi, I am Dan Paulette-Chapman with the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area. Today, we are talking about family emergency preparedness. Right now, I am going to talk about building a home emergency supplies kit, specifically, the food and water that you will require.
Let us start with water. You do want to have a large bottle of water - very, very large bottles of water that will remain in your home for your families to use in case you are sheltering in your home. You would also like to have smaller bottles of water that can be transported quickly if you are having the transition from a sheltering place, staying in home situation to an evacuation situation.
One of the things to keep in mind about water is that you do need to rotate it out. It is a common misconception that you do not have to rotate water out. Water should be rotated out every six months to retain its freshness and to ensure that none of the chemicals that were used in the bottling or in the plastic of the bottle leaks into the water and turn it bad.
The rule of thumb is to have one gallon of water per person per day. So, that is one gallon of water per person per day. It sounds like a lot of water and it is. Point is you want to have enough for everyone to drink as well as wash, food and themselves with and that is at least one gallon per person per day. When it comes to food, perhaps the second most important item in your kit; you want to pack high protein and healthy items. You want to stay away from items that are very, very salty. They will make you thirsty, make you want to drink more water. Stay away from any items that can cause intestinal distress. Good examples are protein bars, nutrition bars. You can also get special emergency rations via the internet or certain local stores. The rule of thumb is to keep in mind with this are high protein as well as not too salty, filling. You also want to pack some comfort food. Put some stuff in there that you like to eat. A disaster is a very stressful environment and you want to have things that will lift your spirits a little bit. Another important thing to keep in mind is to have food for your pet. Your pet will also need to eat during a time where you are sheltering in place with them. Do not forget as well that certain elderly as well as infants have special dietary needs. You must account for them as well. So, remember, keep your entire family in mind when you are planning your family disaster supplies kit.
Next, we are going to talk about more items to place in your family emergency supplies kit.