Building an Emergency Kit – Tools

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,868
    American Red Cross emergency preparedness expert Dan Paulette-Chapman explains how to build an emergency kit including all the tools you will need.

    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 show you some of the specialty items you must also include in your kit to be adequately prepared. We have already talked about food, clothing, some of the staples but these are some special things that you want to make sure you have on hand. Obviously, a radio, I have mentioned this several times in previous clips that radios are absolutely crucial to have on hand. In order to operate your radio, of course, you will need batteries unless it is of the crank variety. Batteries must also be switched down. Batteries can get old and lose their charge overtime. So, it is best not to just throw batteries in and forget about it but to have them on the same rotation schedule as your water and food maybe on. Gloves are important to have. There maybe situations that you are in, that you will face in an emergency where there will be fluids or other undesirable chemicals and having gloves like this can really save you. An emergency survival blanket such as this comes in a very small package. But it is actually a very powerful tool given extreme cold, helps preserve the body heat. Similar to that, an emergency poncho keeps off the rain. We also recommend having some sort of multi functional warmer, some sort of chemical or other warming device that you can use should you be in a hypothermic situation.

    Snap lights or glow lights or glow sticks are very, very handy for illuminating small areas or when you can not, for some reason, get your flash light going; it is very, very handy to have these with you. They are also great for visibility over long distances so that rescue professionals can find you out there. We also recommend having some mask so that in case the air is contaminated or is dusty or is otherwise uncomfortable, you have some protection. Be very, very careful to read the indications on your mask as to what it will protect you and what it will not protect you from. Masks such as these are very good for certain situations and not for others and you want to make sure that you are well prepared. Of course, the flash light, probably, one of the easier things to remember to put in your kit but a flash light is extremely important and again, another reminder to keep those batteries fresh. Other special items to take into consideration - if you have pets, make sure you have their supplies in the kit as well. It is very critical that you are thinking of everyone that is a part of the family. Also, if you have special medical needs, it is time to think about how you can adequately prepare yourself in case of an emergency in your kit to handle those medical needs.

    For example, if you are diabetic, you have an extra diabetic supplies kit with you. In that kit, certainly any prescription medicine you want to have in there with you. Important though, as with most of they are perishable items, medication, when they have gone back past their expiration date can be very dangerous. You want to make sure that you are rotating it out well before it expires. So, that when an emergency strikes, you are not left with expired medication to go on. Specialty items also include an extra pair of glasses. They do not have to be a fashion statement. They just have to allow you to see adequately and be sturdy.

    Finally, keep a copy of your driver's license and other important documents such as a healthcare or health insurance card or other important documents. Have a copy of those with you. When you evacuate, if you are told to evacuate or if you are sheltering in place, you may not have access to the actual cards. Having these, especially if you are going to an unfamiliar location can be a life saver. Next, we are going to talk about different types of kits to have in your home, in your car and at work.