Building Portable Emergency Kits

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 38,158
    American Red Cross emergency preparedness expert Dan Paulette-Chapman explains how to build a portable emergency kit.

    Hi, I am Dan Paulette-Chapman with the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area. Today, we are talking about family emergency preparedness and I am going to show you several different types of kits that you should have handy. First of all, in your home, your home emergency supplies kit should be a very large tub such as this one or even a large trash can, so that it has adequate space to put everything into. Do not forget, we are talking about a lot of items - one gallon of water per person per day, plenty of food, clothing and other supplies. So, keep that in mind. Your home kit is your main storehouse of emergency items. However, there are other kits that you should also have handy. First of all, for every family member, there should be a go kit similar to this one. Go kits are backpacks or other small bags that are easily transportable. In case of an evacuation where an immediate urgent evacuation is needed or in the case of a house fire where you need to get out quickly, it is easiest to be able to grab something like this and have the very basics that you need. This kit should be a small mirror image of the larger home supplies kit. It should have water in it. It should have food in it. It should have gloves, a flash light and some of those other items that we described earlier. Make sure that each family member has one of these ready to go and that they all know where to get their emergency supplies kits - preferably, in their bedroom. For infants and the elderly, make sure that another family member has the items that they need and is able to evacuate with them. In other locations, you may also be presented with an emergency, such as, in your car. If you are asked to shelter in place and you are in your car and you have no way of getting inside, you may need to survive for a while in your car. So, it is good to have something like this again about this size, in your car with food and water and those other supplies we discussed. It is also helpful to have an even smaller kit that has perhaps a light stick, a whistle, little bit of water and other items like that. These little kits are very handy; they stick underneath your seat and are very, very easy to use should you need them.

    Kits like these are also very handy in an office environment. This particular one affixes underneath your desk. So, if there is a fire alarm or other emergency, you can simply grab and go and you have the basics with you at hand. It may also be a good idea to have a kit in a waste pack so that you can grab it easily and transport it easily. The idea again, is to have something that is easily transportable so that in an emergency, it is well stocked, you know right where to get it and you can evacuate immediately with it.