Monday, December 29, 2008

Create a disaster preparedness kit

By The Associated Press

If you don't have a disaster kit, take time today to make one. If you do have one, go through it to make sure you haven't "borrowed" any items from it, and to make sure supplies are still fresh.

What to include:

— Water (at least a gallon daily per person for three to seven days)

— Nonperishable packages or canned food (enough for three to seven days)

— Manual can opener

— Paper plates and plastic utensils

— Rain gear, waterproof shoes

— Bedding

— First aid kit, including prescription drugs

— Toiletries and personal hygiene items

— Extra eye glasses, contact lenses and supplies

— Flashlight with extra batteries

— Battery-operated radio

— Tool kit

— Plastic bucket with tight lid

— Traditional corded telephone (in case electricity is lost)

— Cash (ATMs might not be working after a storm)

— Pet care items, including leashes and carriers

— Fire extinguisher

— Matches in a waterproof container

— Garbage bags, paper towels and toilet paper

— Disinfectant

— Household chlorine bleach

— Plastic sheeting/tarps

— Copies of important documents, including wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds, passports, Social Security cards, immunization records, bank account and credit card numbers, inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers, family records and medical records. Keep them in a waterproof bag.

— Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.

— Toys, games and books for the kids

— Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise it

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