Make your emergency kit now

Published 5:29 pm Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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This time of year, the hurricane preparedness message always bears repeating.

With our area threatened by its first tropical system — Elsa, which will be moving through on Thursday and bringing the potential for heavy rain and tornadoes — it is never a bad time to think about preparedness, if not for this system, then maybe for the next one.

A little over a month ago, we addressed hurricane preparedness in this space and urged you to download the FEMA app to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service; to enable Wireless Emergency Alerts on your smartphone or use a NOAA Weather Radio; to purchase flood insurance, for which you can find more information on; and to know your zone, for which you can find more information on

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Here, we will talk specifically about what should be in your emergency kit, which can help you not only in a hurricane but also in any number of other emergencies. Here are some of the most vital items for your kit:

  • An out-of-town contact to help your household reconnect
  • At least a 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food
  • Infant supplies such as formula, diapers, baby wipes, etc.
  • Medications for at least one week and copies of prescriptions
  • Medical equipment, assistive technology and backup batteries
  • First aid kit and antibiotic ointment
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers and antacids
  • Prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and solution
  • Medical alert tags/bracelets
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Multipurpose tool and can opener
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Paper cups, paper plates and plastic utensils
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Cell phone, charger and a backup battery
  • Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above)
  • Warm clothing and sturdy shoes
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Emergency cash funds to sustain your family several days. Credit or debit cards may not work if networks are down.
  • Waterproof storage bag or container for critical paperwork. Consider storing a password-protected backup of your records on a virtual cloud service.
  • Driver’s licenses and passports
  • Vehicle registrations and proof of insurance
  • Medical and vaccination records
  • Prescription medicine labels
  • Birth certificates
  • Social Security cards
  • Marriage certificates and wills
  • Proof of residence (deed or lease)
  • Business and personal tax records
  • Bank account records
  • Household inventory (photo or video)
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Moist towelettes
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Surface disinfectants and wipes
  • Bleach and rubbing alcohol
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Menstrual supplies
  • Books, games, puzzles, favorite stuffed toys and sensory items for children
  • Photo albums
  • Valuables and jewelry
  • Place ID tags on collars and micro-chip pets
  • Description and current photos of pets
  • Immunization and medical records
  • 1.5 gallons of water and sufficient food and medicine for at least three days per pet
  • Pet medication, copy of feeding and medication schedule for caregiver, shelter or boarding staff
  • Serving bowls
  • Collar, leash and carrier
  • Pet toys and bedding