Think first about the basics for survival – food, water, clean air and any life sustaining items you require. Consider two kits. In one kit put everything you will need to stay where you are and make it on your own for a period of time. The other kit should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to leave your home.
Recommended basic emergency supplies include:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food and a can opener if kit contains canned food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Local maps
- Pet food, extra water and supplies for your pet
Note: Check your supply kit periodically and replace any perishable items (water, food) that
may be out of date.
Medications and Medical Supplies
If you take medicine or use a medical treatment on a daily basis, be sure you have what you need on hand to make it on your own for at least a week. You should also keep a copy of your prescriptions as well as dosage or treatment information. If it is not possible to have a weeklong supply of medicines and supplies, keep as much as possible on hand and talk to your hospice nurse, pharmacist or doctor about what else you should do to prepare.
If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity to operate, talk to your hospice social worker about what you can do to prepare for its use during a power outage.
In addition, there may be other things specific to your personal needs that you should also have on hand. If you use eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries, and oxygen, be sure you always have extras in your home. Also have copies of your medical insurance, Medicare and Medicaid cards, Advance Directive and Durable Do Not Resuscitate Order readily available.
Include copies of important documents in your emergency supply kits such as family records, wills, power of attorney documents, deeds, social security numbers, credit card and bank information, and tax records. It is best to keep these documents in a waterproof container. Include the names and numbers of everyone in your personal support network, as well as your medical providers. Also be sure you have cash or travelers checks in your kits in case you need to purchase supplies.