10 Essential Items for your Emergency Kit - PIH Health

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Published on November 10, 2014

10 Essential Items for your Emergency Kit

Emergency Kit

Emergency KitSouthern California is always at risk for earthquakes.  Now is the perfect time to get prepared!  There are a few essential items to keep in your emergency kit that you may not have thought to include.

Emergency Kit

Store your emergency supplies in large plastic tubs and make sure everyone in your home knows where you store them.  Keep three days to a week supply of these ten essential items:

  1. Water - one gallon per person and per pet for each day.
  2. Food - non-perishable foods and a manual can opener.  Remember your pets!
  3. Cash & Important Documents - insurance papers, medical cards, birth certificates, etc.
  4. Clothes, sturdy shoes and a comfort item such as a toothbrush and toothpaste for each family member.
  5. Flashlight - and extra batteries.
  6. First Aid Kit
  7. Medicine - prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplies (such as syringes).
  8. Radio - a battery operated radio and extra batteries.
  9. Toiletries - soap, diapers, sanitary napkins, trash bags, toilet paper and paper towels
  10. Tools - fire extinguisher, adjustable wrench, sturdy gloves and a whistle

More Earthquake Preparedness Tips

Don’t let the fuel in your car get too low.  Try to keep at least a ¼ tank in at all times.  If power is out, the gasoline pumps will not function.  If they do function, the lines might be extremely long, and supply could be low.

Keep small bills on hand.  Keep $1 and $5 bills in your emergency kit in case you need to purchase small items like batteries or a bottle of water.  You might overpay for small items if you only have $20 bills from the ATM in your wallet.

Have an out-of-state contact person.  In a large earthquake, local phone circuits can be overloaded, making it impossible to complete a local phone call. Designate an out-of-state contact for your family members to call and report their status.

Secure large objects.  Secure shelves to the wall studs and keep heavy objects on the lower shelves.  Fasten heavy frames and mirrors to the wall.  Secure your water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting to the floor.

Purchase a gas and water shutoff tool.  Visit your local hardware store for an emergency gas and water shutoff tool and keep it next to your gas meter.  According to Southern California Gas Company, turn off your gas meter if you smell gas, hear gas leaking or see other signs of a leak as long as it is safe to do so.  You can use the same tool to shut off the water main if any water pipes are broken and leaking.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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