Building an Emergency Kit

You and I may not be “preppers”, but we can be prepared.  When I bought my first house in Lake Oswego, Oregon, it was from a couple that had retired in the area.  She was a homemaker and he was a retired architect who built bridges.  They were kind, old-fashioned little folk, and the home was custom built for their retirement years.  In the kitchen, the cabinets, stove, and sink were all pretty low in comparison to most homes.  Fortunately for me, I’m pretty petite so it was perfect.  Also fortunate for me, I happened to bring over an apple pie to go with the tea we were having during a scheduled interview with the owners. (wink)

The first time I toured the house, I wasn’t looking closely at the workshop space downstairs, but after moving in, I discovered the previous owner left several blueprints of active fault lines running through the state of Oregon.  I was amazed at just how many exist.  I had no idea!  Since then, I’ve developed a greater awareness of the potential of a natural disaster such as an earthquake occurring in my area.  Does that mean I’m walking around wearing a tinfoil hat or building a bomb shelter in the backyard?  Not quite.  But, it does mean that twice a year, my family reviews our Emergency Kit Checklist and updates our kit as needed.

This may sound like just another thing you have to do, and it is.  But once established, it takes very little effort in exchange for the peace of mind knowing that you and your family will have what is needed during an emergency.

Every January and July, my family discusses the key areas below and reviews our checklist against our emergency kit to determine what items we need to have on-hand in the event of an emergency.  Checking the kit twice a year ensures we are keeping up with the changes in technology, circumstances and our environment as they may affect the contents of the kit.  Our printable Emergency Kit Checklist is available HERE.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

-          Establish a plan for inter- and out-of-state contact.

-          The emergency kit should be accessible to all family members.  Do not overload your kits; disperse items between multiple transportable bags.

-          Items damageable by smoke or water should be stored in plastic for extra protection.

-          Keep a light source on the outside, or on top, of the kit for easy access in the dark.

Customize the checklist considering the key areas below:

-          Water

-          Food

-          Warmth & Shelter

-          Light Sources

-          Tools

-          First Aid

-          Communication

-          Personal Sanitation

-          Extra Clothing

-          Money

-          Important Documentation

-          Stress Relief

-          Additional Supplies

You can find additional information at BePrepared.com.  Happy Preparing!