6000 CAES NEWSWIRE | All-hazard kits Skip to Main Menu Skip to Content

MEDIA NEWSWIRE

Keep hazard kits handy

By David Stooksbury
State Climatologist
University of Georgia

Hindsight is 20/20. Watching tragedy unfold on the Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama coasts this week, we see the importance of creating and keeping a hazard kit handy.

Your family should have an all-hazards kit that will be good for most emergencies including hurricanes, flooding, ice storms or even terrorist attack. The all-hazards kit should contain the barest necessities to survive independently for up to two weeks.

It's important to assemble an all-hazards kit long before an impending emergency event.

What you need

What should the kit contain as a minimum?

  • First and foremost; bottled water. FEMA and the Red Cross recommend a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person per day. Some individuals with special needs, such as children, nursing mothers and the sick, will need more than a gallon a day. You should store a two-week supply. For a family of four that means a minimum of 56 gallons of drinkable water. Additional water will be needed for bathing, flushing toilets and food preparation.
  • Second, nonperishable foods, primarily canned foods that don't require cooking and don't need to be kept refrigerated or frozen. Include with this a manual can opener. Assume that you will not have electricity.
  • A battery-operated radio and a NOAA Weather Radio, and a supply of batteries.
  • Flashlights and other battery-operated lights. You don't want open flames such as candles which can cause fires. Cell and land-line phones may be down and you can't call the fire department. The fire department may not be able to respond because of blocked and flooded roads.
  • Foul weather clothing, including sturdy shoes and jackets. Also pack bedding.
  • Medical and other special-need supplies, including a first aid kit and first aid book.
  • Copies of important documents such as insurance, car title, deeds and social security card.
  • Plenty of cash. The ATM requires power.
  • Sturdy shoes since you there may be debris with nails surrounding your location.
  • Family safety

    Remind your family of these general safety measures:

  • Plan well ahead of the event; buy needed supplies before they are sold out.
  • If told to evacuate, evacuate.
  • Only use gas grill and charcoal grills outside in a well- ventilated area.
  • Treat all power lines as if they are alive; it is impossible by looking to tell the difference between a dead power line and one that can kill you.
  • Determine a contact person in a city well away from the event. If family members become separated, they can call the contact person who can help relay messages and coordinate the reunion.
  • Disasters often happen with little warning. Be prepared.

    (David Emory Stooksbury is associate professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

    Share Story:
    0