Disasters like wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes can strike with little or no warning. To assure that you and your family are prepared, there’s no time like the present to create emergency kits: one for use if you need to evacuate your home and one for use if you get trapped in your home for several days. Get the entire family involved in creating these emergency kits so that kids understand the importance of being prepared.

Evacuation Kits

To help you evacuate quickly, keep the following items in an emergency backpack so you can grab it and go:

• Gallon of water per family member and nonperishable foods
• Can opener, plastic cups and eating utensils
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Battery-operated radio
• Change of clothing for each family member
• Contact information for your family and a friend out of state
• First aid kit
• Personal identification cards for each family member
• Personal hygiene items and hand sanitizer
• Medications that are need regularly

Sequester Kits

Just as important as an evacuation kits, sequester kits are filled with important items necessary when you cannot leave your home for several days due to an emergency. Place the following items in an area of your home to be ready for an emergency:

• Three gallons of water per family member
• Canned food for at least three days and can opener
• Pet foods and supplies for three days
• Toilet paper
• Extra personal hygiene items
• Non-scented bleach
• Blankets
• Books, games and other forms of entertainment
• Paper and pencils
• Battery-operated radio and television
• Flashlight
• First aid kit

Being prepared eliminates some of the panic that accompanies an emergency. By having these kits in place, you and your family can focus on remaining safe during a disaster and keeping each other calm.