Week 2 of the National Preparedness Month focuses on building a preparedness supply kit.
Emergencies can happen any
time, so it’s important to have an emergency preparedness kit ready
should disasters strike.
Being prepared means being
equipped with the proper supplies you and your family may need in the event of
an emergency or disaster. It can be hard to imagine several days or weeks
without power, Internet, or running water. But in the event of an emergency,
anything can happen. That's why it's crucial for you and your family to have an
emergency plan and supplies ready to go for any type of disaster.
In Norfolk, we see many
different disasters, including flooding, heavy rains, snow, hurricanes, and
even tornadoes. So, make your plan personal; no matter what disaster strikes,
you will be ready.
When gathering items for your
supply to-go kit, the rule of thumb is to have enough food, water, personal
hygiene items, and other essential supplies on hand for at least 72 hours. If
you plan to shelter in place, it's recommended that you have at least a two
week supply of essential items.
A preparedness supply kit is
simply a collection of essential items your household may need in the event of
Preparedness Supply Kit
- Water - Remember, you will need one gallon of water
per person per day for drinking and sanitation.
- Food – You will need at least a three-day supply of
non-perishable foods per person. Don’t forget about the manual can opener!
- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with
tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Whistle and flares to signal for help
- Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Tools, such as wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers
- Personal hygiene items – toothbrush, toothpaste,
deodorant, feminine supplies, etc.
- Medical items, such as EpiPen, insulin, syringes, or
other medical items needed for your family
- Sturdy shoes, such as boots or closed-toed shoes
- Cash – Small bills only, and place in a waterproof
- Local maps
- Warm blankets, winter coats, and rain gear
- Fire extinguisher
- Emergency reference materials such as a first aid
- Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
- Paper towels and napkins
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Paper and pencil
- Games for your children
- Medicine dropper
- Important Family Documents such as copies of
insurance policies, identification, and bank account records in a
waterproof, portable container.
- Pet supplies - food, water, leash, water/food bowl,
treats, chew toys, and kennel.
Remember – it's important to
assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at
a moment's notice and take essentials with you. If you wait, you will probably
not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
COVID-19 is putting a
different spin on how we should supply our preparedness kits. Here are some
additional considerations to add to your supply kit concerning COVID-19:
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks,
gloves, and face shields
- Hand sanitizer
- Over the counter medicines such as fever reducers, cough suppressants, and saline nose
spray. If you have children, make sure you have appropriate medicine for
them, as it may differ from what adults need. Always consult with your
- Hand soap
- Have a notebook handy to write down the sick person’s
temperature and symptoms, updating daily
- Contact information for your family physician
more information on how to keep you and your family safe during the COVID-19
pandemic, or steps to take if you have been exposed to COVID-19, visit the
Virginia Department of Health’s website at vdh.virginia.gov
Assembling Your Supply Kit
After you’ve gathered all your disaster supplies, it’s time
to assemble your kit. Place each item into a sturdy, waterproof container.
Then, store your container in a place that can be easily accessed in an
emergency, like a closet near the front door or near your garage.
While the chances of needing an emergency kit are relatively
low, you don’t want to be caught unprepared when a disaster occurs. Don’t let
another extreme weather season pass you by without getting your emergency
supplies organized and ready to go.
Finally, remember by building an emergency preparedness
supply kit today, you and your family can be better prepared for tomorrow's
For more information, visit our website at https://www.norfolk.gov/648/Threats-Hazards
Be safe and have
a great week,
Deputy EM Coordinator
Norfolk Emergency Preparedness & Response