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I don’t know about you, but as I fumbled around in the darkness last night, wondering how I was going to make canned green beans have flavor, and worrying about whether or not i’d be able to put gas in my car to make it to work in the morning, I started to realize I wasn’t as prepared as I thought for an emergency situation.

Thankfully, the County wide power outage did not last as long as initially predicted, but nevertheless, it wasn’t a comfortable situation. If it had indeed lasted longer, many of us would have been caught unprepared.

The unexpected circumstances of yesterday act as a great reminder that we need to be as prepared as possible for the unknown. Taking time out of our hectic schedules to gather items for an emergency kit can–and most likely WILL save us from a world of trouble in the future.

Below is a list of items a basic emergency kit should include. Give yourself the peace of mind and ensure your household has one pulled together for those “just-in-case” moments!

• Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
• Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Whistle to signal for help
• Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
• Local maps
• Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
• Pain Medication
• Pet food and extra water for your pet
• Cash or traveler’s checks and change if you need to use a payphone when service is unavailable
• Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
• Matches in a waterproof container
• Candles
• Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

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