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Are You Prepared?

As I write this, we’ve just had 10 inches of rain in the Baltimore metro area as an otherwise spectacular summer has been punctuated with some very violent weather.  Political and social unrest seems to be in the news worldwide, and there’s a spreading epidemic of the Ebola virus in Africa.

And all this has made me think: what would I do if an emergency occurred at home?  Am I prepared? Are you prepared? Like you, I have thought about putting together a kit or supplies but it just never seems to happen.

As I’m sure you can imagine, there are tons of websites dedicated to “Emergency Preparedness” and after reading through a few, I realized why I only get this far in my recurring pursuit of becoming “prepared.” I become overwhelmed. A simple Google search for emergency preparedness yields 47,400,000 results! A click on a few sites reveals lists ranging from 50 to 100 items needed in order to be prepared!

So here is my list, what I consider the top 15 recurring manageable supplies to have on hand to get you through a few days in the event that disaster strikes, whether brought to you by man or Mother Nature.

Minimum supply list for a 3-day evacuation or 2-week supply for home

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day.
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items
  • Multipurpose tool/can opener
  • Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both (or the crank-powered kind!)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Personal hygiene items: moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Whistle
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Disposable cups, plates and utensils
  • Extra cash
  • Books, games, puzzles or other non-electronic activities to keep children entertained and occupied

The American Red Cross says to “Get a Survival Kit – Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.”

The Red Cross guide is laid out in a list format, making it easy to use, and it goes in-depth as to all the supplies you should have on hand, per family member, per day (for example the one gallon of water, per person, per day noted above).  This link to the American Red Cross Survival Kit is a great place to start and has a 15 item at a minimum, basic supplies list.

Only you know your own family and your own circumstances, so look over the Red Cross list, compare with the one I’ve provided and make the decisions that are best for you.  Any decision, as long as it’s accompanied by action, is better than just thinking about it.

Beth Bory is Social Media Manager at PBI Restorations.  She is prepared to hear from you at