Week 3 – National Preparedness Month

Know how to build an emergency supply kit...

It’s the third week of National Preparedness Month! This week, we’re encouraging folks to build or restock their emergency supply kits.  There are several reasons why people don’t put together a kit, and we’re not going to pass judgment, because the task can seem daunting.  We’re going to debunk 3 common reasons why people don’t have emergency supply kits, and hopefully we’ll motivate some readers to change their outlook.supplykit

  1. I don’t know what to put in my kit…

The list of recommended items can go on for pages, but try to focus on things you would use in your everyday life. A good first step is to write down a list of items you might need if you were out of electricity or had to evacuate for 3-4 days.

  • We won’t list it here, but a thorough list of emergency supply kit items can be found at: http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
  • If you are a camping enthusiast, pack your kit as if you’re going on a 3-day camping trip. Or just keep your gear in a large tote and it can double as a supply kit.
  • Do you have pets? Don’t forget to include food and water for your furry friends!
  1. Kits are too expensive…

It’s true that some of the items in your kit, like a radio, can be pricey, you can build a kit without breaking the bank.

  • Before you go out and buy new items, search through your house to see if you already have some of the items.
  • Check thrift stores and garage sales for things like blankets and flashlights.
  • Buy non-perishable food in bulk. Dry rice and pasta is cheap and will last a long time if it is stored properly.
  • Instead of buying everything your kit at once, break it down and buy one thing per month for a year.
  1. I probably won’t even use it…
  • If you’re lucky, you won’t have to use it. However, just like your mom telling you to take a coat, it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
  • Maybe you’ll never experience a catastrophic event, but if you live in Montana, you’ll probably experience a winter blizzard, spring flooding, or summer wildfires. These smaller events may not affect you for more than a day or two, but if you’re stuck in your home, you’ll be glad you have a supply kit.

Final tip: Be realistic.  Having just a few items in your emergency supply kit is still better than no kit at all!

 

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