Create a survival kit to see you through an emergency

The recent earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami are brutal reminders of the importance of being prepared. While we don't live in earthquake-prone zones, we've had hurricanes, wildfires and tornado-spawning storms. In case of a serious emergency, you may need to survive on your own. If you haven't already created a comprehensive kit, here's what you'll need. Coupon Sherpa,

Basic supplies

• Water: 1 gallon of water per person for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation purposes.

• Food: at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food.

• Radios: battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert. Don't forget extra batteries for both.

• Flashlight with a strong light and extra batteries.

• Whistle to signal for help.

• Dust mask to help filter contaminated air.

• Plastic sheeting and duct tape to create an air-filtration shelter.

• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.

• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.

• Can opener, if kit contains canned food.

• Local maps, in case you need to evacuate the area.

• Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.

• Toilet paper.

First-aid kit

• Two pairs of sterile gloves.

• Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.

• Cleansing agent or soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect wounds.

• Antibiotic and burn ointments to prevent infection.

• Tweezers.

• Scissors.

• Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.

• Eye-wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminate.

• Thermometer.

• Prescription medications you take every day. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.

• Prescribed medical supplies, such as glucose and blood pressure-monitoring equipment and supplies.

• Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant.

• Nonprescription pain reliever.

• Antidiarrhea medication.

• Antacids.

• Laxatives.

• Emergency first-aid instruction manual or this information from the Mayo Clinic (requires Internet access).

Additional items to consider

• Prescription medications and glasses.

• Infant formula and diapers.

• Pet food and extra water for your pet.

• Important family documents — such as copies of insurance policies, personal identification and bank account records — all sealed in a waterproof container.

• Cash or traveler's checks and change.

• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.

• Complete change of clothing.

• Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach). Bleach can also be used to treat water by using 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water.

• Fire extinguisher.

• Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.

• Mess kits, cups, plates, utensils and paper towels.

• Matches in a waterproof container.

• Paper and pencil.

• Books, games, puzzles and other activities for both adults and children.

Create a survival kit to see you through an emergency 04/09/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 8, 2011 8:53pm]

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