Shop Your House and Build a Kit

Before we know it, spring storms will begin, and for many it will cause panic and stress.  The best way to deal with stress or fear is being prepared.  One cornerstone of any emergency plan is the disaster supply kit.

There is a definite link between being prepared and increasing your chances of safely surviving a disaster or emergency.  The disaster supply kit can play a big role in keeping you and your family safe.

It is a good bet most Oklahomans know assembling even a basic kit is critical, yet many do not take the time to do it.  For some with tight budgets, busy schedules or both, spending money on supplies or taking the time to assemble a kit ranks low on the priority list. Others flat out believe disasters will not happen to them.

Building a disaster kit doesn’t have to be expensive and it isn’t all that time consuming to pull things together.  Your kit doesn’t have to be fancy; it just needs to be effective.

Also, remember the hunt does not have to be limited to your house.  Organize a preparedness party and invite guests to bring extra items they are willing to donate or exchange for things they need.  This can be a great activity for church groups, youth groups, book clubs, etc.

As you are building your kit, think specifically about your needs and the needs of your family. For instance, pets will need food and water or people with hearing loss should add extra hearing aid batteries.

When it comes to food, replenish the supply at least every 6 months. It is safe to use the older items you rotate out of your kit. Most dates stamped on items are for quality, not safety.

Finally, make a list of items you use every day and may need to add when a watch is issued for your area. Keep the list in an easily accessible place such as taped to the bottom of the weather radio or attached to the kit, and inform every family member of its location.

Items on the list could include a cell phone, prescription medicines, purses or wallets with your driver’s license or other identification and a crate or leash for your pet.

For more information about “Build A Kit” resources and workshops please contact sonya.mcdaniel@okstate.edu

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