Chief’s Corner: Assembling an emergency kit, Part 1
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days.
Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days.
Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. Possible containers include a large, covered trash container; a camping backpack; or a duffle bag.
Here are six basics you should stock in your home:
You should have at least a three-day supply of water and you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day.
A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.
Additionally, in determining adequate quantities, take the following into account:
• Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.
• Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water.
• Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
• A medical emergency might require additional water.
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.
If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content. Be sure to include a manual can opener. Here are other good ideas:
• Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables.
• Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water).
• Staples: sugar, salt, pepper.
• High energy foods: peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix.
• Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons with special dietary needs.
• Comfort/stress foods: Cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags.
Look for Part 2 next week.