With severe storms and tornadoes ravaging the Southeast and hurricane season just around the corner, American Red Cross Program Coordinator Mark Hunt of the Savannah Chapter’s Liberty branch offered his input on five categories of items that should be included in every disaster-preparedness kit.
Hunt said people should plan in advance and have kits already prepared. However, if they’re rushed to assemble them due to impending weather, these five categories of items should be the very minimum included in the kits.
1. Gather important documents.
Collect “birth certificates, social-security cards, life-insurance policies, property deeds, maps, family contact information and shot records,” he said.
2. Stock the essentials.
Pack enough food, water, snacks, medications, first-aid items and hygiene items. Clothing, including extra shoes, socks and undergarments, should be packed as well.
3. Gather technology equipment necessary to endure the storm.
Collect flashlights, extra batteries, a weather radio, cell phones and car chargers in case of a power outage.
4. Don’t forget pets.
Pet owners should pack extra pet foods, medications, water, collars, leashes, vaccination records and a pet carrier.
5. Keep cash on hand.
“You must have cash in order to get from here to there,” Hunt said.
If there is a significant power outage, ATM machines will not be operable.
“Maintain at least half a tank of gas on a daily basis,” he said.
The American Red Cross recommends three actions to prepare for emergencies: Assemble a disaster kit; make advanced plans for evacuation routes and meeting grounds with your friends and family; and stay informed.
For more information, go to www.savannahredcross.org/emergency_preparedness.htm#beready.
To purchase emergency-preparedness kits, go to www.redcrossstore.org/shopper/prodlist.aspx?LocationId=1.