Valentine’s Day typically means flowers, candy, and even jewelry. A nice dinner out. But true love should last all year round and show how much you care This includes making sure everyone in your family is prepared for life’s little emergencies and full-scale disasters.
Just about everyone would love to be a little more prepared but don’t know where to start. You can start with a few things for a starter emergency kit for the home or the road. Don’t forget your children and pets. They need a few starter items as well.
The Get Started Kit
Start with a few items that are the emergency essentials. Include a backpack, duffle bag or zippered tote bag.
- First aid kit(You can get a pre-made kit at most of your local drug stores or pharmacies)
- Flashlight and extra batteries – An LED flashlight is best.
- Portable phone charger(also sometimes known as a portable battery. This charger should be rechargeable and have the ability to charge a phone without being plugged into a power source) The newest versions include a small solar panel that will charge the battery under bright light indoors or sunlight outdoors.
- Food and water – Some energy bars, dried fruit and bottled water will get you through a couple of hours without power or stranded on the road. At home you should have at least three days of food and water in your emergency kit.
Most of us spend a lot of time in our cars. Consider putting together a kit of emergency supplies that your loved one can keep in their car. Plan your gift based on local hazards. If you live in an area that gets significant amounts of snow, you may consider including a windshield scraper, extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets. For any emergency, your car kit includes these basic items:
- Basic tool kit – Include pliers, a wrench, and screwdriver
- Jumper cables or an emergency car starter battery
- First aid kit
- Cellphone charger(either a car charger or rechargeable portable charger)
- Food and Water
Emergency Prep for Kids
Your kids are probably going to surprise you with a sweet Valentine’s card. Return the favor with items they can put in their own emergency kit.
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- A battery-powered or crank AM/FM/NOAA weather radio
- Season-appropriate change of clothes (New ones in the closet – used in your kit)
- Small and portable games or activities that can entertain kids if they have to shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter. (Small board games, playing cards, books, or stuffed animals are good items to consider)
Pets and Pet Lovers
Your pets are an important part of your family, so don’t leave them out of your emergency plans! Pull together a few items for your pet in case of an emergency. Think about how to transport your pet safely – a crate or harness, perhaps – and also think about their comfort in a scary situation by keeping a few toys and a pet bed in case you are forced to leave your home and shelter with a friend or go to a hotel or shelter. Here’s more on pet preparedness.
Information is Vital
Having the correct information during an emergency can make the difference between dealing with an inconvenience or being stuck with what’s left after a disaster. In Fayette County, you have many different ways of staying connected with Lexington Emergency Management, your best source of official emergency information. You can access us through our website, BeReadyLexington.com, through social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and by downloading our smartphone app. You can sign up for emergency messages using our LexAlerts service. During an emergency, we’ll broadcast information on our AM Radio Station – 1620AM Radio Lexington. It also streams on the TuneIn network. The complete rundown is available at http://bereadylexington.com/be-aware/