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Published on September 08, 2014

How to Prepare Your Family for an Emergency

September 8, 2014

Emergency KitThe rain has been falling for a long time. You're unable to leave your house because your driveway is underwater and all connecting roads look like canals. Meanwhile, the electricity has been flickering on and off, and it seems as though you won't be going anywhere for a long time. What could you have possibly done to prepare for a situation like this? Here are some suggestions from the American Red Cross ( to help you prepare for floods, blizzards, and other emergency situations.

Water and Food

You'll have an advantage over many emergency situations if you have food and water stored. Keep water in sturdy plastic containers intended for water or in soft drink bottles. Milk cartons can decompose and glass bottles may break. Store nonperishable foods (canned fruit, canned meats, fruit juice, etc.) that don't require heat or refrigeration in an easy-access location in the event of a blackout. Include a non-electric can opener and extra toiletries.


A first-aid kit should be filled with appropriate bandages, ointment, and other materials (see "What's In a First-Aid Kit?"). There should be a first-aid kit in all of your family's cars and at least one in your home. If you're faced with an emergency that requires your family to evacuate your home, don't forget to pack your prescription and nonprescription medications before leaving or tell a rescue worker where they can be found.


When the electricity goes out for any reason, you don't have to be left in the dark. Have flashlights, extra batteries, matches, candles, and signal flares in an easily accessible area of your house. If you have a stove for camping, use it sparingly and always outside. Fumes from many portable gas-powered stoves can be very hazardous to your health. Never bring a charcoal grill inside for use.

What's In a First-Aid Kit?

Wondering what to include in your first-aid kit? The American Red Cross ( suggests the following:

  • (20) adhesive bandages, various sizes
  • (1) 5 x 9 inch sterile dressing
  • (1) conforming roller gauze bandage
  • (2) triangular bandages
  • (2) 3 x 3-inch sterile gauze pads
  • (2) 4 x 4-inch sterile gauze pads
  • (1) roll 3-inch cohesive bandage
  • (2) germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • (6) antiseptic wipes
  • (2) pair large medical grade non-latex gloves
  • adhesive tape, 2-inch width
  • antibacterial ointment
  • cold pack
  • scissors
  • tweezers
  • CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield

Assembled emergency preparedness kits and first-aid kits, with instructions, in a variety of sizes and priced from $5 to $65 are available at the online store.

If an emergency occurred tomorrow, would you and your family be prepared. September is National Preparedness Month – learn how to stay safe.

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