Again, you can purchase ready-made kits for your home, car or even small kits for your briefcase or purse, or you can make your own. Consider including:
If you have a car, you may want to consider purchasing or creating an emergency kit for your car. In addition to including some of the above elements (such as a simple first-aid kit, flashlight, and blanket for you), you'll want to be sure that you have emergency needs for your car - such as jumper cables, flares, tire jack, and spare tire or temporary fixer for flats. Again, you can buy a kit like this at most hardware stores, major dollar stores, or garages, or you can work with a mechanic to create your own kit (and include any special needs.) In winter, add a bag of sand or kitty litter for traction and include an extra blanket, shovel, and ice scraper; if you drive in isolated areas, add some dried food and water or packaged juices.
Be sure you have emergency extras for you or your family's special needs. Refill prescriptions before they run out, in case you aren't able to make it to the pharmacy. Have emergency insulin supplies (for diabetics), inhalers (for asthmatics), bee sting kits, and other necessities.
Do you live in an area where you are often snowed-in in the winter or where roads regularly flood in the spring? Is your area prone to wildfires, tornados or earthquakes? Do you often experience power outages during severe storms? Think about the weather and natural occurrences in your area when planning your emergency kit - you may need more lighting and heating supplies and food and water than people living in other areas. You may also want to consider emergency routes to other areas, such as alternate roads in case of forest fire or flooding.
For more advice on putting together an emergency kit that meets your family's needs, contact your local American Red Cross office.
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