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Remember: Check Your Emergency Kit

Emergency Essentials - September 04, 2012

Many people buy emergency supplies for their family but then neglect to make sure they stay in usable condition. Follow this quick-check list to make sure your most basic of emergency items - the emergency kit - is in working order.

Bruce Barton, a well-known writer, once said, “When I think of what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think, there are no little things."

Many people have taken the time to purchase emergency supplies for themselves and their families. Once these supplies have been purchased many people forget to check their kits on a regular basis to be sure the supplies are fresh and in usable condition.

One of the most difficult parts of this process is merely remembering. Since we all schedule our lives very differently, we recommend tailoring a system that you know will work for you in checking your emergency kits. One recommendation is to mark the date to review your kits on your calendar six months in advance. When the day arrives, be sure to schedule a new date in another six months. This process will ensure that your kits are checked every six months. Some have chosen April and October and others have chosen January and June, regardless of what months are chosen, it is wise to check your kits on a regular basis.

When the time comes to check your emergency preparedness supplies, it is wise to remember these three words: review, evaluate, and replenish.

1. Review the location of your kit and ask yourself the following questions:
Is the location of my kits easily accessible? Is the location near an exit for quick access in the event of leaving your home?

2. Open each kit and re-familiarize yourself with their contents. Evaluate whether your family needs may have changed in the last six months; make sure your emergency supplies address your specific situation. Your family size might have increased or decreased, causing a change in needs. People grow older, possibly resulting in changes ranging from medications to food consumption. If extra clothing is in the emergency kit, ensure they still fit properly. In addition, there could be special needs for individuals that should be addressed. The following list is not meant to be comprehensive; however, hopefully it will help you think through any special needs that are applicable to you.
  • Infants: Diapers and wipes, bottles, food, lotion, medications, blankets, extra clothing, etc.
  • Children: Stress-relieving toys and games, food, vitamins, blankets, extra clothing, etc.
  • Elderly: Medications, extra bedding, special food items, etc.
3. Check all the items that have expiration dates and rotate accordingly. Examples of items that need to be rotated include calorie food bars, meals ready to eat, light sticks, batteries, hand and body warmers, medications, first aid supplies, etc.

As you review your emergency kits and keep them up to date, you will be better prepared for an emergency when it arises. 



© Emergency Essentials for LDS Living, 2012.
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