How to Create an Emergency Preparedness Kit #ProjectEnvolve + Giveaway

This post may contain affiliate links. View my disclosure policy for details.

Project Envolve™ is a program sponsored primarily by PPL Electric Utilities with the mission of helping us all save more and use less electricity.  I’ve been provided with complimentary products as an Ambassador for the program in exchange for sharing these ideas and my own use of them with you.  The opinions in this post are 100% mine.  You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Project Envolve

September is National Preparedness Month. Does your family have a plan should disaster strike?  FEMA reports that thousands of people are affected by disasters each year. Right here in my small town in Pennsylvania we had a tropical storm come through a few years ago that flooded tons of homes.  It was a horrible. And a real eye-opener. You just never know.

I’ll admit that while we have things on hand here and there that we’d rely on should we lose power for an extended period of time but I don’t really have it all organized, nor have I inventoried it lately to see what’s missing. My mission this month as part of the Project Envolve program was to get my act together and make sure my family has a plan and the supplies we need should we have an emergency. I’ve got some great tips to share to help your family get your ducks in a row, too.

How to Create an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Emergency Preparedness Kit

This isn’t too hard really. You don’t have to guess at what to include; you just need to gather it up! Check out this list to start your emergency preparedness kit to get started.  Here are the things I made sure we have in ours:

  • Nonperishable food items and a can opener.
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Pet food, litter, medications.
  • Cash
  • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Bottled water (one gallon per person for 3 days)
  • Blankets
  • Emergency Contact info (print and fill out the forms here)
  • Battery operated radio

If you have a baby you’re going to want to make sure you have diapers, formula, etc.  And don’t forget any medications you may need.  It’s also a good idea to know how to operate your garage door if you lose power. That garage door opener won’t work anymore, so practice before you need to.

Creating an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Creating an Emergency Plan

This is a really important piece of the pie.  Having all the supplies on hand is important but there is a possibility your family won’t all be together at home when disaster hits.  So download these forms and fill them out. Remember you may not have access to that online address book of phone numbers and if you’re like me, you won’t know a number in the world when your cell phone dies.

Emergency Preparedness Guide

Our emergency plan including writing down important phone numbers: family, friends, and neighbors, plus our work and school information.  We also decided on a meeting place in our neighborhood and one local spot that’s not quite as close to home.  I think it’s a good idea to keep copies of these forms in your car and in your home.

Remember these tips:

  • Make sure everyone in the family knows where your emergency plan and kit are located.
  • Practice your plan!
  • Have the number of your electric company so you can get updates.
  • Have an out-of-town place to stay (with a friend or relative) should you need to leave your home. Don’t forget to have a plan for your pets or anyone with special needs.

And stay safe:

  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Don’t use a gas oven or range to heat your house.
  • Unplug electronics that could be damaged when the power comes back on.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid a fire hazard.
  • Never run a generator inside where exhaust fumes can accumulate.
  • Keep all electrical items away from standing water like a flooded basement.

Fighting Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever

The struggle is real. The few times we’ve been without power for a few hours my kids are bored to tears.  You don’t realize how much you rely on all things electric until it’s not available. My kids like to play board games, Play-Doh, Legos, puzzles, and build blanket forts. We’ve even been known to pitch a tent in the middle of the living room floor and pretend we’re camping out! Here are a few more ideas for staving off cabin fever:

  • Coloring books
  • Reading
  • Flashlight tag
  • Pictionary on a dry erase board
  • Deck of cards
  • Crafts, like making a pasta necklace
  • Freeze dance
  • Hide and seek

So what should you do next?

There is a ton of useful information on emergency preparedness here.  Take the time to create your emergency preparedness kit and your emergency plan.  You never know when you’re going to need this stuff and when the time comes, you’ll be so glad you have it.

Visit the Project Envolve website for more great posts about saving energy and being prepared for an emergency. You can check out my other Project Envolve Missions too.

Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Project Envolve and PPL ELectric Utilities want you to be prepared in case of a disaster, too. So they’re giving one of my readers their own Battery Powered LED Quad Lantern. This thing is so awesome and so useful if you lose power. It has 4 removable LED panels that function as independent lights. Each LED panel includes 6 white LEDs, a top handle, and rechargeable battery.

This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+ only and will end at 11:59pm ET September 2, 2014.  Good luck!

Comments

  1. Maralea says

    When our kids were younger and still at home we did have an emergency preparedness plan. My husband and I don’t currently have one, however, I am going to start one. Great review and lots of great tips!

  2. Linda Kish says

    We don’t have anything. I do keep my medications around so I won’t run out. I suggest not running your cars until they are on empty because the gas stations would have long line in case of emergencies too.

  3. Ashley Kolpak says

    Unfortunately, we don’t really have a plan, other than always keep cell phones charged, gas in the grill, and containers of water. Our power is always going out during storms, this would be a great kit to have!!

  4. Crystle Monahan says

    My family doesn’t have much of a plan in place, which is weird because although we deal with few disasters in these parts, we’ve been hit by one before that left us maybe 4 weeks without power.

    I have been trying to come up with a list of things we’d need in an emergency, at least a power outage one, and I didn’t know about everything listed here. Very good to know, thank you!

    The main things we need are things we don’t have spares of (for example, several gallons of drinkable water and a can opener.)

    Thanks for this healthy reminder that I should be working on this project before disaster strikes!

  5. Heather S. says

    This is really sad but no I don’t have an emergency preparedness kit! I really should put one together!

  6. Jessica To says

    I usually try to prepare something when they are calling for a bad snow storm. I have to make sure I have candles and flashlights so this kit would be great.

  7. Tami says

    We have one and did not miss anything, but this was a reminder to replace
    the batteries in everything. Thanks

  8. samantha wagner says

    We have one but we could use a few more items like a couple more flashlights and I would like a weather radio.

  9. Leigh Anne Borders says

    We prepared some emergency kits after the two ice storms we had last year down in the South. Your article points out a few items we need to add.

  10. Kimberley Thomas says

    I keep batteries,food,water jugs,cash,blankets,flashlights,radio ,first aid kit are all part of my emergency pack

  11. Stephen Gordon says

    Have never thought to be honest. But your charts are outstanding. I do replace batteries often. Thanks for the chance .CHEERS great tips.

  12. Mary Beth Elderton says

    I admit that now that I am away from the gulf coast and the kids are grown, Hubz and I have slacked a bit on being prepared. However, now that we are back in a house after some apartment hopping, I have been working recently on getting things together.

  13. Katherine H says

    We really don’t have a kit or a plan, but I have been telling my family that we need to work on this.

  14. Cassandra Eastman says

    This is such a great idea, we don’t have a prepardness kit right now. I’ll definitely have to make one though!

  15. Zach Pq says

    We don’t have a plan but that is a good idea. I’ll bookmark and check back later to check out the links and put one together.

  16. Sheila K. says

    We always keep an emergency preparedness kit (and check it yearly) because living in South Florida we have to deal with our annual hurricane season! We can always use more flashlights, batteries, lanterns, and canned goods for the kit!

  17. Hideki Yamada says

    We only have flashlights, matches, lighters, and blankets. We need a lot more, like water and freeze dried food.

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