November 4, 2009

Are You Ready?

kathrynBy Kathryn Graver
Community Education Coordinator
Child Abuse Council

Emergencies and what it means to be ready. As we get ready for the change of seasons, and for a long, cold winter, thoughts of what could happen if I had the kids and grandkids over at the house, and we had a really bad storm. The usual no power, and the fact that we need to eat, stay warm and keep busy. Below are some very good suggestions on how to be ready for this sort of situation. It never hurts to be prepared.

Emergency Supplies:

Water, food and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual’s emergency kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.

Recommended supplies to include in your kit:

• Water, one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation (remember you will need to use the bathroom.)
• Non-perishable food, at least a three-day supply. (Must be canned or will not spoil without cold or heat.)
• Matches and candles are helpful, but dangerous, so be careful.
• Battery powered or hand-crank radio, and a weather emergency radio.
• Flashlights and extra batteries (giving each child their own light can help when it comes to having the children content.)
• A whistle to signal for help.
• Filtered mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter air.
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
• Manual can opener to open all your canned foods.
• Plastic sheeting and duct tape to hold sheet in place.
• Important family documents (prescriptions, phone numbers, IDs, passports.)
• Items for unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, diapers, personal hygiene items, and any person items you may need.
• Children’s toys and books in limited numbers to help pass the time while there is no power.

Since we live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out, and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including scarves, mittens, extra socks, sleeping bags, long sleeve shirts, and sturdy shoes.

Always be prepared. It is easier to get the crate or container that is already full of emergency supplies than to try to look for these things when the event happens.

For more information about the Child Abuse Council’s prevention and education programs, you can visit us at or contact me at