IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Emergency Kits: Here’s Everything You Need in Your Kit

Although Philadelphia has never recorded a major earthquake, hurricanes are a concern, and accidents can happen. To make sure you are as ready as possible, here are different types of emergency kits you should be equipped with.

(TNS) - Emergencies can happen at any time and it's important to be prepared. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 44% of people in the U.S. don't have first aid kits, and 48% are not prepared with any supplies in case of a disaster.

Although Philadelphia has never recorded a major earthquake, hurricanes are a concern, and house and car accidents can present themselves unannounced. To make sure you are as ready as possible, here are different types of emergency kits you should be equipped with and how they can help you:

First Aid Kit

First aid kits come in handy for everything from everyday emergencies to major accidents. You can buy items and pack them yourself or get them ready to go. No matter the choice, make sure to keep one at home and one in your car.

You can buy a first aid kit almost everywhere. Prices range from $20 to over $400, depending on the quantity of items and how many people will need to use it. Before packing your kit, make sure to keep medicines in their original containers to keep it safe and make it last as long as is supposed to.

The American Red Cross recommends ensuring your kit contains these items:

1. 2 absorbent wound dressings measuring 5 by 9 inches.

2. 25 bandages in different sizes.

3. 1 adhesive cloth tape of 10 yards by 1 inch.

4. 5 antibiotic ointment packets of about 1 gram.

5. 5 antiseptic wipe packets.

6. 2 packets of 81 mg aspirin each.

7. 1 emergency blanket.

8. ‍1 breathing barrier, with a one-way valve. This barrier helps in situations where you need to perform CPR. By having a one-way valve, it prevents mount to mount contact while still providing the same effect for resuscitation.

9. 1 instant cold compress.

10. 2 pairs of nonlatex gloves.

11. 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets of about 1 gram each.

12. 1 three inch gauze roll.

13. 1 four inch wide roller bandage.

14. 5 sterile gauze pads measuring 3 inches by 3 inches.

15. 5 sterile gauze pads around 4 inches by 4 inches.

16. 2 triangular bandages.

17. ️1 non mercury or glass oral thermometer.

18. Tweezers for splinters.

19. Prescription medication.

20. A list of emergency phone numbers.

Kits for natural disasters

Disaster supply kits can help you get through a natural catastrophe. When it comes to food and water, the Red Cross advises storing at least enough for a two-week supply. If you have to evacuate due to an emergency, take sufficient resources to last a minimum of three days.

Since you won't have a lot of time to act, having a kit readily accessible will ensure you have at least the basic supplies to face the emergency.

At home

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), one or two plastic bins, duffel bags, or any easy-to-carry container can make the perfect host for your kit. As a precaution, before packing anything, put it in its own airtight plastic bag for added protection.

What goes in the kit:

1.Water: At least one gallon per person, per day. Keep in mind, an average adult needs about three-quarters of a gallon of liquid per day. During the hotter months, if you have children, are nursing, or anyone in the family has a medical condition, more water will be needed. FEMA recommends buying bottled water for your kit and keeping it sealed in the original packaging.

2. Non-perishable food: Ready-to-eat canned goods (meats, juices, fruits, and vegetables), protein bars, dried fruit, granola or any dry cereal, non-perishable pasteurized milk, peanut butter, high-energy foods, and any other conform food non-perishable. If you have infants, pack ready-to-feed formula. FEMA recommends packing with special dietary needs in mind, choosing food your family is likely to eat, and checking cans before eating the content. No matter the expiration date, do not eat from swollen, dented, or corroded cans.

3. Battery-powered or hand crank radio, and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert. The latter is a type of radio with a receiver designed to tune into the National Weather Service broadcast. It delivers the same weather, hazard, and emergency warnings that meteorologists and emergency workers receive 24/7. Prices vary, but you can get one for as low as $20.

4. A three-day supply of food and water for your four legged friends.

5. Prescription medication, pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, and laxatives.

6. First aid kit.

7. For folks who wear prescription glasses make sure to have a replacement. If you have contacts, keep a pair in store along with contact lens solution.

8. Masks to protect yourself from contaminated air.

9. Manual can opener.

10. Whistles, in case you need to signal for help.

11. Flashlight.

12. Extra batteries.

13. Charged phone and a backup battery.

14. One sleeping bag or blanket per person.

15. Cash.

16. Fire extinguisher and matches.

17. Period products.

18. Copies of important documents, including your ID, and insurance policies. Make sure to put them inside a bag or waterproof container.

19. ️ Plastic sheeting and duct tape can serve you as shelter if need be.

20. Moist towelettes, plastic ties, garbage bags, and any other item that can be used for personal hygiene and keeping spaces free of trash.

21. Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.

22. ️ Local map.

23. ️ Paper plates, cups, towels and plastic utensils.

24. Paper and pencil.

25. Card games, books, puzzles, any activity that can help keep you entertained.

For cars

Keeping some emergency items in your car in case of a natural disaster or in case you get stranded can come in handy. When building your kit, consider including:

1. Jumper cables or jumper pack, in case your battery dies.

2. Flares or reflective triangle.

3. Ice scraper.

4. Car cell phone charger.

5. Blanket.

6.️ Map.

7. Cat litter or sand: This will help you tires have better traction if needed.

Emergency kits for children

Like adults, children require food and water, but their needs are a bit different. Not only will they require special food depending on their age, but their smaller bodies will also require different medications.

Katie Lockwood, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) primary care pediatrician, recommends packing the following for your little ones, in addition to the previously mentioned items:

1. Powdered formula.

2. Extra diapers, wiped, and rash cream.

3. ️Fever reducers, allergy, and pain medicine for kids.

4. Oral rehydration solution like Pedialyte.

5. Barf bags to store in the car.

6. ‍For children with complex medical history: keep a summary of their diagnoses, allergies, medications, and healthcare team contact information.

7. For kids who have an Epi-pen, make sure to keep one store and nearby at all times. Besides the one they are supposed to have on them.

8. For children who take medication regularly: If you plan on traveling, or have to leave the house for an unspecified length of time, make sure to have a supply that lasts a few days longer than needed.

How often should I check or update my emergency kits?

All your emergency kits need to be updated once a year. This way you can keep track of any expired items and replace them. And specially for families with children, this yearly check can help you reassess what items your household will continue to need or has grown out of.


©2023 The Philadelphia Inquirer Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at