NELA Living Blog by Emilie Broughton

Tips For Emergency Preparedness

Emergencies can happen at any time. Since March we have been in a pandemic, forced to quarantine and wear masks everywhere we go. We are reminded more than ever about the importance of washing our hands and keeping our supplies fully stocked. We all remember it wasn’t long ago that you couldn’t go to a store without finding empty shelves where the toilet paper, cleaning supplies and even staple food items were wiped out. This has taught us that it is extremely important to be prepared for any disaster that may come our way. With California wildfire season in full swing, now we need to think about putting together an emergency supply kit and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you if you have to evacuate.

Plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time. Each person should have a readily accessible emergency supply kit. Backpacks work great for storing these items (except food and water) and are quick to grab. Storing food and water in a tub or chest on wheels will make it easier to transport. Keep it light enough to be able to lift it into your car.  Ensure you plan with COVID-19 in mind. Keep in mind that evacuation shelters may not be available and are not the safest place right now. Find out which hotels or family members you can stay with if you absolutely need to.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Hand sanitizer & wipes
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!
  • Pet food, dishes, cat litter

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.

Stay connected

  • Sign up for emergency alerts in your area
  • Keep cell phones and ipads charged
  • Follow local news channels

For more information on emergency supplies, visit



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