Be Prepared for Emergencies Year-round
From the Office of Emergency Management
The Office of Emergency Management gives several emergency preparedness presentations every month. Among the many questions that arise during these discussions, one of the most common is "Why do I need to prepare for a disaster, nothing ever happens in El Paso." After dealing with our recent flooding, I challenge anyone in our community to ask that question again.
A disaster can occur anywhere at anytime whether it is a flood, gas leak or terrorist attack. One of the most common threats of any disaster is the potential for you to have to evacuate your home, possibly for several days. What would you take with you in the event you have to leave your home immediately? Now, there are several items that may be very important to you and your family, maybe even irreplaceable. Below is a guideline of important items and documents you should consider preparing in advance.
Having a disaster supply kit, or "go kit", ready to take with you at a moment's notice ensures that you will have the necessary supplies no matter how fast you may need to evacuate. Your kit will also come in handy if you must take shelter in your home (shelter-in-place). This list will help ensure that your disaster supply kit includes all the essentials. Keep enough supplies for 72 hours.
- Pack at least one gallon per person per day (3 days)
- Sealed bottle water works well
- Change your water supply every six months
TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
- Canned or boxed foods. Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) are great for this. Remember to bring a manual can opener.
- Include foods for infants and family members with special diets
- Replace foods every six months
- Battery-powered radio
- Battery-powered flashlights
- Spare batteries
- Washcloths and towels
- Plastic utensils, plates, and cups
- Toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and other toiletries
- Change of clothing
- Blankets or a sleeping bag for each person
- Personal Identification
- Copies of birth and marriage certificates, inventory of household goods, bank account numbers, insurance information (health and home) and other important documents
- Extra car and house keys
- Prescription medications
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