NEWBURYPORT – Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Christopher LeClaire and the Newburyport Fire Department would like to offer residents tips about how to build a kit of essential supplies for use in the event of an emergency during Emergency Preparedness Month.
September has been declared by Governor Charlie Baker to be Emergency Preparedness Month. Residents are encouraged to use resources provided by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to prepare themselves, their family, their property and their community for the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
“Making an emergency kit is a great way to kick off Emergency Preparedness Month, and assembling one is an important step to prepare you and your family for a wide variety of emergency situations, such as a snow storm or power outage,” Fire Chief LeClaire said. “We’re encouraging residents to think carefully about whatever supplies they may need or want in an emergency, follow MEMA recommendations and store an emergency kit in a safe, easy to access place.”
MEMA recommends that emergency kits include essential items that will provide your family members with basic necessities for up to three days in an emergency event.
Essential Items to Include in an Emergency Kit
- Water: Bottled water (one gallon per person/per day for at least three days), water purification tablets
- Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods that do not need cooking (ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits or vegetables, or juices, protein or granola bars, cereal, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, baby food and comfort foods)
- Tools and Supplies: Manual can opener, radio (powered by battery or hand crank), flashlight or lantern, extra batteries, cell phone with charger, wrench, pliers and other basic tools
- Personal Items: Prescription medications (two-week supply), personal hygiene items, eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries or supplies for medical equipment, change of clothes, sturdy shoes
- Documents: Insurance policies, bank account records, identification cards (IDs), medical information and other copies of important documents
- Money: Extra cash and traveler’s checks (ATMs may not work during a power outage)
- Other Items: First-aid kit, emergency whistle, waterproof matches/lighter, local area maps, sleeping bags or blankets, comfort items such as books or games
- Also consider: A watch or clock, disposable kitchenware, duct tape, plastic sheeting or tarp to protect against the elements
Residents should also ensure their emergency kit is specific to their needs. Families with unique needs such as infants, pets, family members with disabilities or family members with specific medical needs should consider any additional supplies needed for basic survival.
MEMA also offers an Emergency Kit Checklist to assist families in building a kit of their own.