making a home emergency kit


If there can be any silver lining at all found in the horrific disasters that recently hit New Zealand and Japan, perhaps it’s that many more of us will be better prepared should a similar event occur closer to home. I felt a little like a crazy survivalist when I told my husband I thought we should have an emergency stash of food and water in case “the big one” hits the Pacific Northwest, as seismologists have warned, but Jamie Lee Curtis is making me feel a lot less dorky. As spokesperson for the American Red Cross campaign, Do More Than Cross Your Fingers, she touts her preparedness stance and offers tips for what to put in your emergency kit. I bought a few IKEA SAMLA storage bins for supplies and am starting to fill empty 2-liter plastic bottles with tap water. Originally I was only thinking of storing food and water, but FEMA and the Red Cross suggested much more. So now I will also be packing a First Aid kit, blanket, fleece jackets, some old boots, a Leatherman multi-tool, can opener, flashlight and extra cash. Since an earthquake would likely force us outside our home, I’ll be putting our kit in our detached garage. Depending on the types of catastrophes that could hit your area, an evacuation backpack in your entryway closet or a kit in your basement could make more sense. Have you, too, been inspired by recent events to start an emergency kit, or have you been prepared for a while? What’s in yours? — Ginny F.

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