Disaster preparedness: emergency kits

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Wildfires, earthquakes, floods, disasters can strike anytime and anywhere. The question is, how prepared are you?

September is emergency preparedness month and the office of emergency services wants to remind Kern County residents to have a plan in the event of an emergency and make sure that plan includes a kit. 

“Disasters can’t be scheduled, you don’t plan them, they can happen at any time without warning and when they happen you are either prepared and your family will feel better or you’re not,” said Georgianna Armstrong, Kern County Emergency Services manager.

If you don’t have a disaster kit and a plan, it’s time to start thinking about them.

“We take for granted that the infrastructure we live in will always be functional, that the roads will always work, that the power be on, the markets will be open, so if you were to picture your life without any of those things and what you have is what you have on hand, it’s extremely important,” said Armstrong.

She is talking about a disaster kit. We spoke with the red cross on what should go in one.

“Blanket, flashlight, water, food, batteries, we ask people to have enough water for each person in their family for three days,” said Cindy Huge, public information officer with the American Red Cross.

Everything you need: 

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home) 
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight 
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries (Similar item available in the Red Cross Store)
  • Deluxe family first aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers (Similar item available in the Red Cross Store)
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area

Once you’ve got a kit prepared for your home, Huge recommends you also prepare one for work and one to keep in your car. And, with all of them, she says it’s important to remember to maintain them.

“About once a month, the first of the month, I like to go through my kit and check to see that my power bars haven’t expired, that my water is sufficient and that I have items in my kit,” said Huge.

Finally, don’t forget about your furry friends.

“Be prepared to have items for your pet,” said Huge. “Water, food, a leach. I keep a leach on my bedside. If there’s an earthquake, the dog will jump on the bed and I can just hook on the leach from there.”

Join us this Thursday for a disaster preparedness webchat on smart 911 alerts and notifications, live on our website as well, plus on our KGET Facebook page at 12:30 p.m.

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