| Car Life
Everything you need to make an emergency preparedness kit, including batteries, flashlight, a first aid kit, and more

Hurricane, tornado, thunderstorm, or power outage. Is your family ready? If the wind started whipping and the rain began to pour, your family, home, and community could be at risk. Do you have an emergency preparedness kit ready to help deal with the challenges of such weather?

Many Americans don’t. According to a National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) survey, nearly two-thirds of American households have inadequate plans and supplies for a disaster. This leaves them vulnerable to any number of uncomfortable situations that may follow, like hunger, thirst, or medical issues. What’s more, some researchers are saying that extreme weather is more common than ever before.

Extreme weather is on the rise

“We are experiencing a continuous increase in the number of extreme weather events, and 10 years after Hurricane Katrina and three years after Superstorm Sandy, the vast majority of Americans remain unprepared for major disasters,” says Dr. Irwin Redlener, NCDP director.

Weather-related events represent only one possible emergency situation. Other natural disasters, environmental hazards, and even terrorist attacks could all lead to situations where an emergency preparedness kit could come in handy.

For many of us, it feels like these tragedies only occur in movies, but a 2014 report from ReliefWeb placed the U.S. among the top five countries most frequently hit by natural disasters. There’s nothing fictional about that, and it’s unlikely that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be running to the rescue like he did in San Andreas. (Bummer, right?)

Gear up, get a plan together & communicate

Based on recommendations from the American Red Cross and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, there are the 10 essential items that every emergency preparedness kit needs:

  1. Water: one gallon per person, per day (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  2. Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  3. Flashlight
  4. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  5. Extra batteries
  6. Cell phone with additional chargers and portable batteries
  7. First aid kit, medications (seven-day supply) and medical items
  8. Sanitation and personal hygiene items, including moist towelettes
  9. Multi-purpose tool with can opener
  10. Extra cash

After you gear up, there’s one more thing to do: talk to your family about your kit, what’s inside, and where it’s kept. Make a plan in case an emergency occurs and your family is separated. This is also a great time to address what you would do if caught in a natural disaster while driving, and to pack your emergency car kit.

Prep for the pets, too!

More than 48 percent of homes in the U.S. include at least one pet, which means Fido or Felix will need an emergency kit of their own. The American Red Cross suggests that your pet’s kit include:

  • Pet identification
  • Medical records
  • Medical records and vet information
  • Food and water for each pet (three-day supply for evacuation; two-week supply for home)
  • Food and water bowls
  • A pet first aid book

Never heard of a “pet first aid book?” No worries! The American Red Cross has a free app that gives dog and cat owners instant access to expert guidance on how to maintain their pet’s health, what to do in emergencies, and how to include pets in their household’s emergency preparedness plans. Download it in Apple App Store or Google Play Store today!

Preparation is key

As the saying goes, “Being prepared is half the victory.” Like natural disasters or other emergency situations, a car accident can happen in a matter of seconds and take days, weeks, or even months to recover from. Direct Auto Insurance’s Emergency Protection Plans were built to help you deal with the unexpected aftermath of a car accident, and could help you pay for the expenses that follow one. In honor of National Preparedness Month, learn more about these helpful plans and talk to your family about emergency preparedness today, both on and off the road!

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