Emergency Kit for power outages
When the power goes out, there are immediate problems with food and safety. (Read more about how to deal with a power outage.) If a power outage is two hours or less, do not worry about losing your perishable food; an unopened refrigerator keeps food cold for about four hours. Here are some useful things to have on hand:
- Cheap Styrofoam coolers preserve food when packed with ice.
- Digital fast response thermometers Check the internal temperatures of your foods to ensure that they remained cold enough to consume.
- Generators are especially important if you live with someone who is addicted to electrically powered, life-sustaining equipment. (Read our list of 9 things to know if you have a backup generator.)
- Flashlights provide security by guiding you through a dark house and preventing fires from light.
Emergency Kits for winter storms
During a nasty winter storm, priority is given to staying warm and safe. Make sure you have these safety items:
- Sand, rock salt or non-lumpy cat litter makes walkways and steps less slippery.
- Warm coats, gloves, mittens, hats, boots, extra blankets and warm clothes are important for all household members.
- Fireplaces or wood or coal burning stoves provide the necessary alternative heat. Professional tips: Regardless of which heat source you use, store a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector and a fire extinguisher in the same room as it is in. Read more in our guide to safe heating of homes.
Emergency packages for hurricanes and floods
Hurricanes and floods often involve evacuation. Have these additional items on hand so that you are ready to go out if needed:
- Tools and supplies to secure your home.
- Emergency blanket (s), extra clothes, hats, sturdy shoes and rainwear will help protect your family from extreme weather conditions.
- Insecticides and sunscreens can come in handy if you can not get protection.
- Map of the area help you navigate out of the area, especially if mobile service is not available.
- Extra set of car keys and house keys can be used if a set is lost during the evacuation or if you and other household members split up.
- Camera for pictures of injuries.
If you are safe enough to withstand the storm but during a hurricane or flood guard, here’s how to prepare.
- Fill plastic bottles you have on hand with clean water to drink. Learn more about storing drinking water during a natural disaster.
- Fill the tub and sink with water to keep your household going. Never drink or bathe small children in this sedentary water as lead can leak from the glaze into bathtubs and sink into water stored in them. Use this water to clean the floor, wash and flush the toilet.
- Fill your car with gasif you need to evacuate later.
- Make sure the food and water are safe if flooding occurs. Flooding water can be contaminated with waste or other contaminants that lead to disease. Discard food and beverages and anything you use to eat and drink that has come in contact with floodwaters (even if only a little), including preserves, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottles. The Red Cross says: “When you are unsure, throw it out!”
Emergency preparations for tornadoes
Tornadoes can form quickly. Although your basic emergency package covers your basic needs, it is also important to take these important steps well in advance to keep you protected:
- Reinforce existing garage doors to improve wind resistance, especially double-wide garage doors.
- Decide on a safe space in your home where everyone knows to meet when tornado bells or warnings appear. Basements are the best place to protect. Your next safest option is the lowest level of a sound structure in a hall or an area without windows. According to the American Red Cross, motorhomes are never safe during tornadoes. It is best to safely get to a stable protection immediately.
- Always wear a seat belt if you have to drive your car during a tornado and towards safety.
Emergency Kit for forest fires
In areas exposed to forest fires, experts recommend having the necessities to stay at home for up to two weeks. But if you have to evacuate, it is recommended to have three days of supplies on hand – so make sure it is portable if the authorities say you have to move now. In addition to your basic kits, here are some tips to prepare you for long-term forest fires:
- Portable air purifiers works best when running continuously with doors and windows closed.
- Water sources outside your homesuch as a small pond, cistern, well or swimming pool should be identified and maintained so that they can be easily reached if needed to combat flames.
- Collect tools such as a rake, ax, hand saw or chainsaw, scoop and shovel that you can use as a fire tool before rescue personnel arrive.
- Regularly clean roofs and gutters. Dry, loose debris can cause problems if sparks strike. See what else can happen if you do not clean your gutters.
- Hold a long garden hose which can reach all parts of your home and other structures on the property.
- Install outdoor outlets on at least two sides of your home and close to other structures on the property. Make sure they are frost-proof external water outlets. Also, you may want to install sockets 50 feet away from your home for more electrical availability.
- Mark your house number clearly or address where fire vehicles need to enter your property.
Printable emergency checklist
Do you want a practical printable? Check out these PDF checklists from the American Red Cross for the following disasters: power outages, winter storms, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and forest fires.
Looking after you
Emergencies can be stressful, but you can feel safe knowing that you are prepared with the right tools at hand. When you are with ERIE, you can rest easy and know that your local agent is here to give a little kindness even on the most difficult day.
For more than 95 years, we have been committed to providing real-time, empathetic, real-time complaint services. Depending on the size of the storm or the weather situation, ERIE will deploy our disaster response team to the site to assist our eligible customers. A helping hand and a friendly face are a phone call (or go to the CAT car) away.
Learn more about home insurance or car insurance from ERIE and experience the difference for yourself.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 48% of Americans do not have emergency equipment.
Building a basic emergency package for evacuations or orders at home will help keep your family safe. (Having the right homeowners insurance also helps you to have peace of mind.)
You may already know the basic 31 items that should be included in any home emergency equipment. But when it comes to survival rates, one size fits all. Here are five different ways to customize yours so that you are prepared for any weather.