Have you prepared your family’s home emergency kit?

Your home should have supplies ready for any type of emergency — be it an earthquake; typhoon; long period without power, water or internet; or even a long lockdown period. A lot of people would like to prepare a disaster kit but don’t know what to put in one. According to the US website ready.gov, we should keep enough food, water and important supplies to last for at least three days or 72 hours. If it’s going to be a longer shelter period, the Red Cross recommends preparing a two-week supply.

Use a large, watertight container to put things in. The basics would include a gallon of water for every person in your household (per day), non-perishable food, flashlight, extra batteries and charged power banks, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, cash and change in a waterproof container, manual can opener, whistle, masks, tools like an army knife, pliers or a wrench, duct tape and plastic sheets, local maps, solar chargers (if available), cell phone, garbage bags, and towels.

It is also important to personalize the kits according to your family members’ needs. For example, include prescription medications (also non-prescription meds for everyone), eyeglasses or contact lens solution, baby’s milk and supplies, feminine supplies, family documents placed in a waterproof container, sleeping bag or blanket for each person, clothing for each person, walking shoes, paper and pencil, pet food and supplies, matches in sealed plastic, fire extinguisher, mess kits (disposable eating utensils), and unscented bleach that can be used as disinfectant or for treating water.

It isn’t possible to pack the kits and leave them untouched until needed. You will have to use items that may expire, so just make sure to replace what you use and to post a reminder on your calendar to keep specific items fresh. Remember, too, to keep the kits in a cool, dry place and to store food in tightly closed containers.

Finally, it would be ideal to keep an emergency kit at home and in the car, in case you get stranded somewhere. If you spend time in your workplace, you must also leave a grab bag there, in case something happens while you are at work.