This Holiday Season...Give the Gift of Preparedness
Over the last several years, New Yorkers have seen many natural disasters. Most recently we have witnessed the unprecedented damage from Hurricane Sandy in Southern New York State and last year, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee which devastated areas in Upstate New York.
New York State is not immune from heavy snows, spring floods and man-made disasters. Every New Yorker should prepare their family members and friends for the next emergency. Not sure what to give this year? New York State is urging residents to consider giving the gift of preparedness this holiday season.
With the holidays fast approaching, please consider safety items that will help protect your family members and friends this year. (Just remember, in the event of a power outage, a brand new flat screen is not going to help.) Emergency supplies make a unique gift that could potentially save a life.
Here are some essential items for the beginning of any home preparedness kit to help you check off a few of presents off your gift list:
Build a Kit!
Winter Weather Survival Kit
Everyone should carry a winter survival kit in their vehicle. In an emergency it could save lives. It should include:
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Snack food including energy bars and raisins
- Extra hats, socks and mittens
- First aid kit with pocket knife
- Necessary medications
- Blankets or sleeping bag
- Road salt, sand or cat litter for traction
- Booster cables
- Emergency flares and reflectors
- Fluorescent distress flag and a whistle to attract attention
Home Emergency Kit
In an emergency, basic services (electricity, gas, water, etc.) may be cut off for days or even weeks. People could be stuck in their homes during that time or evacuated at a moment's notice and might not have time to shop or search for the supplies they need. That's why it is important to have a fully-stocked disaster kit ready. The kit should include items like:
- Non-perishable food that doesn't need electricity for storage or preparation
- Specialty food - for elderly or people on special diets.
- Flashlights with extra batteries (Choose a good quality, durable flashlight)
- First aid kit (Choose a robust kit with 7-10 days' worth of necessary items)
- Pet supplies (Appropriate for the needs of your pet)
- Coloring books, crayons, or other items to keep kids busy
Other Gift Ideas
- NOAA weather radios with extra batteries (or hand-crank powered)
- LED flashlights
- Battery operated lantern
- Solar-powered cell phone charger
- Smoke or Carbon Monoxide alarm
- Fire extinguishers (for kitchen, garage, car, etc.)
- Foldable ladders for second-story escape in a fire.
- 4 in 1 Emergency Tool (with gas and water shut off)
For the Pet Lover
In the event of an emergency, it's important not to forget our four legged companions. Build a pet emergency kit for friends or family. Start with a back pack, gym bag or 5 gallon bucket and include items such as:
- Water and food, enough for 3-7 days.
- Food and water dishes.
- Blanket or towel for a bed.
- A favorite toy and some treats.
- For a dog, a leash and collar.
- For a cat, a collapsible cat carrier, litter and litter box.
- Small plastic bags for pet messes.
- Plastic bag with pet immunization records
- Specific supplies for your pet. Do you have a bird, reptile, small animal or fish? What do they need?
Pre-assembled kits can be purchased online or at better pet retailers.
Stocking Stuffers or Grab Bag items
- Emergency Blankets
- Frist Aid Kits
- Fire Starters
- Hand and Toe Warmers