EAST BRIDGEWATER — Police Chief Scott Allen and Fire Chief Timothy Harhen would like to offer residents tips about how to build a kit of essential supplies for use in the event of an emergency during Emergency Preparedness Month.
September has been declared by Governor Charlie Baker to be Emergency Preparedness Month. Residents are encouraged to use resources provided by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to prepare themselves, their family, their property and their community for the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
“There are times during major disasters where first responders may not be able to get to you right away,” Chief Allen said. “Doing what you can to be proactive by preparing as much as possible beforehand will help protect your family.”
MEMA recommends that emergency kits include essential items that will provide your family members with basic necessities for up to three days in an emergency event.
Essential Items to Include in an Emergency Kit
- Water: Bottled water (one gallon per person/per day for at least three days), water purification tablets
- Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods that do not need cooking (ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits or vegetables, or juices, protein or granola bars, cereal, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, baby food and comfort foods)
- Tools and Supplies: Manual can opener, radio (powered by battery or hand crank), flashlight or lantern, extra batteries, cell phone with charger, wrench, pliers and other basic tools
- Personal Items: Prescription medications (two-week supply), personal hygiene items, eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries or supplies for medical equipment, change of clothes, sturdy shoes
- Documents: Insurance policies, bank account records, identification cards (IDs), medical information and other copies of important documents
- Money: Extra cash and traveler’s checks (ATMs may not work during a power outage)
- Other Items: First-aid kit, emergency whistle, waterproof matches/lighter, local area maps, sleeping bags or blankets, comfort items such as books or games
- Also consider: A watch or clock, disposable kitchenware, duct tape, plastic sheeting or tarp to protect against the elements
Residents should also ensure their emergency kit is specific to their needs. Families with unique needs such as infants, pets, family members with disabilities or family members with specific medical needs should consider any additional supplies needed for basic survival.
“Emergency preparedness is important for all families,” Chief Harhen said. “Even though we often can’t plan for emergencies, taking steps like building an emergency kit can give you peace of mind in case of a disaster.”
MEMA also offers an Emergency Kit Checklist to assist families in building a kit of their own.