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Build a Family Emergency Supplies Kit

Help your children understand the importance of being prepared in case of an emergency by having them take part in building your “Family Emergency Supplies Kit.”

At the Store

Have children help pick out some of the things you’ll need. For example:

  • Look at the fresh fruit and vegetables and talk about why canned (non-perishable) is better for your kit.
  • Compare ready-to-eat meats in the refrigerator section of the store with non-perishable meats in the canned food section.
  • Count the members of the family and figure out how much water is needed for a 3-day supply (1 gallon per day per family member). Talk about choosing water in plastic, rather than glass, containers.
  • Have everyone pick out one of his or her favorite “fun foods”—cookies, candy, chips. Why not ice cream?

At Home

Help children find items the family will need by asking them questions. For example:

  • Does grandma need anything special (e.g., medicine, hearing aid batteries)?
  • Does your pet need anything special (e.g., food, litter, bedding)?
  • How will we know what’s happening if there’s no electricity (e.g., battery-operated radio)?
  • If we can’t turn on the lights, how will we see (e.g., flashlights and batteries)?
  • If there’s no heat, how will we stay warm (e.g., blankets and sleeping bags?)

"Just for Me"

Have children pack a backpack or small shopping bag with special things just for them. Remember, all the items must fit in one small bag. Have them think about these questions as they pack.

  • What can I hug to help me sleep (e.g., teddy bear, doll, favorite blanket)?
  • What do I need for fun (e.g., books, small trucks, dolls, games, paper and crayons)? Note: Remind them that there may be no electricity—so computer games and DVDs are not a good option.
  • What do I need to keep clean (e.g., change of clothes, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap)?
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Updated on 4/5/2013