Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit

“Shelter-in-place” Supply Kit

In an effort to ensure our preparedness for a possible crisis it is essential that all Nevadans assemble emergency supply kits equipped with all necessary materials to sustain themselves in the aftermath of a disaster. While there are many things that might make you more comfortable, think first about fresh water, food, and clean air. Consider assembling two kits, one for use in the event of a “shelter in place,” and the other a smaller, lightweight version for use in the event that evacuation proves necessary.

Water

  • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may require more water.
  • Be Advised – As we all know the summer months in Nevada are extremely hot and dry, during these times additional water is an excellent idea.
  • Store water tightly in clean plastic containers
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person. 

Food

  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.
  • Pack a manual can opener and eating utensils.
  • Choose foods your family will be satisfied eating.
    • Ready to eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
    • Protein or fruit bars
    • Dry cereal or granola
    • Peanut butter
    • Dried fruit
    • Nuts
    • Crackers
    • Canned Juices
    • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
    • High energy foods
    • Vitamins
    • Baby/Infant food
    • Comfort/stress foods

Clean Air

Many potential terrorists attacks could send tiny microscopic contaminants into the air. Explosions may release fine debris into the air that can cause lung damage if inhaled and biological attacks could release germs and bacteria that can be damaging if inhaled or absorbed through open cuts. The risk of injury from many of the agents can be greatly reduced by creating a barrier between yourself and any contamination. 

Nose/Mouth Protection

Facemasks or other dense-weave cotton material that snugly cover your nose and mouth can be purchased to specifically fit each member of the family. If necessary, improvise with whatever materials are available to protect your nose, mouth, eyes, and any cuts in your skin. It is extremely important that most of the air you breathe comes through the mask or cloth, not around it. A variety of facemasks can be purchased at hardware stores; these masks are rated based upon the relative size of the particles they are capable of filtering in an industrial setting. While no method of masking is an absolute guarantee of protection from airborne contaminants, using some form of protection over your nose and mouth in an emergency is an excellent idea. Limiting the amount of airborne contaminants that come into contact with your body may impact whether or not you get sick or develop disease. 

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filtration) Filter Fans

If contaminants are believed to be present in the air and a “shelter in place” has been deemed necessary, there are a few things your should keep in mind. Although you have created a better barrier between yourself and any airborne contaminants, no seal is perfect and some leakage is likely. Additionally, you may find yourself in a space that has already been contaminated to some degree. 

Consider purchasing a portable air purifier, with a HEPA filter to be used in the case of an emergency to help remove contaminants from the room in which you are sheltering. These highly efficient filters have small sieves that can capture very tiny particles, including some biological agents. Once trapped within a HEPA filter the contaminants are neutralized and prevented from entering your body and making your sick. Be advised – While these filters are excellent at eliminating dander, dust, molds, smoke, biological agents and other contaminants, they are ineffective against chemical gases. 

Clothing and Bedding

The size and geographic diversity of Nevada makes for a variety of climate types, keep this in mind when selecting clothing for your kit. It is also possible that power outages may affect your ability to control the climate (i.e. heat, air conditioning) making your selection of clothing all that more important. Additionally, it’s a good idea to rethink your clothing and bedding supplies once or twice a year to account for seasonal changes and growing children. 

Have at least one complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person including:

  • A jacket of coat
  • Long pants
  • A long sleeve shirt
  • Sturdy shoes
  • A hat and gloves
  • A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. 

Other items to consider adding to your supply kit

  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or a print out of this information
  • Rain gear
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
  • Cash or traveler’s checks, change
  • Paper towels
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Tent
  • Compass
  • Matches, in a waterproof container
  • Signal flare
  • Paper, writing instruments
  • Medicine dropper
  • Feminine supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach (Bleach can be used as a disinfectant when diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water.)  Do not use scented, color safe, or bleaches with added cleaners. 

Portable Supply Kit

Your portable supply kit should be similar to the “shelter-in-place” supply kit with the exception that it should be designed to be lightweight, easily maneuverable, and transportable. Included should be the basics for survival: water, food, and clean air. Each kit should be customized to meet the specific needs of the family or individual, such as medications, infant formula, medical supplies etc. This portable kit should also be customized to include important family documents. 

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Portable Kit

  • Water, amounts for portable kits will vary. Individuals should determine what amount they are able to both store comfortably outside the home and easily transport to other locations.
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit (see First Aid Kit link for details)
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust Mask or other dense-weave cotton material, to help filter airborne contaminants
  • Moist towelettes for sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can Opener for food (if kit contains canned foods)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape for shelter-in-place
  • Infant formula and diapers, if required
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation 

First Aid Kit

In the event of a crisis, the possibility exists for a family member or you yourself to suffer a cut, burn, or other minor injury. By being prepared for this by assembling a kit of basic medical supplies will ensure that you are better prepared to help yourself or your loved ones in the event of an emergency. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can prove extremely valuable in the event of a crisis. You may want to consider taking a basic first aid class, however, simply by assembling the following items into an emergency first aid kit you should be prepared to stop bleeding, prevent infection, and assist in decontamination. 

Your emergency first aid kit should contain:

  • Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (some people are allergic to Latex).
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding and cover wounds.
  • Cleansing agent/ soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
  • Burn ointment to prevent infection
  • Adhesive Bandages in a variety of sizes.
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as a general decontaminant.
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications that you require on a daily basis (ex. Insulin, heart medicine, asthma inhalers. It is important to periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies. 

Additional suggestions:

  • Cell Phone
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of Petroleum jelly or other lubricant 

Non-Prescription Drugs:

  • Potassium Iodide
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Syrup of Ipecac (used to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
    Laxative
  • Activated charcoal (use if advised by Poison Control Center