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Disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes can strike with little or no warning. To ensure that you and your family are prepared, there’s no time like the present to create emergency kits: one to use if you need to evacuate your home and one if you get trapped in your home for several days. Get the entire family involved in creating these emergency kits so that your kids understand the importance of being prepared.

Evacuation Kits
To help you evacuate quickly, keep the following items in an emergency backpack so you can grab it and go:

• A gallon of water per family member and nonperishable foods
• Can opener, plastic cups and eating utensils
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Battery-operated radio
• Change of clothing for each family member
• Contact information for your family and a relative or friend out of state
• First aid kit
• Personal identification cards for each family member
• Personal hygiene items and hand sanitizer
• Medications that are needed regularly

Homebound Kits
Just as important as an evacuation kit, homebound kits are filled with important items necessary when you cannot leave your home for several days due to a crisis. Place the following items in an area of your home to be ready for an emergency:

• Three gallons of water per family member
• Canned food for at least three days
• Pet foods and supplies for three days
• Toilet paper
• Extra personal hygiene items
• Unscented bleach
• Blankets
• Books, games and other forms of entertainment
• Paper and pencils
• Battery-operated radio and television
• Flashlight
• First aid kit

Approximately 50 percent of all Americans live within 50 miles of a coastline and are consequently exposed to hurricanes. To prevent excess damage, plan for a storm by keeping your Homeowners policy insured values up-to-date, purchase Flood Insurance and practice a family evacuation plan.

When a storm hits, you may have only minutes to gather your most important belongings and leave your home, maybe for good, so it’s important to be prepared!