Give Lifesaving Gifts This Holiday

American Red Cross representatives have suggested these type of gifts before, but as the rest of the United States watches how East Coast residents deal with post-Storm Sandy recovery, emergency items are fresh in everyone's minds again.

Emergency preparedness gifts make a lot of sense for a holiday shopping idea, said Eureka Police Department Chief Michael Wiegand.

Wiegand said Ready.gov is a great website for all types of items that can go into emergency kits for homes, businesses and vehicles. The site reflects Federal Energency Management Agency's (FEMA) best practices.

Click here for recommendations about how to build a practical and beneficial emergency kit.

A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items a household may need during emergencies.

FEMA officials encourage everyone to think of what they need to survive on their own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours, suggested the site. Think in terms of the difference between getting help in hours versus days.

Additionally, basic services, such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones, may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Disaster supplies kits should contain items to help manage during these outages, states the site.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items, according to FEMA:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Click here for more suggested emergency supplies.

Sheila Frost, Eureka Fire Protection District inspector, suggests that many reasonably priced items can be found for emergency preparedness holiday gifts now that the Dollar Tree store opened in the Eureka Towne Center shopping center.


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