In addition to making an emergency kit for your home that should be fairly substantial, since you should be able to sustain your family for 3 days to 2 weeks, in case of a major emergency such as an earthquake, you should also have an emergency kit for you car and/or office. Below are the suggestions from the Office of Emergency Services in San Jose, California. We've also added a few suggestions below.
WATER. This is your most important item. You will need water to drink, for first aid, and to take medicine. Be sure to stock one gallon per person per day at home. In your kit, have at least one gallon of water. It should be sealed in container in a box or dark bag to protect it from sunlight. You could purchase a box of foil packets or cans of water at a camping store.
FOOD. Food is important for psychological reasons and to keep your blood sugar level up to avoid dizzy or shaky feelings. People with diabetes, heart disease, or other health problems should consult their physicians for advice about the food for their kits. The healthy general public should select foods like crackers, peanut butter, snack packs of fruit, pudding, granola bars, dried fruit, and single serving cans of juice. Plan on four light meals per day. Avoid high sugar foods like candy and soft drinks, as they make you very thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
LIGHT SOURCE. A chemical light stick provides long shelf life and a sparkless source of light. A flashlight with a special long-life battery, or a long-burning candle may be used after you have checked the area to be sure that there is no leaking gas or petroleum in the area. Do not rely on a regular flashlight as ordinary batteries lose their power quickly in the heat of a car. You might consider an electric light with an attachment to your cigarette lighter available at camping stores.
RADIO. Your car radio is your source for emergency broadcast information. Get a list of EBS/EAS stations for the areas where you live, work, and areas you drive to or through. Keep this list in your glove compartment and in your emergency kit. You should also keep a small battery operated radio at work. Be sure to change the batteries every six months, even if the radio is not used.
EMERGENCY BLANKET. Mylar emergency blankets are available at camping good stores. A thermal blanket may be substituted.
FIRST AID SUPPLIES.
- band-aids in a variety of sizes
- anti-bacterial ointment (Neosporin, Bacetracin, etc.)
- burn cream
- rolls of gauze
- large gauze pads
- rolls of first aid tape
- a large cloth square for a sling or tourniquet
- safety pins
- needles and heavy thread
- eye wash
- chemical ice pack
Also, carry with you at all times a minimum three-day supply of any prescription medications you MUST take. Keep this supply fresh by rotating it every week. Also include any special medications you often use: nose drops, antihistamine, allergy remedies, diarrhea medication, indigestion medication.
PERSONAL CARE AND HYGIENE ITEMS. Container of Handi-Wipes or similar product, small plastic bottle of pine oil or other disinfectant, six large garbage bags with ties for sanitation and waste disposal, box of tissues, roll of toilet paper, plastic bucket to use as a toilet. (Your smaller kit items can be stored in your bucket inside a sealed trash bag.)
ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO CONSIDER. Sturdy shoes (especially if your work shoes are not good for walking), sweater or jacket, hut/sun visor, mouthwash, feminine hygiene supplies, whistle (to attract attention and call for help), rope or string, pencil and tablet.
DON’T LET YOUR GAS TANK FALL BELOW HALF FULL. The radio and heater in your car may save your life, but you can’t run the car’s accessories long without the gas to start the engine and re-charge the battery. If you travel in isolated areas, on the freeway, or far from home, an adequate gasoline supply is crucial. Fill up often. After the quake the gas pumps may not work for several days while electrical power is restored and once the pumps work, the supplies will quickly be depleted through panic buying. NEVER CARRY CANS OF GAS IN YOUR TRUNK! A can of gas is a bomb!
ADDITIONAL ITEMS RECOMMENDED
Source: City of San Jose, Department of Emergency Services
- Extra pair of car and house keys
- Household inventory photos - store in your office in case of damage or destruction. Still photos are better than video. Both are even better.
- ID tags
- Daypack that you can put materials into, so that you can hike out of an area that has been destroyed
- Photos of your family members