Hurricane season started on June 1 and that has prompted a reminder from Fire Chief Phil Stevens, who also serves as Hamilton’s emergency management director, to build an emergency kit.
Building an emergency kit is an important component of personal preparedness, he said, and is particularly important during hurricane season because of the threat of extended power outages, flooding and impassable debris-covered roads.
An emergency kit should include items that will sustain a family in the event they are isolated for three to five days without power or the inability to go to a store. Items that should be in every kit include bottled water, food, a flashlight, radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, sanitation items and clothing.
Custom items should also be added to meet the needs of your family, including medications, extra eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries for things such as hearing aids or wheelchairs and other medical information and supplies such as an oxygen tank, lists of allergies, medications and dosages, medical insurance information and medical records.
Don’t forget your pet in your emergency kit and also include pet food, pet carriers, medication, vaccination and medical records.
The emergency kit described above would be in you were to stay stay in your home, but also consider making a mobile “go-bag” version of the emergency kit in case of evacuation to a shelter or other location. At least annually, check the kit for any food, water, batteries, or other items that may need to be replaced or have expired.
A complete emergency kit checklist can be found from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.