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NEWS | July 15, 2008

Organize with checklist to prepare for emergency situations

By Safety office 437th Airlift Wing

With hurricane season in effect until November and the possibility of other serious weather, Team Charleston members should be ready for emergencies at a moment's notice, according to base safety officials.

Experts suggest everyone should be prepared to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours following an emergency.

Pack emergency items in one location (in a large duffel bag or plastic garbage can). Label all perishable items with a date of a purchase and expiration date. Mark a calendar as a reminder to check the emergency kit once a year. Be sure everyone in the family knows the location and contents of the emergency kit.

Use this checklist to help prepare a proper emergency kit.

The basic survival kit
 Water: one gallon a day per person. A water purification system will serve the water needs providing nonpotable water is available to treat. Replace the water supply every 12 months.
 First-aid kit stocked with basic supplies and fresh over-the-counter and prescription medications. Restock medications every 12 months.
 Canned or freeze-dried food and a hand-operated can opener. Don't forget food for pets.
 Portable battery-operated radio and flashlight with spare batteries and extra bulb.
 Spare eyeglasses.
 Fire extinguisher.
 Hand-wound watch or clock.
 Five-gallon bucket (this will allow people to obtain nonpotable water easily for treating).
 Garden hose (for siphoning water or fuel).
 Emergency "heat reflective" space blankets.

Safety and comfort
 Sturdy work shoes and heavy work gloves.
 Waterproof matches.
 Change of clothes (preferably sturdy work-type clothing) and waterproof rainwear.
 Pocketknife and pen and paper.
 A family-size tent and pillows, sleeping bags, and warm blankets.
 A hat that provides protection from the sun, rain or cold.
 Deck of cards and toys for children.
 One-quart canteens for drinking water.
 Lantern (gas, propane or battery-powered) and extra fuel or batteries.

 Large plastic garbage bags and newspaper to wrap garbage and waste.
 Camp suds (for shampoo, body cleansing and dish cleaning) and household bleach.
 Toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and toilet paper.
 Pre-moistened towelettes.
 Infant supplies.
 Powdered, chlorinated lime to add to sewage to deodorize, disinfect and keep insects away.

 Camp stove (two burners), barbeque, hibachi, etc., and extra fuel for cooking equipment (enough for five days of cooking).
 Picnic supplies (paper plates, paper towels and plastic utensils).
 Large plastic mugs for hot and cold liquids and heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Tools and miscellaneous supplies
 Ax, shovel and broom.
 Screwdrivers, wrench, pliers and hammers.
 100 feet of parachute cord or equivalent.
 Duct tape, plastic sheeting and large plastic garbage can.