News Flash

Emergency Preparedness

Posted on: January 1, 2020


Go Bag for emergeny preparedness

Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects – people are seriously injured, some are killed. Disasters can also produce billions of dollars in property damage, loss of essential services, significant disruptions of community and business activities, serious environmental damage and mental anguish.

If a disaster occurs in our community, local government and disaster-relief organizations work hard to help you. But you need to be ready as well. Disaster preparation and response is a partnership between you, local governments and disaster-relief organizations. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere. Being prepared and understanding what to do can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters. In many cases, you can reduce the impact of disasters or possibly avoid the danger altogether.

You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that can naturally occur in our area – wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, winter storms and extreme heat or cold. You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least 3-5 days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water and sanitation.


Emergency kits should be individually tailored to meet the basic survival needs of your family for a period of three days to a week. After gathering the contents for your kit, put them in a plastic tub or waterproof container. Then store the kit in a safe, easily accessible place. Remember to consider the special needs of infants, the elderly and the disabled.  Oftentimes, families make separate “go-bags” for each family member and label them accordingly.  Ensure you pack toys for any children as well as toys, leashes and pet food for the fur children.


Stocking water reserves should be a top priority. Drinking water in emergency situations should not be rationed. It is critical to store adequate amounts of water for your household. Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate. A normally active person needs at least two quarts of water daily just for drinking. Children, nursing mothers and those who are ill may likely need more. Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed. Because you also need water for sanitary purposes and, possibly, for cooking, you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day.  Other items which are always helpful include:

  • Batteries for hearing aids, battery information for wheel chairs
  • Small cooler and ice packs for medications
  • Supplies for service animals (license vaccinations certificate and food)
  • List of medications
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Sleeping bags and blankets (wool or thermal)
  • Manual can opener
  • Waterproof matches
  • Non-perishable food (energy bars, canned meats, juice, fruits and vegetables, powdered milk, infant foods, crackers, peanut butter, freeze-dried and dehydrated goods)
  • Flashlight
  • Water (one gallon/person/day)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Utility knife and basic tools
  • Emergency candles
  • Extra eyeglasses/contact lenses
  • Essential medications
  • Extra clothing
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid (make-shift toilet)
  • Toilet paper
  • Plastic bags and ties
  • Disinfectant
  • Rope or cord
  • Soap
  • Paper cups and plates
  • Plastic utensils
  • Personal toiletries
  • Baby supplies
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper towels
  • Pen and paper
  • Address and phone numbers
  • Work gloves


If activity is reduced, healthy people can survive on half their usual food intake for an extended period or without any food for many days. Replace items in your food supply every six months. Throw out any canned goods which become swollen, dented, or corroded. Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies. Date each food item with a marker. Place new items at the back of storage area and older ones in front. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant or nursing mothers. Food items you might consider include:

  • Ready-to-eat meats
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Canned or boxed juices, milk and soup
  • High-energy foods like peanut butter, jelly, low-sodium crackers, granola bars, and trail mix
  • Vitamins
  • Foods for infants or persons on special diets
  • Hard candy
  • Instant coffee, cereals and powdered milk


Every emergency kit should contain a first aid kit. Common items include:

  • First aid manual
  • Aspirin or pain relievers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Disinfectant
  • Thermometer
  • Band-Aids, cotton balls, swabs, gauze
  • Pressure dressing, padding (sanitary napkins or diapers)
  • Microspore adhesive, paper tape
  • Small splints, popsicle sticks, heavy string
  • Needles and safety pins
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Laxatives and diarrhea medicine
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Personal medications
  • Extra pair of glasses


Remember to consider the needs of infants, elderly persons, pets, and people with disabilities. As previously mentioned, be sure to include entertainment and comfort items for children, such as books, games, quiet toys and stuffed animals.

                Sundry Kit:

  • Paper and pencil, map, tissues, towelettes, plastic bags, essential medications
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Reflectors and flares
  • Waterproof matches and candles
  • Extra cash

                Car Survival Kit:

  • Maintain a half tank of gas at all times
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Class ABC fire extinguisher
  • Radio and batteries
  • Non-perishable food
  • Bottled water
  • Bag of sand, shovel, tools
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Jumper cables
  • Work gloves & some tools


Should you have an interest in learning how to better prepare you and your family for an emergency or disaster? If so, the Erie Police Department’s four-hour Emergency Preparedness Class is just what you’ve been looking for!

In this class, participants will learn how to create an emergency preparedness kit and a communications plan to keep themselves and their families safe. Participants will also learn disaster skills; what do to in an emergency; how to cope with a disaster during and after the crisis; and how to prepare their home for an emergency.

Join us Saturday, September 12, 2020, 9 a.m. to noon at the Erie Police Department. Space is limited to 24 residents! To sign-up visit: www.eriecogov/1332/Emergency-Preparedness-Class

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