Be Prepared With Key Items in Your Emergency Kit

If you live in Louisiana—or any of the Southeastern states for that matter—you likely know that June 1 marked the start of hurricane season. Now’s the time to check or create your emergency kit, because you never know what Mother Nature will send your way.

Kit basics

Be sure to have important papers in your kit, including a valid ID with your current address and your health plan ID. Have these, too:

  • Contact information for your doctors
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Persona l hygiene items
  • Special supplies, such as eyeglasses, contacts, hearing aids and dentures
  • Clothing, comfortable shoes and bedding
  • One gallon of water per person per day
  • Easy-to-prepare nonperishable foods
  • Flashlights, radio and batteries
  • Candles, matches and lighter

Medical items

A natural disaster or other emergency could keep you away from home for an extended time. That ’s why you’ll want medical items with you, such as:

  • A two-week supply of your prescribed medications (in original containers)
  • An insulated bag to keep your medications in
  • A list of your medications, including over-thecounter medications and supplements
  • Medical records and written orders for your care, including dietary needs
  • Diabetes supplies
  • General supplies, including aspirin, cough medicine, rubbing alcohol and antibacterial gel

Other steps to take

It ’s a good idea to have gas in your car and keep a first aid kit in both your home and your car.

Know what your evacuation plan will be if you have to leave home quickly. Decide where you’ll go, and share your plan with family, friends and trusted neighbors.

If you have trouble with speech, language or hearing, include a writing pad and pencils in your kit.

If you have a mobility challenge, call your local emergency management office ahead of an emergency so they ’ll know to assist you quickly. And if you use a wheelchair, show family and friends how to operate it and tell them the size of it in case it has to be transported.

If you have pets or a service dog, store enough pet food for five days. Make sure all vaccines are up to date, and if you have to evacuate with your pet, bring the animal’s tags, collar, leash and medications with you. Call ahead to your destination to make sure pets are accepted.

Hurricane season lasts through November, so act now to be prepared in the months ahead.