How to build an emergency supply kit in a hurry

Lining up to leave town
© ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

It doesn't have to be complicated and you probably have most of it already.

According to House Bill 819, it is illegal to discuss sea level rise in North Carolina. Legislators were worried that predictions about the effects of climate change would "result in immediate loss of property value, staggering insurance premiums, and limit development along the coast." Meanwhile, as Hurricane Florence rolls in, there are worries that sea level rise will make the damage worse.

Now, the government has ordered a mandatory evacuation of the barrier islands, and is warning everyone else to expect a loss of electric power. The governor has a warning:

It is likely that you have most of the stuff you need in your home right now; here is a basic list from ReadyNC:

Water - 1 gallon per person per day for 3 to 7 days
Food – non-perishable and canned food supply for 3 to 7 days
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio with extra batteries
Cell phone with charger
First aid kit and first aid book
Flashlight and extra batteries
Manual can opener for food
Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
Wrench or pliers to turn off water
Blanket or sleeping bag – 1 per person
Prescription medications and glasses
Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine supplies
Extra house and car keys
Important documents – insurance policies, copy of driver’s license, Social Security card, bank account records
Fire extinguisher
Cash and change
Books, games or cards

They have other suggestions for pets, first aid and seniors on their site.

emergency backpack photo

TreeHugger Emeritus Jaymi, who lives in California, always had an emergency bag ready, and it is pretty elaborate. It is designed for when you need to head for the hills with your world in a backpack. More: Deconstructing the emergency bag: Packing a kit is tougher than it looks

emergency supplies72 hours of water, food, light and power/CC BY 2.0

After my wife and I got caught without electricity or a road out for four days I realized that I had better ensure that we have at least 72 hours worth of supplies; now we make sure to have at least a minimum in stock on our shelves because we never know when trees and wires might close the road. Readers suggested that I should push it to at least a week. More: Build an emergency kit in your cupboard and closet


A lot of people are worried about water, and here is a trick I have seen going around Twitter this morning: Instead of lining up to buy jugs, fill one-gallon ziplock bags. Put as many of them as you can into the freezer. I am going to make sure that we have a supply of bags in stock from now on.

To everyone, good luck and be safe.

How to build an emergency supply kit in a hurry
It doesn't have to be complicated and you probably have most of it already.

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