HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Whenever you prepare for severe weather, it is a good idea to have a kit handy with essential items.
Your kit should include battery-operated items such as a weather radio and flashlights. Hand-cranked radios are also available. Along with the necessary batteries, you could also include an inverter or a solar-powered charger in case those items wear down during the daytime.
FEMA recommends you keep at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation purposes. Children and nursing mothers may require more. Pre-bottled water is best; if you use tap water, ensure the containers you use are specifically designed to contain water.
Canned food, boxed cereals other non-perishable food is recommended for your kit. All food should be in covered containers. Avoid heavily salted foods that can make you thirsty. Don't forget utensils and openers.
Along with water and non-perishable snacks, you can also include extra clothing and travel-size hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant in case water is not usable in your area after a storm. Blankets and extra bedding are also a good idea. Hygiene products should be kept in a waterproof container.
A first-aid kit should be available to treat minor injuries. A pre-packed kit is best, but a handmade kit should include bandages, ointments, antibiotic products and non-prescription pills. If you or someone in your family requires medical supplies or prescriptions, make sure you have enough in case pharmacies are unavailable.
Experts said it's a good idea to have enough food, water and supplies for 72 hours. You should also keep the kit in a cool, dry space until needed. If you already have a kit, periodically check it to ensure it is intact and up-to-date.