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Prepare Your Home
Prepare Your Home
Checklist of how to be prepared in the event of a power outage or a natural disaster.
Prepare Your Home

Outage kit for when the power goes out
If a power outage occurs, you can be prepared by having a kit together to meet your basic needs until we’re able to restore power. An outage kit is also a great first step towards a more comprehensive emergency kit for use in a crisis or natural disaster.

A basic outage kit should include:
  • Hand-crank or battery powered flashlight and radio
  • Battery-powered clock
  • Extra batteries (change them periodically — even unused batteries lose power over time)
  • Manual can opener
  • Cell-phone car charger if you depend on a cell phone, and/or a corded, non-electric phone for home

Other handy items to have:
  • Bottled water
  • Sanitary water containers (if you rely on electricity to pump water)
  • Thermos
  • Disposable plates and utensils
  • Extra blankets or sleeping bags

Emergency kits for crises and disasters
In a natural disaster or crisis, basic items we normally take for granted — like food, water, electricity and sanitation — can become survival needs. Predicting and planning for your family’s needs ahead of time can help minimize the effects of emergencies.

Disaster preparedness experts suggest having enough water, food and other supplies to survive on your own for at least three to ten days.

Since it can be a challenge to build a kit that’s both complete and portable, consider building two. A small kit can be helpful in the event of natural disasters and other pressing crises where you may need to leave your home, and carrying a large kit would be difficult or dangerous. Larger kits can be helpful for sheltering in place, but these might not fit in your backpack.

Here are some ideas for stocking an emergency kit, in addition to the outage kit items:
  • Water (1 gallon per person per day, include extra for pets)
  • Non-perishable food (Don’t forget food for your pets)
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Sleeping bag and bedding
  • Copies of insurance information, IDs, bank information, and family documents in a sealed waterproof container
  • Cash
  • A change of clothing
  • Disinfectant
  • Basic first aid kit (Red Cross also has a First Aid app for your smart phone)
  • Personal hygiene items including bags for waste storage
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Additional batteries
  • Eating utensils, manual can opener, and/or mess kit
  • Paper and pencil

To learn more about emergency kits and preparedness, see the FEMA’s website and the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management’s Get Prepared page. You can purchase disaster supply kits in a variety of sizes at the American Red Cross online store.

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