The CDC Says: Give the Gift of Preparedness

As the holiday season quickly approaches and holiday shopping begins, find a gift that truly show those you love how much you care—the gift of preparedness. Check out Public Health Matters latest post for ideas on creating the perfect emergency kits for your friends and family:

While an emergency kit may not be on any of the top-ten big name gift lists this season, a starter kit could end up being the most important gift you give your friends and family this year.  Most of us would love to be a little more prepared, but have not made the time or don’t know where to start. Often, just taking the first step towards getting prepared is the hardest part. Give your friends and family the gift of being prepared for the unexpected.

Need creative ideas for your gifts of preparedness? We’ve got you covered with these gift ideas:

The Starter Kit

Help get your friends thinking emergency prep with a few key items to start their emergency kit. Pack the items in a small plastic storage container or water-proof bag that can be stored easily. Include the following items:

  • First aid kit (You can get a pre-made kit)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable phone charger (also sometimes known as a portable battery. This charger should be rechargeable and have the ability to charge a phone without being plugged into a power source)
  • Manual can openers (and a reminder that every emergency kit should include a three-day supply of food and water)

Emergency Prep for Kids

Sometimes the best way to get families thinking about emergency preparedness is through teaching kids about the importance of having an emergency kit, an emergency communication plan, and a family emergency response plan for every disaster.

Get kids excited and interested in emergency preparedness with CDC’s Ready Wrigley activity books. You can print coloring books for disasters including, extreme heat, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and winter weather.  Help kids check-off items on Ready Wrigley’s emergency kit list with some of the following items:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • A battery-powered or crank weather radio
  • Small and portable games or activities that can entertain kids if they have to shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter. (Small board games, playing cards, books or stuffed animals are good items to consider).

Emergency Kits for the Road

Is you car ready for winter graphic with cartoon bird and car emergency kit suppliesFor the car-lovers or new drivers on your list, consider putting together a kit of emergency supplies they can keep in their car. Plan your gift based on local hazards. If you live in an area that gets significant amounts of snow you may consider including a windshield scraper, extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets. For any emergency, your car kit include these basic items:

Basic tool kit with pliers, a wrench and screwdriver

Jumper cables (you may consider purchasing a “roadside emergency kit” from your local auto shop that also includes reflective triangle markers, gloves, and a flashlight)

– First aid kit

– Cellphone charger (either or a car charger, or rechargeable portable charger)

Pets and Pet Lovers

young girl with shopping bags and a pug dogRemember to include pets in your emergency planning. Whether you are thinking of gifts for your furry friends or a gift for the pet lovers in your life, put together a gift of the following pet emergency kit items:

  • Extra food and water for your pet, including an extra water and food bowl.
  • Sturdy leash, harness, and carrier to transport pet safely. A carrier should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for several hours.
  • Pet toy and a pet bed that can easily be stored and taken if you are forced to evacuate. (Remember to always check with your local emergency shelters before a disaster to find out which shelters take in pets).

All of these emergency packages are great gifts to help friends, family, or yourself start an emergency kit. Check out CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and You page for more tips on how to be prepared for any emergency.

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