National Preparedness Month : Build a Kit

By Ryan West

September is National Hurricane Preparedness Month, and this year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”

Every week in September, we will be sharing information demonstrating how individual and household preparedness can make a difference in your community. This week’s topic is: Build a Kit.

An emergency kit should include everything that you and every person in your household needs to survive without electricity, access to essential services, and access to your belongings or home for a minimum of seven days. 

Non-perishable food, water, medications, first aid supplies, alternative power sources, and copies of your important personal documents are just a few of the essential components that make up a strong emergency kit. Check out the Love City Strong preparedness shopping list to get started.

Every emergency kit is unique. Your kit should feature the basics needed for survival as well as any items that will make you and those living in your household feel safe and comfortable, both during and after a disaster. This could include everything from toys for children, your favorite book, a deck of cards, or a sketchbook or journal.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting communities around the world, your emergency kit should also include pandemic-essential items to keep your family safe. Extra masks, a digital thermometer, hand sanitizer, and surface cleaning supplies should all be included in your kit. 

If you have pets, create a separate emergency kit for them as well. Visit the Humane Society’s pet preparedness guide for everything you need to know about creating a strong kit for your pets.

Don’t wait—Start preparing today! For more information on how to build an emergency kit, including downloadable kit lists, videos, and activities to get children involved in the preparation process, visit

For up to date, reliable forecasts, visit the National Hurricane Center website. For Virgin Islands specific alerts, watches, and warnings, visit VITEMA’s website, or sign up for AlertVI.