How to pack a bag before an emergency


It’s always better to be prepared.

A recent snowstorm left hundreds of drivers stranded on I-95 near Virginia. As winter is just beginning and more snow is expected, people are wondering what to do to prepare for an emergency.

With more winter on the way, now is a good time to pack a well-stocked backpack.
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One of the most important steps is to have an emergency kit ready to use. This kit should contain a combination of supplies needed to survive, as well as tools that can be useful in emergency situations.

Go-bags are useful in situations where a quick escape is needed, but they can also be incredibly useful for people who suddenly find themselves stranded.

According to Ready.gov, a good emergency supplies kit should contain three days of food and water per person (one gallon per person per day). The kit should also include items like a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, first aid kit, extra batteries, and back-up cell phone chargers.

These kits should also include items like can openers, cards, basic tools, garbage bags, and duct tape.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET TRAPPED IN YOUR CAR DURING A SNOW STORM

A backpack, or emergency kit, should contain provisions such as several days of food and water.

A backpack, or emergency kit, should contain provisions such as several days of food and water.
(iStock)

The Red Cross also recommends ensuring that it has sevendaily supply of necessary medicines and copies of important personal documents.

If possible, it’s also a good idea to include cash, as power outages can make it impossible to pay by credit or debit card.

Of course, people who expect to travel in cold weather should also pack emergency blankets, hats, gloves, warm socks, and a change of clothes.

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If your car is flooded, avoid running the engine to avoid suffocating with fumes.

If your car is flooded, avoid running the engine to avoid suffocating with fumes.
(iStock)

It is also important to ensure that all vehicles are travel-ready. Before inclement weather, the state of Michigan advises drivers to check the fluid levels for the power steering, brakes, washer fluid, and oil. It may also be necessary to add washer fluid containing an anti-freeze agent.

Depending on the size, cars can also be fitted with emergency shovels, ice scrapers, and even cat litter (which can be used to give tires traction on icy or snowy roads).

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If you get stuck, it’s important not to let your engine run to warm up. If the exhaust pipe becomes blocked and / or if you are depressed, the exhaust can suffocate the occupants of the vehicle. If it is safe to exit the vehicle, check with nearby drivers. Other vehicles, like the 18-wheeler, can be refueled.


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