State police encourages public to build emergency preparedness kit

In the past year, Michigan has been hit with an ice storm that left hundreds of thousands of people without power for days around Christmas, a deep freeze that froze water mains and service lines in parts of northern Michigan, propane shortages and severe flooding. As recently as last month, southeast Michigan experienced four to six inches of torrential rain, causing widespread flash flooding that damaged homes and roads.

All households are encouraged to be self-reliant for at least three days by building an emergency preparedness kit supplied with food, water and medications. During an emergency or disaster, critical services — such as electricity, water service, access to grocery stores — can be impacted and response times for police, fire and rescue personnel could be significantly delayed.

Essential items to include in an emergency preparedness kit include:

• Water, at least three gallons of water per person

• Food, at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food per person

• First aid kit and medications as needed

• Battery or hand-crank radio or weather radio

• Emergency lighting or flashlights with extra batteries

• Pet supplies

• Sleeping bags or blankets for each person

• Important family documents

“Michigan households and families need to be prepared for all types of emergencies and disasters,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “When an emergency or disaster strikes, help may not be immediately available. We want citizens to have the appropriate supplies to hold them over for at least three days.”

For more information, go to www.ready.gov/september.

For more information about emergency preparedness, go to www.michigan.gov/beprepared or follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS.