Janna Kelley OSU Extension Educator
Oklahomans are well aware a weather emergency or disaster can strike at any time. Many residents also know it is a good idea to have an emergency kit ready to go.
Most people may think about having a preparedness kit at home or in their car, but may not consider another place where they spend a lot of time.
Since September is National Preparedness Month, now is a great time for Oklahomans who work outside of the home to put together an emergency kit for the workplace. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Preparedness Month began in 2004 as a way to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies. Depending on where your kit will be located has some influence on what you’ll need to include in it.
As a general rule, you need to be prepared to take shelter at work for several hours or longer. The emergency kit should contain at least one gallon of water per person per day, along with a supply of nonperishable, high-energy foods.
Water being stored for an emergency situation should be commercially bottled. Do not open it until it is needed and be sure to observe the “use by” date.
Depending on where you live, it’s a good idea to throw in a pair of comfortable walking shoes in the event an evacuation requires walking a long distance. These supplies can be stored in a small backpack or plastic container under your desk. Make sure the storage container is small enough to be portable.
Be sure to include a supply of any medications you may be taking. As with any emergency preparedness kit, a flashlight with extra batteries is appropriate, along with a small first aid kit.
Other items you may want to consider include a roll of reflective tape, a face mask or bandana, a portable charging unit for your cell phone, an all-purpose pocket tool or Swiss Army knife and a small packet of moist wipes or tissues.
Obviously you hope you would never need to use a work emergency preparedness kit, but it’s always a good idea to be ready for any emergency situation.