The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) has released its annual list of emergency preparedness gift ideas.
In the past two years, Michigan has endured severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding. Preparedness items are practical gifts that provide a peace of mind knowing loved ones are prepared in the event of an emergency, whether it is losing power for days or surviving a natural disaster.
“Giving a loved one the gift of preparedness is one of the most caring things you can do,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “Often, in times of disaster, individuals find themselves unprepared. These gifts and stocking stuffers could be lifesaving and can help you start a discussion about the importance of being prepared and ready for an emergency.”
*Gift Idea No. 1: Emergency Preparedness Kits for Home and Vehicle. In an emergency, electricity, gas and water may be cut off for days—even weeks. An individual may be stuck in his or her home or evacuated at a moment’s notice. This is why it’s important to have a fully-stocked emergency preparedness kit. At the minimum, every household should have a kit containing food, water, first aid supplies, flashlight, batteries, extra clothing and a blanket.
It’s also great to have an emergency preparedness kit in a vehicle in case an emergency occurs while traveling. An emergency kit in your vehicle with nonperishable, high-energy foods—such as granola bars, canned nuts and trail mix—could save your life and the lives of your passengers. A kit can be made or purchased online for as little as $30.
*Gift Idea No. 2: Light-Emitting Diode Emergency Hand-Crank Lantern. A Light-Emitting Diode (LED) emergency hand-crank lantern can illuminate a large area during a dark, powerless night. This lantern can provide a lighting source within 60 seconds of cranking to lessen the burden of a power outage. Many units also have battery or solar power options. Prices begin at $15.
*Gift Idea No. 3: Mobile Phone Battery Charger. Almost everyone has a mobile phone these days. When the power goes out, a mobile phone has no place to charge. A mobile phone battery charger allows you to stay connected with loved ones and emergency service agencies during an emergency or disaster by providing a charging source that is not dependent on electricity. Some chargers have the capability to charge multiple electronic devices and are combined with an emergency flashlight. Prices range from $5 to $80.
*Gift Idea No. 4: Water Filtration Bottle. The usefulness of a water filtration bottle isn’t limited to hiking or camping. By removing dangerous particles and bacteria, these bottles can provide clean drinking water in emergency situations. Prices begin at $30 at outdoor recreation stores.
*Gift Idea No. 5: Emergency Preparedness Activity Book for Kids. An emergency preparedness activity book can teach children about preparing for emergencies or disasters at home or school. These activity books teach kids how to make a plan, create an emergency supply kit and what to do in emergency situations, such as power outages or dangerous weather.
The MSP/EMHSD provides a free downloadable preparedness activity book on its website. Other types of preparedness books can be purchased online from $5 to $30. For more information on how to prepare before, during and after an emergency, persons may visit the MSP/EMHSD on the web at www.michigan.gov/miready.