The Importance of Being Self-Sufficient

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Release date: 
September 3, 2013
Release Number: 
R3-13-17

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – After an emergency happens resources can be strained quickly and you may have to do without electricity, water service, telephone service, and access to a grocery store just to name a few.  That’s why it’s so important for everyone to have the ability to be self-sufficient after an emergency occurs.

“One of the best ways people can help their community and first responders is to be self-sufficient after a disaster;” said Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, “by being self-sufficient, people can take a lot of pressure and strain off of vital resources.  Additionally, resources may not be able to reach you for a variety of reasons so you should be prepared by having important items already on hand.”

One of the easiest ways to be self-sufficient is to build an emergency supply kit.  These kits are simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.  You should assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency because you may not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.  Keeping your kit organized in some sort of container also ensures that if you have to evacuate you can quickly take your kit with you.

There are a number of basic items that should go into your kit that you probably already have around the house, like water, food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a can opener, and a radio.  There are other items that you may not have thought of or may not have at home, like dust masks, moist towelettes, garbage bags, or a sleeping bag.

Don’t forget to take into account the needs of everyone, that thinking of things like diapers, formula, medications, contact lenses and supplies, special food, or coloring books or activities for kids.  You can get a full listing of what should go in your emergency kit and how you can maintain it at ready.gov/build-a-kit.

While building your emergency supply kit can seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be.  When you go out to the store, see what’s on sale that you need and pick up a few things at a time, that way you don’t break the bank.  Another tip is rather than buying bottled water; you can disinfect empty 2-liter bottles and fill them with water.  Can’t think of what you want for a birthday or holiday; why not suggest people buy you preparedness supplies, that way you get something you’ll actually use. 

There are many tips and tools to help you become self-sufficient after an emergency, go to ready.gov to learn more.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.  Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema.   Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.

Last Updated: 
September 3, 2013 - 17:36
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