Our recommendation: Pack a backpack or two and keep them stashed under your bed so you can pull them out quickly when you need them. It won't get you through a week, but it should get you through a day or so until you can make other accommodations. Remember, if it's a fire, you want to get out quickly with just the important stuff that you can't "live" without.
If you have one backpack:
___ Cell phone with extra emergency power
___ Portable radio, battery or hand-cranked
___ Bottled water/long-lasting snacks
___ Cash, credit card
___ First-aid kit, prescription medicine
___ Particle mask for everyone
___ Multi-tool knife
___ Map of your city with exits marked
___ Personal hygiene basics: soap, toilet paper, etc.
___ Extra eyeglasses
___ Infant/toddler needs if appropriate (diapers/wipes, formula, bottles)
___ Pet needs if appropriate
___ Copy of picture ID (passport, driver's license) for all adults, birth certificates for children
__ Water purification tablets like Halazone or Globaline (check camping supply stores)
If you have two, add:
___ Sweatshirts, extra underwear for everyone
___ Ground cloth
___ Rain ponchos for all
___ More food (shelf-stable, low-salt items, snack bars, trail mix, snack-size canned foods)
___ More water (but if you're on foot, the recommended gallon/day/person of water may not be realistic)
Excerpted from The City Parent Handbook: The Complete Guide to the Ups and Downs and Ins and Outs of Raising Young Kids in the City (Rodale, 2004) by Kathy Bishop and Julia Whitehead. Both women live, and parent, in New York City.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.