What should be in my disaster preparedness kit? What to pack for emergencies like earthquakes, wildfires

An emergency kit should contain more than just food, water and toilet paper. An expert offers his list of "must haves" you might not think of when customizing your own kit.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- From wildfires to earthquakes, Southern Californians have had recent, vivid reminders that being prepared for disasters is critically important.

So how can you make sure you're ready? Jeff Edelstein, owner of SOS Survival Products, joined ABC7 news anchors Jovana Lara and Phillip Palmer to talk about the items everyone should have in case of an emergency.

Edelstein says the top items everyone should have in their emergency kits include: food, water, sanitation supplies, first aid supplies, personal hygiene supplies, extra pair of glasses and personal medication. He also likes to remind people that lighting is critically important.

"Power outages happen more than any other type of disaster so lanterns, flashlights, batteries," said Edelstein.

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He also says pre-made kits are not "one size fits all." You should go through the kit and customize it to meet your specific needs.

So where should you keep your emergency kit? First off, Edelstein says you need more than one!

'You definitely want to make sure your home is prepared. Put an emergency kit in a couple different places because you don't know where damage will be," said Edelstein.

He suggests the garage, an outside shed, a closet near the front door and your car. It's also important to have an "under the bed" kit for everyone in the home.

"A little duffel bag or backpack," said Edelstein. "With shoes, gloves, flashlight, a whistle, an extra pair of glasses."
Another thing to remember is to routinely check on your kit to make sure things in it have not expired.

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ABC7 has compiled a list of items that are important to have in your earthquake kit so that you're prepared for "the big one."

"My biggest recommendation is once a year," said Edelstein. "Every daylight saving, go through your emergency supplies."

And don't forget your pets!

'Have an emergency kit for them, with extra food, water, treats, a leash," said Edelstein. "In case you have to evacuate your house, you can take care of your pet."

SOS Survival Products will be having upcoming Soom classes on emergency preparedness.

"We want people to be as educated as possible before disaster hits," said Edelstein.

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When the power goes out or is shut off, drivers should exercise caution on the roadways as power outages will likely impact stoplights and other traffic signals.

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As residents return to see what remains, there are some very specific safety precautions to keep in mind.

For wildfire coverage, visit www.abc7.com/wildfires.
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