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Preparedness Love for Valentine’s Day

A basket of flowers and heart-shaped chocolates for Valentine's Day.
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Whether it’s your sweetheart, your children, or your favorite furry friend, Valentine’s Day is a great time to show that someone special that you care!

This Valentine’s Day, remind your loved ones to be ready for emergencies. Nothing says I love you quite like “I have made you my emergency contact person.”  Even Sheldon Cooper agrees that emergency contact information is quite the romantic notion.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Public Health Association have humorous, love-themed preparedness e-Cards you can share. It’s Valentine’s Day, so the cheesier the better, right?

If you’re struggling with what to give your Valentine, check out this video from the Office of Emergency Management in Fairfax County, Virginia. They offer Sweet Emergency Preparedness Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas. 

While an emergency kit may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you’re thinking flowers and boxes of chocolates, it could end up being the most important gift you give your loved ones this year.  Most of us would love to be a little more prepared but don’t know where to start. Gift loved ones with a starter emergency kit for the home or the road, and don’t forget to include your kids and pets in your emergency planning!

The Starter Kit

To get started, pack a few items in a small plastic storage container or water-proof bags that can be stored easily. You can include:

  • First aid kit (You can get a pre-made kit at most of your local drug stores or pharmacies)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable phone charger (also sometimes known as a portable battery. This charger should be rechargeable and have the ability to charge a phone without being plugged into a power source)
  • Manual can openers (and a reminder that every emergency kit should include a three-day supply of food and water)

Most of us spend a lot of time in our cars. Consider putting together a kit of emergency supplies that your loved one can keep in their car. Plan your gift based on local hazards. If you live in an area that gets significant amounts of snow, you may consider including a windshield scraper, extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets. For any emergency, your car kit include these basic items:

  • Basic tool kit with pliers, a wrench, and screwdriver
  • Jumper cables (you may consider purchasing a “roadside emergency kit” from your local auto shop that also includes reflective triangle markers, gloves, and a flashlight)
  • First aid kit
  • Cellphone charger (either a car charger or rechargeable portable charger)

Emergency Prep for Kids

Your kids are probably going to surprise you with a sweet Valentine’s card or even a decorated shoebox, so return the favor! Get kids excited and interested in emergency preparedness with CDC’s Ready Wrigley activity books. You can print coloring books for disasters including, extreme heat, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and winter weather.  Help kids check-off items on Ready Wrigley’s emergency kit list with some of the following items:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • A battery-powered or crank weather radio
  • Small and portable games or activities that can entertain kids if they have to shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter. (Small board games, playing cards, books, or stuffed animals are good items to consider)..

Pets and Pet Lovers

Your pets provide unconditional love year-round, so don’t leave them out of your emergency plans! Even though they may never know what you’ve done for them, you can pull together a few items for your pet in case of an emergency. Think about how to transport your pet safely – a crate or harness, perhaps – and also think about their comfort in a scary situation by keeping a few toys and a pet bed in case you are forced to evacuate.

All of these emergency packages are great gifts to help friends, family, or yourself start an emergency kit. Check out CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and You page for more tips on how to be prepared for any emergency.

(Article by the CDC.)