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As we count down to the start of the 2020 Wet/Hurricane Season, the Office of the Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) invite all  persons in its five week Emergency Kit Challenge.

The ODPM wants everyone to Be Ready by being equipped with the essential supplies that may be needed  in the event of an emergency or disaster.

An emergency kit is essential during a hazard as it contains the necessary emergency supplies to help sustain an individual or a family for up to 72 hours.

As simple as an emergency kit may sound, it can save your life or the life of your loved ones during an emergency.

The ODPM has divided the assembling of an emergency kit into five easy to follow steps.

We encourage you to share your progress in assembling an emergency kit using the hashtag #IamDisasterReadyTT.

Remember, emergency preparedness doesn’t have to break the bank! Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find around your home.

You can also begin now by downloading the ODPM’s Disaster Preparedness Checklist at

Follow the challenge on the ODPM’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.  

Ask yourself “is your family prepared to survive independently for the first 72 hours?”

If your answer is no or maybe, it is time to Be Ready!

Week 1 - Storing Emergency Supplies and Gathering Emergency Food and Water

To kick off our first week in the 5 week challenge, we will focus on storing your emergency supplies and gathering emergency food and water. 

To kick off our first week in the 5 week challenge, we will focus on storing your emergency supplies and gathering emergency food and water.


Keep emergency supplies in a plastic container or grab & go bag.


What's the difference? A Grab and Go bag is for leaving your home, school or work quickly. It’s portable and has all the essential items for just one person. A drawstring bag, small duffle-bag or schoolbag will work well here.


The Emergency Kit contains the essential items for your entire family. All of your important items are in one place to make it easier to shelter at home (once it’s deemed safe by emergency responders). In this case a plastic container would work well. 


Both should be easy to carry. In case you have to evacuate you will need to take your supplies with you.

#Emergencykitchallenge #GrabnGobag #Beready  #ODPMTT


Store enough water for each person in your household for drinking and sanitation. Rule of thumb - 1 gallon, per person, per day for 3 days. #Emergencykitchallenge #Beready  #ODPMTT



When packing emergency food supplies, don’t limit yourself to canned foods only. Add variety to your emergency food supply by incorporating a few of these non-perishable food options:



Instant or Ready-to-Eat Soup

Cans of Vegetables (for example corn, carrots or peas) 

Cans of meat of your choice (for example tuna, sausages etc)

Granola Bars

Instant Coffee/Tea or Powdered drinks

Breakfast Cereal (for example corn flakes or raisin bran)

Dried Fruit (for example raisins)


Don’t forget to pack a manual can opener and ensure that the shelf life of the food you pack is more than 6 months. 


Is it possible to add foods that are gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian? Absolutely! Remember, pack foods that YOU can eat. You may find some canned or non-perishable food options to suit your dietary needs. #Emergencykitchallenge #Beready  #ODPMTT






WEEK TWO: Health, First Aid & Medication

It's week 2 of the 5 week challenge and this week the focus is on Health, First Aid and Medication. 

Did you know (#DYK) that your emergency kit comprises of two kits? A #Firstaidkit and a #Hygienekit. Today, add your #firstaidkit to your Grab and Go bag and family emergency kit. It will come in handy when treating minor injuries and administering basic first aid after an emergency. Be sure to check and replace the items regularly to maintain your kit. #Emergencykitchallenge #firstaidkit #Beready #ODPMTT


This Wet/Hurricane season, we have the added challenge of COVID-19. To ensure the safety of yourself and your family, include extra gloves, face masks and hand sanitiser in your emergency kit. Remember to practice physical distancing where possible and adhere to the latest health advisories. 


#TTBEATCOVID19 #Emergencykitchallenge #Beready #ODPMTT




Next on the list is your #hygienekit. Remember, even during a disaster your personal hygiene is important. Be sure to include personal care and cleaning items for both males and females in your emergency kit. #Emergencykitchallenge #hygienekit #Beready #ODPMTT









To close off the list for this week, we’re adding medication to the emergency kit. If you or a family member is on regular medication, be sure to pack extra supplies since in the event of a hazard or disaster, prescriptions may be difficult to refill or pharmacies may be closed. Have copies of any prescription that you use as well as your medical care card (for example CDAP cards). Check the expiry date on your medication at least every 3-6 months and replace where necessary.  #Emergencykitchallenge #extramedication #Beready  #ODPMTT




WEEK THREE: Common Tools and Helpful Supplies

It’s week 3! We're half way through and this week, we begin by adding common tools and helpful supplies to the emergency kit. Common tools such as a flashlight, scissors, tape or even rope can come in handy for making small repairs or during a rescue. Be sure to include these items in your emergency kit. #Emergencykitchallenge #commontools #Beready  #ODPMTT







Local media is an important source of information during a disaster. They work with emergency services to obtain and provide to you, up-to-date information and alerts. Add a battery operated or hand cranked radio to your emergency kit to stay informed during a hazard or disaster.  Online, remember to follow only official sources for your information, such as the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service, UWI Seismic Research Centre and the ODPM.

#Emergencykitchallenge #emergencyalerts #Beready  #ODPMTT




Maps are helpful additions to your emergency kit. Never mind they might be old school, they can assist you in identifying alternative routes in and out of your community, especially if you are unable to use cell phone navigation due to low or dead battery. #Emergencykitchallenge #addamap #oldschoolnavigation #Beready  #ODPMTT




No electricity or internet. Limited battery power. How will you and the kids survive during a hazard or disaster? Simple...pull out the board games and card games of yesteryear. These are simple yet effective ways to keep you and your family occupied while emergency services work to restore essential services like power and water. Remember that everyone in the community is experiencing the same disaster as you. So be patient.  #Emergencykitchallenge #uno #monopoly #oldschoolboardgames #Beready  #ODPMTT





WEEK FOUR: Extra Considerations (Baby Supplies, Pet Supplies & Supplies for the elderly and Special Needs).

Its week 4 of the #EmergencyKitChallenge and this week we focus on extra considerations for your emergency kit. Remember when you are building your kit, be sure to add things that are unique or important to YOUR family. For example, do you have a baby or toddler? Include basic supplies such as disposable diapers, wipes, feeding supplies or food (for those already on solids) and extra clothing.     

#Emergencykitchallenge #babyemergencykit #Beready  #ODPMTT





Cater for all members of your family. If you have persons in your household who have special needs, add their specific supplies to your emergency kit, to ensure that they can function after a hazard or disaster. Be sure to pack extra batteries for any hearing aids or assistive devices, as well as extra canes. #Emergencykitchallenge #personswithspecialneeds #BeReadyTT  #ODPMTT
Furry or feathered, pets are part of the family too. Be sure to pack the essential supplies for your pets which includes food, water and their identification badge or collar. #Emergencykitchallenge #petsupplies #BereadyTT  #ODPMTT
WEEK FIVE: Smart Supplies & Cleaning Supplies

We’re on the home stretch. If you’ve followed along with us, by now, our emergency kits should be nearly complete. This week we focus on smart supplies and cleaning supplies. Before the hurricane season, make an inventory of your valuables and personal property. Store important documents and valuables in a waterproof bag or container. If you are asked to evacuate, take these items with you. 

#Emergencykitchallenge #collectandprotect #Beready  #ODPMTT





Do you have a flash drive? Why not use it to scan and save your critical documents such as deeds, birth certificate, marriage licenses and school certificates. Alternatively you can make digital copies of these important documents and email them to yourself. Having soft copies will help speed up the process of replacing the originals.  #Emergencykitchallenge #collectandprotect #Beready  #ODPMTT






During a hazard or disaster, ATM’s may become dysfunctional. Be sure to include in your emergency kit, extra cash in small denominations. Remember to replace any cash that gets used. #Emergencykitchallenge #extracash #BereadyTT  #ODPMTT





Avoid injuries after a hurricane or any hazard by wearing the correct safety gear during clean up. This includes a hard hat, thick gloves, boots or sturdy shoes and a dust mask and/or goggles. #Emergencykitchallenge #PPE  #Beready  #ODPMTT





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