Family Disaster Supplies Kit
Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. A highway spill of hazardous material could mean instant evacuation.
A winter storm could confine your family at home. A hurricane, flood, tornado or any other disaster could cut off basic services- gas, water, electricity and telephone- for days.
After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it may take days. Would your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives?
Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you won't have time to shop or search for supplies. But if you've gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement. Be prepared to be self sufficient for 72 hours.
There are six basics you should stock in your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during and evacuation in an easy-to-carry container - suggested items are marked with an asterisk (*). Possible containers include a large, covered trash container, a camping backpack or a duffle bag.
Preparing Your Kit
Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles instead of containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more.
- Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation)*
- Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit.*
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits & vegetables
- Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
- Staples - sugar, salt, pepper
- High energy foods - peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
- Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets
- Comfort/stress foods - cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags
First Aid Kit*
Assemble a first aid kit* for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- 2 & 4 inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Triangular bandages
- 2 & 3 inch sterile roller bandages
- Moistened towelettes
- Tongue blades
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Assorted sizes of safety pins
- Cleansing agent/ soap
- Latex gloves (2 pair)
- Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
- Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)
Tools and Supplies
- Mess kits or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils*
- Emergency preparedness manual
- Battery operated radio and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Cash or Traveler's Checks, change
- Non-electric can opener, utility knife
- Fire extinguisher: Small canister, ABC type
- Tube tent
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic storage containers
- Signal flare
- Paper, pencil
- Needles, thread
- Medicine dropper
- Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
- Plastic sheeting
- Map of the area (for locating shelters)
- Toilet paper, towelettes
- Soap, liquid detergent
- Feminine products
- Personal hygiene products
- Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation use)
- Plastic bucket with tight lid
- Disinfectant / Household chlorine bleach
Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear
- Sturdy shoes or work boots
- Rain Gear
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Hats, gloves and sunglasses
- Thermal underwear
- Powdered milk
- Heart and High blood pressure medication
- Prescription drugs
- Denture needs
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Extra eye glasses
Important Family Documents
- Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container
- Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
- Passports, social security cards, immunization records
- Bank account numbers and companies
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
SUGGESTIONS AND REMINDERS
- Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car.
- Keep items in airtight plastic bags.
- Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
- Rotate your stored food every six months.
- Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
- Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.