Disaster Supplies Kit
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.
Disaster Supplies Calendar
The Family Disaster Supplies Calendar (PDF) is intended to help you prepare for disasters before they happen. Using the calendar, your family can assemble an emergency kit in small steps over a six month period. Check off each week as you gather the contents. Supplies may be stored all together in a large plastic garbage can or food may be kept on kitchen shelves. Remember to rotate your perishable supplies and change water every six months.
Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit should include:
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. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight.
Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
- Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
- Comfort/stress foods
- Hard candy
- Instant coffee
- Sweetened cereals
- Tea bags
- Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets
- High energy foods
- Granola bars
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Trail mix
- Staples - sugar, salt and pepper
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using 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.
- Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.
- Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation)
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit should include:
- Assorted sizes of safety pins
- Band Aids
- Cleansing agent/soap
- Gauze pads (4 to 6)
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Latex gloves (2 pair)
- Moistened towelettes
- Non-prescription drugs (Aspirin, Anti-acid)
- Sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
There are six basics you should stock in your home:
- Clothing and Bedding
- First Aid Supplies
- Special Items
- Tools and Emergency Supplies
Keep the items that you would most likely need during an 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.
Tools & Supplies
- Aluminum foil
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries*
- Cash or traveler's checks, change*
- Emergency preparedness manual*
- Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type
- Flashlight and extra batteries*
- Map of the area (for locating shelters)
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Medicine dropper
- Mess kits, or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils*
- Needles, thread
- Non-electric can opener, utility knife*
- Paper, pencil
- Plastic sheeting
- Plastic storage containers
- Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
- Signal flare
- Tube tent
- Feminine supplies*
- Household chlorine bleach
- Personal hygiene items*
- Plastic bucket with tight lid
- Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
- Soap, liquid detergent*
- Toilet paper, towelettes*
Clothing & Bedding
*Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
- Blankets or sleeping bags*
- Hat and gloves
- Rain gear*
- Sturdy shoes or work boots*
- Thermal underwear
Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.
- Powdered milk
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Denture needs
- Extra eye glasses
- Heart and high blood pressure medication
- Prescription drugs
Important Family Documents
Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container.
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and companies
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
- Passports, social security cards, immunization records
- Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
Suggestions & Reminders
- Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.
- Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
- Keep items in air-tight plastic bags.
- Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
- Rotate your stored food every six months.
- 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.