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?

Being Prepared

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.

To prepare your kit:

  • Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home.
  • Review the checklists in this document.
  • Place the supplies you'd most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. These supplies are listed with an asterisk (*).

Unpredictable Disasters

Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. 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. An earthquake, flood, tornado or any other disaster could cut off basic services-gas, water, electricity and telephones-for days.

For more information on being prepared for disasters go to Ready.gov 

  1. Family Disaster Plan
  2. Supplies
  3. Food
  4. First Aid Kit
  5. Water

Getting Started

To get started:

  • Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your local American Red Cross chapter
    • Ask how you would be warned.
    • Find out how to prepare for each.
    • Find out which disasters are most likely to happen in your community.
  • Meet with your family
    • Discuss the types of disasters that could occur.
    • Discuss what to do if advised to evacuate.
    • Explain how to prepare and respond.
    • Practice what you have discussed.
  • Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster.
    • Pick two meeting places:
      • A location a safe distance from your home in case of fire.
      • A place outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
  • Choose an out-of-state friend as a "check-in contact" for everyone to call.
    • Complete these steps.
      • Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.
      • Install a smoke detector on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries two times each year.
      • Learn first aid and CPR. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for information and training.
      • Post emergency telephone numbers by every phone.
      • Show responsible family members how and when to shut off water, gas and electricity at main switches.
  • Meet with your neighbors. Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbors' skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can't get home. Remember to practice and maintain your plan.