Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And
when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. A highway spill or
hazardous material could mean evacuation. A winter storm could confine your
family at home. An earthquake, flood, tornado, or any other disaster could cut
water, electricity, and telephones-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.
Prepare Your Kit
Review the checklist below.
Gather the supplies that are
listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home.
Place the supplies you'd most
likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. These supplies
are listed with an asterisk ().
There are six basics you should
stock for 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 an evacuation in an easy-to carry container--suggested
items are marked with an asterisk().
A large, covered trash container,
A camping backpack,
A duffle bag.
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.
Store one gallon of water per
person per day.
Keep at least a three-day supply
of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in
your household for food preparation/sanitation).
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 thee following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits,
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 of safety pins
Latex gloves (2 pairs)
2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
Triangular bandages (3)
2-inch sterile roller bandages (3
3-inch sterile roller bandages (3
Tongue blades (2)
Tube of petroleum jelly or other
Aspirin or nonaspirin pain
Antacid (for stomach upset)
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
Flashlight and extra batteries
Cash or traveler's checks, change
Non-electric can opener, utility
Fire extinguisher: small canister
Matches in a waterproof container
Plastic storage containers
Shut-off wrench, to turn off
household gas and water
Map of the area (for locating
Toilet paper, towelettes
Soap, liquid detergent
Personal hygiene items
Plastic garbage bags, ties (for
personal sanitation uses)
Plastic bucket with tight lid
Household chlorine bleach
Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete
change of clothing and footwear per person.
Sturdy shoes or work boots
Blankets or sleeping bags
Hat and gloves
Remember family members with
special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons
Heart and high blood pressure
Contact lenses and supplies
Extra eye glasses
Games and books
Important Family Documents
Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
Will, insurance policies, contracts
deeds, stocks and bonds
Passports, social security cards,
Bank account numbers
Credit card account numbers and
Inventory of valuable household goods,
important telephone numbers
Family records (birth, marriage, death
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. Replace
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.