Creating a Disaster Supply Kit
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 an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container, such as a large, covered trash container, a backpack or a duffle bag.
Supply Kit Tips
- 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.
- Rotate your stored food every six months. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
- 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.
- Keep items in air tight plastic bags
Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will break or decompose, 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 the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
- Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)
- Staples — salt, sugar, pepper
- High energy foods — peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
- Food for infants, elderly persons, or those with 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
- Assorted sizes of safety pins
- Cleansing agent/soap
- Latex gloves (2 pairs)
- 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- Triangular bandages (3)
- Non-prescription drugsAspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- 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)
- 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
- 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
- Moistened towelettes
- Tongue blades (2)
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
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 nearby shelters)
- Sanitation supplies
- Toilet paper, towelettes
- Soap, liquid detergent
- Personal hygiene items
- Plastic garbage bags, ties
- 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
- Rain gear
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Hat and gloves
- Thermal underwear
Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.
- Powdered milk
- Heart and high blood pressure medication
- Prescription drugs
- Denture needs
- 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, immunization records
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and companies
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)