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
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(*).
Possible Containers Include-
- 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
day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food
- 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, and
First Aid Kit Assemble a first aid kit for
your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:
- Aspirin or nonaspirin 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)
Tools and Supplies
Clothing and Bedding
- Remember family members with special
requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons
Important Family Documents
- Keep these records in a waterproof, portable
- Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds,
stocks and bonds
- Passports, social security cards, immunization
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and companies
- 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
- 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