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Building a Disaster Supply Kit

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After an emergency, you may need to be prepared survive on your own for several days while the power is out, roads are impassable, or stores are closed. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Don’t forget about seniors, special handicap needs, and pets.

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

Store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire kit in an easy-to-carry container or bag. A basic emergency supply kit could include:

• Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
• Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
• Flashlight
• First aid kit
• Extra batteries
• Whistle (to signal for help)
• Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
• Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
• Tool kit (to turn off utilities or make minor repairs)
• Manual can opener (for food)
• Local maps
• Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
• Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes
• Prescription medications
• Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
• Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
• Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
• Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
• Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
• Paper and pencil
• Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
• Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
• Matches in a waterproof container
• Pet care items (This includes food, medicines, and immunization records)

Maintaining Your Kit

After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
  • Replace expired items as needed.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

Kit Storage Locations

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work, and cars.

  • Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
  • Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
  • Car: In case you are stranded, keep a small kit of emergency supplies in your car.
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