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Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit
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Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit

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. 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.  Therefore, you should always be prepared and maintain the proper supplies in case of such emergencies. There are six basics you should stock in your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools, and emergency supplies/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 a large covered trash container, camping backpack, or a duffle bag.  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 air tight plastic bags. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.  Rotate 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.

To prepare your kit, review the checklist provided in the subsequent paragraphs and 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 (*).


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 (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation)*

Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.


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 — sugar, salt, pepper

High energy foods — peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granloa bars, trail mix


Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on 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

2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)

4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)

Hypoallergenic adhesive tape

Triangular bandages (3)

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

Assorted sizes of safety pins

Cleansing agent/soap

Latex gloves (2 pair)


Non-prescription drugs:

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)

Contact your local American Red Cross chapter to obtain a basic first aid manual.

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 shelters)

Toilet paper, towelettes*

Soap, liquid detergent*

Feminine supplies*

Personal hygiene items*

Plastic garbage bags, ties(for personal sanitation ases)

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


Clothing and Bedding:

Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.
For Baby*




Powdered milk

For Adults*

Heart and high blood pressure medication


Prescription drugs

Denture needs

Contact lenses and supplies

Extra eye glasses

Entertainment - 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)

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