Because your family may not be together when a disaster strikes it is important to create a plan in advance. It is also essential to have a disaster supplies kit that includes basic items from your home that you may need in case of emergency. Your plan should include:How you will get to a safe place How you will contact each other How you will get back together What you will do in different situations...
Start preparing for an emergency or disaster before anything happens. You should find reliable information sources, warning systems and alert systems in advance. Family communication is very important. Meet with family members and consider both people and pets. We recommend using our family emergency plan resource, which collects all vital information in one place in wallet-size cards you can carry with you. It is also critical to check to determine school and workplace plans so you know how to best communicate and communicate with family members who may be in school or at work when an emergency hits.You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them. A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items you may need in the event of an emergency. Assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency so you can survive on your own after an emergency. DHS/FEMA provides a guide to prepare your kit, which can be tailored to meet the needs of individual family health and related concerns. One key: Food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water, one gallon of water 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 and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks and change
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit - EFFAK (PDF - 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- 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