Emergency Preparedness > Assemble a Kit

Assemble a Kit

Disaster Preparedness: Assemble a Kit

Prepare for disaster before it strikes – assemble 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. Your kit should be stored in a convenient place known to everyone in your family. Keep a smaller version of your “disaster kit” in your vehicle. Most items should be kept in air tight plastic bags.

Store water in plastic containers, such as soft drink bottles, or buy bottled water. 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 (2) quarts of water each day. Hot environment and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more. Stored water should be changed every six (6) months to stay fresh. A good time to do this is when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.

Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little to no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Food items should also be changed every 6 months. Recommended non-perishable foods include:

Ready to eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store more water)
High energy foods: peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola and ‘trail mix’
Staples: sugar, salt, pepper
Foods for infants, elderly, or persons with special diets
Comfort/stress foods: cookies, hard candy, cereals, instant coffee, tea bags

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and for each vehicle you own. Your family physician or pharmacist should be consulted about storing prescription medications. A first aid kit should generally contain the following:

- Sterile adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes (Band-aids)
- Sterile Gauze Pads
- Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
- Triangular bandages
- Tweezers, scissors, and a needle
- Moistened towelettes
- Antiseptic agent
- Petroleum jelly
- Thermometer
- Safety Pins
- Cleansing agent/soap
- Latex gloves
- Sunscreen
- Prescription drugs
- Non-prescription drugs (Aspirin, Antacid, Anti-diarrhea, Ipecac, Laxatives)
- Vitamins

A variety of tools and basic supplies are recommended to accompany your disaster kit:

- Emergency preparedness manual
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Battery operated radio or TV with spare batteries
- Mess kits, plates, cups, plastic utensils
- Non-electric can opener
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Fire extinguisher (Small ABC Type)
- Duct tape
- Plastic sheeting
- Matches in waterproof container
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic storage containers
- Signal flare
- Paper, pencil
- Needles and thread
- Medicine dropper
- Shut-off wrench for household utilities
- Whistle
- Map of area (for locating shelters)
- Compass

Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person:

- Sturdy shoes or work boots
- Rain gear
- Hats and gloves
- Thermal underwear
- Sunglasses
- Blankets or sleeping bags

Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons:

- Formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, medications, pacifier
- Heart and high blood pressure medications, insulin, prescriptions, eye glasses, contact lenses and supplies, denture needs
- Entertainment items: books, games, magazines
- Important family documents in waterproof container
- Identification, passports, social security cards
- Bank account information
- Credit card numbers and companies
- Inventory of household valuables
- Pet food and supplies
- Check your kit at least once a year and replace old batteries and update clothing.