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 (*). 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
A winter storm could confine your family at home. A hurricane, flood, tornado
or any other disaster could cut off basic services such as, gas, water, electricity
and telephones for days.
Be Red Cross Ready in 21 Weeks
Preparing for the Unexpected Supply Kit on a Budget
Weekly shopping list based on a family of 4
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, granola bars, trail
Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets
There are six basics you should stock in 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. Possible containers include
a large, covered trash container, a camping backpack, or a duffle
bag. Recommended items are marked with an asterisk (*).
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*
Nonelectric can opener, utility knife*
Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type
Matches in a waterproof container
Plastic storage containers
Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
Map of the area (for locating shelters)
Toilet paper, towelettes*
Soap, liquid detergent*
Personal hygiene items*
Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
Plastic bucket with tight lid
Household chlorine bleach
Clothing and Bedding
- Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per
Sturdy shoes or work boots*
Hat and gloves
Blankets or sleeping bags*
Remember family members with special needs, such as infants
and elderly or disabled persons.
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)
SUGGESTIONS AND REMINDERS
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.
Remember that if you anticipate staying in an evacuation shelter that there may not be a cot for you. Bring bedding material and something to sleep on.
CREATE A FAMILY DISASTER PLAN
To get started...
Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your
local American Red Cross chapter to find out which disasters are most likely
to happen in your community.
Ask how you would be warned.
Find out how to prepare for each.
Meet with your family.
Discuss the types of disasters that could occur.
Explain how to prepare and respond.
Discuss what to do if advised to evacuate.
Practice what you have discussed.
Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster.
Pick two meeting places:
1) a location
a safe distance from your home in case of fire. 2) a place outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
Choose an out-of-state friend as a "check-in contact" for
everyone to call.
Complete these steps.
Post emergency telephone numbers by every phone.
Show responsible family members how and when to shut off water,
gas and electricity at main switches.
Install a smoke detector on each level of your home, especially
near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries two times
Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire
Learn first aid and CPR. Contact your local American Red Cross
chapter for information and training.
Meet with your neighbors.
Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster.
Know your neighbors' skills (medical, technical). Consider how
you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly
or disabled persons. Make plans for child care in case parents
can't get home.