What Is a Disaster Supplies Kit?
Assembling the supplies you might need following a disaster is an important part of your Family Disaster Plan. Following a disaster, having extra supplies at home or supplies to take with you in the event of an evacuation can help your family endure evacuation or home confinement.
Learn more about Disaster Supplies Kits by contacting your local emergency management agency or your local American Red Cross chapter.
Involve Children in Disaster Preparedness.
Ask children to help you remember to keep your kits in working order by changing the food and water every six months and replacing batteries as necessary. Children might make calendars or posters with the appropriate dates marked on them. Ask children to think of items that they would like to include in their own Disaster Supplies Kit, such as books or games or appropriate nonperishable food items.
Prepare Your Kit
Tips for Your Disaster Supplies Kit
Keep a smaller Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of each car. If you become stranded or are not able to return home, having some items will help you to be more comfortable until help arrives.
Keep items in airtight plastic bags. This will help protect them from damage or spoiling.
Replace stored food and water every six months. Replacing your food and water supplies will help ensure their freshness.
Rethink your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications. It may be difficult to obtain prescription medications during a disaster because stores may be closed or supplies may be limited.
Use an easy-to-carry container for the supplies you would most likely need for an evacuation. Label it clearly. Possible containers include:
A large, covered trash container.
A camping backpack.
A duffel bag.
A cargo container that will fit on the roof of your vehicle.
Disaster Supplies Kit Basics
The following items might be needed at home or for an evacuation. Keeping them in an easy-to-carry backpack or duffel bag near your door would be best in case you need to evacuate quickly, such as in a tsunami, flash flood, or major chemical emergency. Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members.
Kit basics are:
A portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
Flashlight and extra batteries.
First aid kit and first aid manual.
Supply of prescription medications.
Credit card and cash.
An extra set of car keys.
Matches in a waterproof container.
Map of the area and phone numbers of places you could go.
Special needs, for example, diapers or formula, prescription medicines and copies of prescriptions, hearing aid batteries, spare wheelchair battery, spare eyeglasses, or other physical needs.
If you have additional space, consider adding some of the items from your Evacuation Supplies Kit.
Evacuation Supplies Kit
Place in an easy-to-carry container the supplies you would most likely need if you were to be away from home for several days. Label the container clearly. Remember to include:
Disaster Supplies Kit basics.
Three gallons of water per person.
Three-day supply of nonperishable food.
Kitchen accessories: manual can opener; mess kits or paper cups, plates, and plastic/disposable utensils; utility knife; a can of cooking fuel if food must be cooked; household liquid bleach to treat drinking water; sugar, salt, pepper; aluminum foil; plastic resealable bags.
One complete change of clothing and footwear for each family member, sturdy shoes or workboots, raingear, hat and gloves, thermal underwear, sunglasses.
Blankets or sleeping bag for each family member.
Tools and other accessories:
paper, pencil; needles and thread; pliers, shut-off wrench, shovels, and other useful tools; tape; medicine dropper; whistle; plastic sheeting; small canister, A-B-C-type fire extinguisher; emergency preparedness manual; tube tent; compass.
Sanitation and hygiene items:
toilet paper, towelettes; soap, hand sanitizer, liquid detergent; feminine supplies; personal items such as shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, comb and brush, lip balm; plastic garbage bags (heavy-duty) and ties (for personal sanitation uses); medium-sized plastic bucket with tight lid; disinfectant; household chlorine bleach; small shovel for digging an expedient latrine.
Entertainment, such as games and books.