It's important to be ready for disasters. Sometimes disasters occur without much warning. You might even have to leave your home for awhile to be safe. You might not have a phone or electricity for a few days. Your family should have a disaster kit packed and ready to go in case you need it. Don't wait until the last minute to make a disaster kit!
Here are some things to go in your disaster kit. Gather as many of them as you can and keep them together. Make sure you keep the kit where you can get to it quickly easily if you need it. Also, keep this checklist with your kit so you can remember to get anything you left out.
- Water. One gallon per person, per day. Have enough for at least three days.
- Non-perishable food. Canned food and baby food are good items.
- Can opener and utensils (plates, cups, knives, forks, and spoons).
- Baby items, if there's a baby in your family. Formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, medications, baby wipes, and diaper rash ointment.
- Battery-powered radio.
- Extra batteries.
- First aid kit. A good first-aid kit has gloves, gauze, antibiotic ointment, bandages, pain relievers, a thermometer, scissors, and tape.
- Prescription medications. Have enough to last at least three days. Ask your doctor about storing your medications.
- Personal hygiene supplies. Soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, and toilet paper.
- Bug repellant spray or lotion.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Filter masks to help filter the air.
- Moist towelettes.
- Garbage bags and plastic ties.
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape.
- Pet supplies. ID tags, leash and carrier, three-day supply of food and water, and a list of hotels that accept pets.
- Important family documents. Insurance cards and policies, copies of prescriptions, list of all medications, drivers license or other identification, Social Security cards, bank account and credit card numbers, a home inventory, and telephone numbers for friends and family.
Clothing and Bedding:
- Change of clothes for each person.
- Sturdy shoes.
- Hat, gloves, and a jacket.
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
Here are some other items for your family to consider adding to its disaster kit
- First aid book.
- Area maps.
- Cash or traveler's checks.
- Paper towels.
- Fire extinguisher.
- Matches in a waterproof container.
- Signal flare.
- Paper and pencils or pens.
- Household chlorine bleach to use as a disinfectant. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.