Disaster Supply Kit

Learn How to Easily Create a
Emergency Supply Kit for Your Family

A disaster supply kit is important to ensure your family's safety in case of a widespread disaster or emergency. You will need to gather supplies from the following categories:

  • Food and water
  • Personal hygiene
  • Special needs items for babies, the elderly, and the ill or disabled
  • Tools for food preparation, emergency utility shutoff, and first aid
  • A checklist with important contact information, and the location of important family documents

Creating a Disaster Supply Kit

If a disaster should happen in your community, there is a chance that you will be without electricity, food, and water for an extended period of time. Preparing ahead for this type of emergency with adequate supplies of food, water, and other necessary supplies is important to ensure your family's survival should the need arise. While an acute emergency is unlikely to last for two weeks, it's a good idea to create an emergency preparedness kit with a two-week supply of emergency food and water on hand.

Food and water are a critical component of your family's disaster supply kit. Your family will need adequate sustenance in the form of canned goods, dry goods, or food that can be prepared by adding water alone. Make sure to have a supply of foods on hand that don't require cooking in case you are without electricity.

When it comes to storing water, realize that you will need enough to cover daily hydration and hygiene needs for your family. A good rule of thumb is to store one gallon of water per person per day. A two week supply per person, then, is 14 gallons. If you don't have the space to store this much water, store as much as you can. Each person's daily allotment includes about one-half gallon for drinking, and another one-half gallon for hygiene needs.

Be sure to account for the nutritional needs of babies, the elderly, or disabled family members. Stock a supply of medicines (over-the-counter and prescription), baby bottles and baby formula, diapers, wipes, and other personal care items. Other things to include are asthma inhalers, denture care items, extra glasses, special foods, or any other specialized equipment. If you can obtain extras of these important items, store them with your disaster supply kit. Otherwise, make sure all equipment is well maintained, functioning properly, and store it where it can be easily found in an emergency.

Personal hygiene items are a must for both aesthetic and health reasons. Include toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, feminine hygiene items, and a comb or brush. Also include toilet paper, wet wipes, soap, liquid hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, heavy duty garbage bags, disinfecting wipes, a plastic bucket with lid, and chlorine bleach.

Your emergency preparedness kit should include a change of clothing and sturdy shoes for each family member, as well as blankets to stay warm if there is no source of heat. Depending on the season, have hats, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, and other seasonal items available.

Make sure to have vital tools and utensils on hand. You'll need a can opener, disposable dinnerware and flatware, plastic storage bags, and plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Make sure you have the necessary tools to shut of the water and gas to your home if that becomes necessary. Most importantly, keep a well stocked first aid kit.

Finally, make sure to keep an emergency checklist with your disaster supply kit. This document should list the whereabouts of your vital records and important papers like birth certificates, passports, credit cards, insurance information, medical and emergency services, and local law enforcement. Keep all of these documents together in a safe place such as a home filing system so that you can easily retrieve them if you must evacuate your home.

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