Disaster Supplies Kit
Disasters can happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not
have much time to respond. A highway spill or hazardous material could mean evacuation. A
winter storm could confine your family at home. An earthquake, flood, tornado, or any
other disaster could shut down water, electricity, and telephone service for days.
After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they
cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days. Would
your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives?
Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. One way to
prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you will not have
time to shop or search for supplies. But if you have gathered supplies in advance, your
family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.
Prepare Your Kit
- Review the checklist below.
- Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at
- Place the supplies you would most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry
container. These supplies are listed with an asterisk (*).
- There are six basics you should stock for 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.
Suggested items are marked with an asterisk(*).
Possible Containers Include!
- 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 persons will
- Store one gallon of water per person per day.
- Keep at least a three day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two
quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).*
- Store at least a three day supply of non-perishable food items. 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
- Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
First Aid Kit
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should
- Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antacid (for stomach upset)
- Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center
1-800-922-1117 or 1-803-777-1117)
- Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center 1-800-922-1117 or
Tools and Supplies
Clothing and Bedding
- Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or
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)
- 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 airtight plastic bags. Change your stored water supply every six months so
it stays fresh. Replace 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.