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Emergency Supply Kit

Family Disaster Kit

One way to prepare ahead of time for a disaster is to assemble a family disaster kit. This kit should contain six basics -- water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and special items. Keep items you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container such as a large, covered trash can, a camping backpack or a duffel bag. Following is a list of suggested supplies for the kit.


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 four gallons of water per person per day.

Keep at least a Four-day supply of water for each person in your household. Also keep a supply of water purifying agents in the kit. After the municipal water system fails, do not drink the water from the faucets, or from shallow wells used for watering grass. Keep in mind that toilets require water to flush. Sanitary conditions can quickly get out of hand after a hurricane. Additional water will be needed to flush toilets. In some cases, even with water, toilets may not be able to flush.


Store at least a four-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, cooking or preparation. Donít forget to pack a can opener.

Milk -- powdered or canned
Canned meats, fruits and vegetables
Soups -- bouillon cubes or dried "soups in a cup"
High energy foods -- peanut butter, jelly, crackers, nuts, health food bars, trail mix
Smoked or dried meats
Staples -- sugar, salt, pepper
Stress foods Ė sugar cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals

Using a Generator

Never use a generator indoors. If you plan to run a generator, follow the manufacturer's instructions on use. Keep in mind that generators use a lot of fuel that could be hard to obtain following a hurricane. If you store additional fuel, be sure to store the gas in suitable "Gasoline Approved" containers and store them in a cool and protected place.

First Aid Kit

You should have at least two first aid kits -- one for your home and one for each car you drive. A basic first aid kit should include:

Sterile adhesive bandages
3-inch sterile gauze pads (8-12)
Triangular bandages (3)
2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
Bar of soap
Moist towelettes (8-10 packages)
2-inch sterile gauze pads (8-12)
Adhesive tape
Safety razor blade
Tongue depressor
Petroleum jelly
Safety pins
Latex gloves
Non-prescription pain relievers
Anti-diarrhea medication
Rubbing alcohol
Antiseptic spray

Clothing and Bedding

Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person, as well as these items:

Sturdy shoes or work boots
Rain gear
Blankets or sleeping bags
Hats and gloves
Thermal underwear

Tools and Supplies

Mess kits or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
Cash or travelerís checks, change
Flashlight and extra batteries
Utility knife
Matches in waterproof container
Aluminum foil
Plastic storage containers
Paper, pencil
Needle, thread
Medicine dropper
Shut-off wrench, to turn off water, gas
Plastic sheeting
Map of the area (for locating shelters)
Toilet paper
Soap or liquid detergent
Personal hygiene items

Other items to consider packing are: a small ABC type fire extinguisher, a tent, signal flares, plastic garbage bags and ties, a small shovel, a small plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid, disinfectant and household clorine bleach.

Special Items

Remember family members with special needs such as infants, elderly or disabled persons.

For Baby
Powered milk
For Adults
Heart and high blood pressure medication
Denture needs
Extra eye glasses
Prescription drugs
Contact lenses and supplies

Also consider packing small games for children and books for adults.

Copies of important family documents should be packed in a waterproof, portable container. These papers include:

Wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
Passports, social security cards, immunization records
Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
Family records (birth, marriage certificates)

Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version in the trunk of your car. Keep the contents in air tight plastic bags. Stored water should be changed every three months so it stays fresh and stored food should be rotated every six months. Rethink your kit and family needs at least once a year and replace batteries, update clothes, etc. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.