FAMILY DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT
In the middle of the night, you are forced to evacuate your home. You don’t have time to start putting together food, water, first-aid kit and important papers. You must have these items packed and ready to go before disaster strikes.
Pack a minimum of three-days supply of food and water. Select foods that are ready-to-eat, nutritious, and non-perishable. In addition, pack these emergency items:
There are six basics you should stock for your home:
- first aid supplies
- clothing and bedding
- tools and emergency supplies
- special items.
Keep the items in an easy-to carry container–suggested items are marked with an asterisk(*). Possible containers include, a camping backpack, or a duffel bag, and as a last resort, a large, covered trash container. Water
- Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using 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 at least one gallon of water per person per day (more if possible).
- 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).*
Three Ways to Treat Water
Contaminated water cause diseases such as dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis. You should treat ALL water of uncertain purity before using it for drinking, food preparation or hygiene.
Two easy treatment methods are outlined below. These measures will kill most microbes but will not remove other contaminants such as heavy metals, salts and most other chemicals. Before treating, let any suspended particles settle to the bottom, or strain them through layers of paper towel or clean cloth.
Boiling: Boiling is the safest method of treating water. Bring water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes, keeping in mind that some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking.
Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it by pouring the water back and forth between two clean containers. This will also improve the taste of stored water.
Disinfection: You can use household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms. Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners.
Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes.
The only agent used to treat water should be household liquid bleach. Other chemicals, such as iodine or water treatment products sold in camping or surplus stores that do not contain 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient, are not recommended and should not be used.
While the two methods described above will kill most microbes in water, distillation will remove microbes that resist these methods, and heavy metals, salts and most other chemicals. It is also the most complex method
Distillation: Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt and other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.
- Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. 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.
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Assorted sizes of safety pins
- Cleansing agent/soap
- Latex gloves (2 pairs)
- 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- Triangular bandages (3)
- Non-prescription drugs
- 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
- 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
- Moistened towelettes
- Tongue blades (2)
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- 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)
- Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)
Tools and Supplies
- Shovel and other useful tools (hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, etc.)
- Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils*
- Emergency preparedness manual*
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries*
- Flashlight and extra batteries*
- Cash or traveler’s checks, change*
- Non-electric can opener, utility knife*
- Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
- Tube tent
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic storage containers
- Signal flare
- Paper, pencil
- Needles, thread
- Medicine dropper
- Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
- Plastic sheeting
- Map of the area (for locating shelters)
- Toilet paper, towelettes*
- Soap, liquid detergent*
- Feminine supplies*
- Personal hygiene items*
- Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
- Plastic bucket with tight lid
- Household chlorine bleach
Clothing and BeddingInclude at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
- Sturdy shoes or work boots*
- Rain gear*
- Blankets or sleeping bags*
- Hat and gloves
- Thermal underwear
Special Items (if appropriate)
Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons
- Powdered milk
- Heart and high blood pressure medication
- Prescription drugs
- Denture needs
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Extra eye glasses
- Hearing aid batteries
- Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.
- Prescription medications in their original bottle, plus copies of the prescriptions
- Eyeglasses (with a copy of the prescription)
- Medical equipment and devices, such as dentures, crutches, prostheses, etc.
- Games and books
Important Family Documents
- Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
- Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds copies of recent tax returns
- Passports, social security cards, immunization records
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and companies
- Driver’s license or personal identification
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supplies kit in
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.
The information in this article was abstracted from publication of the American Red Cross and FEMA. the trunk of your car.