Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water, and
other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers
will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help
in hours, or it might take days.
Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for
days, or even a week or longer. Or, you may have to evacuate at a moment's notice and take
essentials with you. You probably will not have the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items that members of a household may need in the
event of a disaster.
You should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at
least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.
Additionally, in determining adequate quantities, take the following into account:
Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.
Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water.
Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
A medical emergency might require additional water.
How Should I Store Water?
To prepare safest and most reliable emergency supply of water, it is recommended you purchase
commercially bottled water. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open it until you
need to use it
Observe me expiration or "use by" date.
The following are things to consider when putting together your food supplies:
Avoid foods mat will make you thirsty. Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and
canned foods with high liquid content.
Stock canned foods, dry mixes, and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking,
water, or special preparation. You may already have many of these on hand. (Note: Be sure to
include a manual can opener.)
Include special dietary needs.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
The following items are recommended for inclusion in your basic disaster supplies kit:
Three-day supply of non-perishable food.
Three-day supply of water - one gallon of water per person, per day.
Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
Flashlight and extra batteries.
First aid kit and manual.
Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
Matches and waterproof container.
Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
Photocopies of credit and identification cards.
Cash and coins.
Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and
hearing aid batteries.
Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
Other items to meet your unique family needs.
If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat.
Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing
and shoes per person, including:
Jacket or coat.
Long sleeve shirt.
Hat, mittens, and scarf.
Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person).
Be sure to account for growing children and other family changes. See Appendix B for a detailed
checklist of disaster supplies. You may want to add some of the items listed to your basic disaster
supplies kit depending on the specific needs of your family.
Maintaining Your Disaster Supplies Kit
Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when
needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:
Keep canned foods in a dry place where the temperature is cool.
Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to
extend its shelf life.
Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented, or corroded.
Use foods before they go bad, and replace them with fresh supplies.
Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it
on all containers.
Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family needs change.
Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-
to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack, or duffel bag.