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Family Disaster Supply Kit

Why Your Family Needs a Disaster Supply Kit

You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. Households should be self-sufficient for at least three days (72 to 96 hours). This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last at least three days. The more severe the disaster, the longer you may be on your own. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days for rescue workers to meet your family’s needs. That’s why it’s vital to have a supplies kit on hand to be able to sustain yourself until assistance is available. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week or longer.

Your Disaster Supply KitFamily with Disaster Kit

Your family needs:

  • food

  • water

  • supplies

to survive for at least three days.

  • Keep your disaster supply kit in a designated place that all family members know.
  • Have your disaster supply kit (or at least part of it) easy to grab if you must leave your home.
  • Disaster supply kits are for survival, not necessarily comfort. Do not overpack with things you can live without.

What to Keep in Your Disaster Kit: Food

Water -- 1 gallon per person and per pet for each day; rotate supply every 6 months and use by "use by" date

Food -- about 2,000 calories per person per day

  • Nonperishable
  • Won’t make you thirsty
  • High-energy foods -- peanut butter, jelly, low-salt crackers and
    nuts, granola bars, whole-grain cereals, canned foods that can be eaten cold
  • High liquid content -- such as canned fruits
  • Comfort or stress-release foods -- sweetened cereals, candy, instant coffee, cookies
  • Special dietary needs -- infants, seniors, diabetics
  • No refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation
  • Manual can opener
  • Consider alternative cooking sources -- solar oven, alcohol fuel fondue pot

What to Keep in Your Disaster Kit: Supplies

  • Clothing

  • Blankets

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Toilet paper and plastic pail

  • Battery or windup flashlight, extra batteries

  • Whistle to blow for help if you need to be found

  • Battery or windup radio -- NOAA weather radio is best

  • Comfort items -- favorite doll, toy or book for children; games, books

  • Prescription medications and other specialized medical supplies

  • First aid kit -- purchase or assemble one with supplies listed at www.ready.gov or www.redcross.org

  • Nonprescription drugs -- aspirin, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids and any other medications your family uses

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