According to RIEMA, a disaster supply kit should provide a collection of basic items that household members may need in the event of a disaster. A disaster-supply kit can be used in your home if there is an extended power outage or it could be used if you have to leave your home and go to a shelter. During an emergency, you will probably not have time to shop or search for the items you need.
What do I need?
The following items, according to RIEMA, should be included in any disaster kit:
- Water (one gallon per person per day)
- Food (preferably non-perishable)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Weather radio
- Cash (banks and ATMs may be unavailable)
- Manual can opener
- Disposable plates and utensils
- First-aid supplies
- Bedding (blankets, pillows, sleeping bags)
- Sanitation supplies (toilet paper, soap/liquid detergent, feminine supplies, sanitary wipes)
- Prescriptions and medications
- Keys for house and car
- Toys, books, games
- Important documents
- Special-needs items (walker, can, glasses, etc)
- Infant needs
- Pet care needs
- Health insurance information
What do I do next?
Once you have your storm-ready kit made, you need to store the items properly so they are safe to use if and when they are needed. Here are more tips from RIEMA:
- Keep canned foods in a cool, dry place. Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen or corroded.
- Keep boxed foods in tightly sealed plastic or metal containers.
- Change stored food and water supplies every six months.
- Regularly check your disaster kit to make sure all items are in good working order.
- Put all supplies in one or two easy to carry containers.