Is Your Family Prepared?

Every plan starts with a kit.

When it comes to disasters, an emergency kit can be the difference that helps keep a bad situation from getting worse. At minimum, you should pack a kit with enough materials to last you and your family for at least three days. Although every family’s needs are different, this basic checklist can help get you started.

disaster kit from above

The Basics:

  • Water – One gallon per person per day to cover drinking, washing and cooking.
  • Drinking Water Tablets – Helps purify water when a trusted source is inaccessible.
  • First Aid Kit – A 50-piece kit is sufficient for a family of four.
  • Canned Food/Can Opener/Utensils – Remember to rotate food out of your emergency kit every few months.
  • Emergency Blanket – Also known as a space blanket, this can keep you warm without taking up excess space.
  • Warm Clothes – Sweaters, heavy-duty jeans, socks, gloves, etc.
  • Sturdy Shoes - Select a pair that can traverse dangerous debris or terrain. 

The Essentials:

  • Medication – Keep a week’s supply of necessary prescriptions along with a list.
  • Eyeglasses – Keep an extra pair on hand.
  • Dust Mask – Helps reduce smoke or dust inhalation.
  • Bleach – Useful for quick and efficient disinfecting.
  • Essential Infant and/or Pet Care Items – Include vaccination records.
  • Hygiene Products – Tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.
  • Toilet Chamicals and Plastic Bucket - Proper sanitaion and plumbing may be unavailable. 

The Tools:

  • Battery-Powered Radio – Your only reliable link to rescue information and news.
  • Flashlights – Keep multiple flashlights in your kit and throughout the house.
  • Batteries – To be stored separately from your electronics. Make sure you have the correct size.
  • Candles – Keep a few for instant light and heat.
  • Matches/Lighter – Make sure they’re waterproof.
  • Light Sticks – Glow sticks can provide safe illumination if you suspect a gas leak in the area.
  • Clock – Also battery-powered.
  • Fire Extinguisher – Make sure you know how to use it before an emergency.
  • Multifunctional Knife/Axe – Handy in many emergency situations. Keep away from children.
  • Whistle – Can help indicate your location and call for help.
  • Trash Bags – Storage and sanitation.
  • Small Tent – For emergency shelter.
  • Cooking Stove with Propane Fuel – To heat food and/or boil water in emergencies.
  • Heavy Gloves – To help move debris and broken glass.
  • Shovel – To help move debris and dig out of areas.
  • Rope – To help secure items and move things.
  • Wrench – To help shut off utilities if necessary.

The Documents:

  • Currency – Useful in case local ATMs are out of service.
  • Copies of Important Documents – Includes papers like deeds, birth certificates and insurance policies. Store the originals in a safe place like a waterproof container or bank safe deposit box.
  • Copies of Important Phone Numbers – Keep a hard copy of family and emergency numbers.

Pet Considerations:

  • Go-Bag Essentials – Include a leash, food and water bowls, medication or prescription refills, a carrier, and a 2- to 3-week supply of food, water and litter. Include their favorite bedding or toy to help keep them calm.
  • Identify Pet-Friendly Shelters – Many evacuation shelters don’t accept pets, so it’s crucial to locate pet-friendly shelters and hotels before disaster strikes.


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