Monday, May 20, 2013

Disaster Preparedness - Build Your Kit

I never thought twice about having a disaster kit(s) and being prepared for one.  Then I made the mistake of reading about the "end of the world" predictions.  Although I did NOT buy into it, I did reevaluate the need to have a disaster kit(s).  Then this week the weather has threatened areas in the Midwest with Tornado's and I thought that I would share with you our kit that we made a few months back.

There are so many sites that offer checklists for a disaster kit.  I looked at my fair share and my husband and I decided to work off of the FEMA and websites. 

Unfortunately, we do not have pets in our home, but if you do make sure you have a disaster kit and plan for them as well.

I was overwhelmed at this task.  The list is daunting, expensive, and first.  However, once you have the kit(s) finished you feel "safer" and a sense of accomplishment.

Some tips while making your kits...and if you have others please share them with us!
  1. Break the list down into sections.
  2. Add a few things or a particular section to your normal shopping list.  By gradually adding to the kit it becomes more affordable and less stressful.
  3. In your calendar make a note every 6 months to check the stock and expiration's of the supplies.
  4. Reevaluate your needs every year and adjust the kit accordingly.
  5. 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.

*I will provide you all the necessary links at the end of the post but first here are some items to help get you started.
From FEMA: Basic Disaster Supplies
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • First aid kit
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit - EFFAK (PDF - 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

There are many more items that you will want to consider for you kit.  Check the following sites for a print out checklist of your own.

Family Supply List
Additional Items

State of Illinois
Disaster Kit

For Your Pets
Animal Kit


  1. I think you had already covered all the required things in your disaster preparedness kit. Infact I founded some new things from here which can be added while we are in camping.

    1. That is GREAT! Thank you for your comment. I actually just did our 6 month check and will be rotating winter clothes for summer clothes for the kids and ourselves.