In many cases, a disaster preparedness kit is meant to sustain the food, water, and medical needs of you and your family in the event of a disaster. It’s best to start by building 72 hour kits for each member of your household to get through the initial stages of the disaster.
Some Disasters Go Beyond 72 Hours
Once you’ve got the basics covered for 72 hours, it’s time to start working on your one month disaster preparedness kit. That’s right—you want to be able to sustain your whole household for one month without running to the store. The more self reliant you can be in a disaster, the better off you and your community will be.
Gathering a month’s worth of supplies sounds like a lot to find storage space for, but many of the items you use in an emergency are the same things you use to go camping. There is no reason why your camping bedding can’t help you out if disaster strikes.
There are basic items that everyone needs to include in their kits, but keep in mind the specific needs members of your household have. For example, you may need to include insulin or an asthma inhaler. Start with the key ingredients to your kit: food, water, and air. Then, branch out from there.
The Basic Disaster Preparedness Kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day
- Food (enough for each person in your family to eat three meals a day for a month)
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Extra batteries
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Clothing and Blankets:
- At least two sets of clothing for each family member (remember this for one month—you’ll want to have something to wear while you wash your clothes)
- Two sets of underwear for each family member
- At least one Jacket or coat for each family member
- Sturdy shoes for each person
- A hat and gloves for each person
- A warm blanket or sleeping bag for each person