Family Preparedness Kit

slider-prepkitA family preparedness kit helps to ensure that you have the tools and supplies that you and your family need during an emergency or disaster.  While there are a number of “off-the-shelf” kits that can be purchased, building your own kit is simple and relatively cheap.  Here are a list of supplies you want to include in your preparedness kit.

Basic Disaster Supplies

  • Water – one gallon per person per day for at least three (3) days
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank  NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask to filter contaminated air
  • Duct tape
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for sanitation purposes)
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Inverter or solar charger

Supplies for Unique Needs

For the baby:

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications
  • Moist towelettes
  • Diaper rash ointment

For adults:

  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies (or glasses)
  • Medications

For the weather/environment:

  • Coats
  • Long pants
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • Extra pair of shoes or boots
  • Change of clothes

What Should be in the First Aid Kit?

  • At least 2 pairs of non-latex gloves
  • Sterile dressings
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn ointment
  • Adhesive bandages (band-aids) in a variety of sizes
  • Eye wash solution
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications that are taken regularly
  • Prescribed medical supplies, such as glucose, epipens, or blood pressure monitoring devices
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Laxative
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Lubricating jelly

What about money and other things?

You should also include a few other supplies once you have your basic kit put together:

  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Important family documents (identification cards, bank account records, insurance policies, birth certificates, etc.)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Personal fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine hygiene items
  • Plastic eating utensils, paper cups, paper plates, and napkins
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, and other activities for children

What about our pets?

Always make sure to include your pets in your emergency planning.  While packing for you and your family, be sure to think of your pet as a family member.  A few useful items to include in your kit are:

  • Pet food and water
  • Medications
  • Collar with ID tag
  • Leashes and carriers
  • Shot records

How do I maintain my kit?

Maintaining your family preparedness kit is just as important as putting one together.  Maintaining the kit makes sure that your supplies are safe to use when you need them.  Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
  • Store boxed food in a tightly closed plastic or metal container
  • Throw away any canned good that become swollen, dented, or corroded
  • Use food before they go bad and replace with fresh ones
  • Place new items on the back of the storage area and older ones at the front
  • Write dates on all containers and change stored food and water every 6 months
  • Rethink your needs every year and update your kits as your family’s needs change.