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  • Writer's pictureMarty Walt

Are You Disaster Ready?

Updated: May 2, 2023




Are you ready for when a natural disaster strikes? Thankfully, we don’t live in an area that has a lot of natural disasters. However, as we’ve seen recently, they can strike anywhere and at any time, so that’s no excuse to not be prepared. But, what do you really need to do to prepare properly? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. So, you should plan to have enough food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days and up to 10 days.

Recommended Items To Include In A Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  1. Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

  2. Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

  3. Battery-powered or hand crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

  4. Flashlight and extra batteries

  5. First aid kit

  6. Whistle to signal for help

  7. Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

  8. Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation

  9. Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

  10. Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

  11. Local maps

  12. Cell phone with chargers, inverter,s or solar charger

Additional Items To Consider Adding To An Emergency Supply Kit:

  1. Prescription medications and glasses

  2. Infant formula and diapers

  3. Pet food and extra water for your pet

  4. Cash or traveler’s checks and change

  5. 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, 277Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA, and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.

  6. Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov.

  7. Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

  8. 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.

  9. Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluting 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 bleach with added cleaners.

  10. Fire Extinguisher

  11. Matches in a waterproof container

  12. Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

  13. Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels

  14. Paper and pencil

  15. Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children

  16. Find out how to keep food safe during and after an emergency by visiting FoodSafety.gov.

Here’s Something To Think About…

Ask your child’s school for a copy of their emergency plan for you to keep at home or work.

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