Protecting Your Family During A Disaster

Disaster can strike at any time. Whether it’s a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane or tornado, or, in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack, your family needs to be prepared to deal with the possible loss of basic services such as water and electricity. The following information and supplies lists are a good start to help you plan for a disaster.

There are six basics you should stock for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container. Possible containers include a large, covered trash container, a camping backpack, or a duffle bag.


Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.

* Store one gallon of water per person per day.
* Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).


Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:

* Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
* Canned juices
* Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
* High energy foods
* Vitamins
* Food for infants
* Comfort/stress foods

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car.

* Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
* Assorted sizes of safety pins
* Cleansing agent/soap
* Latex gloves (2 pairs)
* Sunscreen
* 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
* 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
* Triangular bandages (3)
* Non-prescription drugs
* 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
* 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
* Scissors
* Tweezers
* Needle
* Moistened towelettes
* Antiseptic
* Thermometer
* Tongue blades (2)
* Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Non-Prescription Drugs

* Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
* Anti-diarrhea medication
* Antacid (for stomach upset)
* Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
* Laxative
* Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Tools and Supplies

* Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
* Emergency preparedness manual
* Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
* Flashlight and extra batteries
* Cash or traveler’s checks, change
* Non-electric can opener, utility knife
* Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
* Tube tent
* Pliers
* Tape
* Compass
* Matches in a waterproof container
* Aluminum foil
* Plastic storage containers
* Signal flare
* Paper, pencil
* Needles, thread
* Medicine dropper
* Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
* Whistle
* Plastic sheeting
* Map of the area (for locating shelters)


* Toilet paper, towelettes
* Soap, liquid detergent
* Feminine supplies
* Personal hygiene items
* Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
* Plastic bucket with tight lid
* Disinfectant
* Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

* Sturdy shoes or work boots
* Rain gear
* Blankets or sleeping bags
* Hat and gloves
* Thermal underwear
* Sunglasses

From “Disaster Supplies Kit.” developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Comments are closed.