www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/dissup.html or use a first aid manual for guidance. Gather up the needed items from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers and wherever else supplies are stored and put them together in one location. This will enable you to grab it and go if you have to leave and will save you time in a crisis.
The second part of the kit includes tools and emergency supplies that might be needed in case you have to evacuate your home quickly, or in case you are confined to your home due to a natural, biological, chemical or nuclear disaster.
The American Red Cross recommends that this part of the kit include:
- A radio that can be powered by batteries to listen for emergency announcements
- Batteries that are stored outside of the radio and flashlights (for longer life.)
- Enough food and water for each household member for three days. Special needs must be addressed such as provisions for correct food texture, for example.
- A complete change of clothing for each person, including footwear
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Sanitary supplies such as toilet paper, soap, disinfectant, chlorine bleach, personal hygiene items such as menstrual supplies or incontinent briefs, and garbage bags
- Plastic sheeting and tape
- Personal identification and cash, traveler’s checks or credit card
- Emergency contact information and family information including medication and health information stored in a waterproof container
The most important part of assembling a disaster kit for 2003 is the personalization of that kit. Include prescription medication, (Meds to be reviewed every six months for accuracy) extra eyeglasses, and seasonal clothing. You may wish to include a few games, cards or books.
During some types of emergencies, you may be directed to stay at home and “shelter in place”. If it is not safe to go outdoors, or if the water supply becomes contaminated, the kit supplies will keep you and your family safe.
Once you have assembled your kit, determine the best place to keep it. Storing it near your food supplies reminds you to rotate food periodically by using something from the kit (like a can of soup) and replacing it. Plan to replace the food and water every six months and replace batteries once a year. Put things that you might need, in the event of an evacuation, into a duffel bag or similar carrier so that it is easy to grab when you are in a hurry.
Preparing for emergencies provides some confidence that you are ready even if something unpredictable happens.