Disaster Supply Kit and Information
After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days. Would your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives?
Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you won't have time to shop or search for supplies. But if you've gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.
To prepare your kit
Review the checklists in this document.
Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home.
Place the supplies you'd most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. These supplies are listed with an asterisk (*).
Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond.
A highway spill of hazardous material could mean instant evacuation.
A winter storm could confine your family at home. An earthquake, flood, tornado or any other disaster could cut off basic services--gas, water, electricity and telephones--for days.
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 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:
First Aid Kit
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:
- 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)
- Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)
Contact your local American Red Cross chapter to obtain a basic first aid manual.
There are six basics you should stock in 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--suggested items are marked with an asterisk(*). Possible containers include a large, covered trash container; a camping backpack; or a duffle bag.
Tools and Supplies
Clothing and Bedding
*Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.
SUGGESTIONS AND REMINDERS
CREATE A FAMILY DISASTER PLAN
To get started...
Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your local American Red Cross chapter.
Meet with your family.
Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster.
1) a location a safe distance from your home in case of fire.
2) a place outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
Complete these steps.
Meet with your neighbors.
Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbors' skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can't get home.
Remember to practice and maintain your plan.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Community and Family Preparedness Program and the American Red Cross Disaster Education Program are nationwide efforts to help people prepare for disasters of all types. For more information, please contact your local or State Office of Emergency Management, and your local American Red Cross chapter. Ask for "Your Family Disaster Plan" and the "Emergency Preparedness Checklist."
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