Why Prepare?

Basic Preparedness
Getting Informed
Planning and Checklists
Special Needs
Disaster Supplies Kit

Natural Hazards
Thunderstorms and lightning
Winter storms and extreme cold
Extreme heat
Landslides and debris flow

Technological Hazards
Hazardous materials incidents
Household chemical emergencies
Nuclear power plant emergencies

Biological threats
Chemical threats
Nuclear blasts
Radiological dispersion device events

Recovering from Disaster
Health and safety guidelines
Returning home
Seeking disaster assistance
Coping with disaster
Helping others

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in ample quantity to last for at least three days. 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, at the worst, days.
Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for weeks or longer. There may be need to evacuate at a moment’s notice and have to take essentials with you, not having the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you need.
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items that members of a household may need in the event of a disaster.

Where should I keep a Supplies Kit?
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs be sure to prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.

Your disaster supplies kit should contain essential food, water, and supplies for at least three days.

Keep this kit in a desig¬nated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.

Additionally, you may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks

This kit should be in one container, and ready to "grab and go" in case you are evacuated from your workplace.

Make sure you have food and water in the kit. Also, be sure to have com¬fortable walking shoes at your workplace in case an evacuation requires walking long distances.

In case you are strand¬ed, keep a kit of emer¬gency supplies in your car.

This kit should contain food, water, first aid supplies, flares, jumper cables, and seasonal supplies.

What can I do to Plan for Water Needs?

How Much Water do I Need?

You should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.
Additionally, in determining adequate quantities, take the following into account:
Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate

Children, nursing mothers and ill people need more water

Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed

A medical emergency might require additional water

How Should I Store Water?

To prepare the safest and most reliable emergency supply of water, it is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open it until you need to use it.
Observe the expiration or “use by” date.

If you are preparing your own containers of water

It is recommended you purchase approved water storage containers from surplus or camping stores to use for water storage. Before filling with water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and water and rinse completely.
If you choose to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles – not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them. Cardboard containers also leak easily and are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.

Filling water containers

Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water. Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so that you know when you filled it. Store in a cool, dark place. Replace the water every six months if not using commercially bottled water.

How can I plan for Food?
The following are things to consider when putting together your food supplies:
Avoid foods that will make you thirsty. Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content

Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation

Include special dietary needs

Just what is in a Basic Disaster Supplies Kit?
The following items are recommended for inclusion in your basic disaster supplies kit:
Three-day supply of non-perishable food

Three-day supply of water

Portable, battery-powered radio and extra batteries

Flashlight and extra batteries

First aid kit and manual

Sanitation and hygiene items

Matches and waterproof container


Extra clothing

Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener

Photocopies of credit and identification cards

Cash and coins

Special needs items—any everyday items that are necessary for your day to day life

Items for infants

Other items to meet your unique family needs
If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:
Jacket or coat

Long pants

Long sleeve shirt

Sturdy shoes

Hat, mittens and scarf

Sleeping bag or warm blanket per person
Be sure to account for growing children and other family changes. You may want to add some items depending on the specific needs of your family.

What about Maintaining My Disaster Supplies Kit?
Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:
Keep canned foods in a cool and dry place

Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to extend its shelf life

Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented or corroded

Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies

Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front

Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers

Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family needs change

Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag