Disaster Preparedness: The Essential Guide to Crafting Your Survival Kit

Disasters are unpredictable, often striking when you least expect it. The best way to protect your family and your home is to be prepared. One critical step in disaster preparedness is having a well-stocked disaster survival kit.

Understanding the Importance of a Disaster Survival Kit

A disaster survival kit is a collection of essential items your family might need in the event of a disaster. It should be portable, easy to carry, and usable at home or during an evacuation.

Why is a Disaster Survival Kit Important?

Having a disaster survival kit can mean the difference between life and death in a crisis scenario. It ensures you have necessary supplies to survive until help arrives.

Crafting Your Disaster Survival Kit

You can either purchase a pre-assembled emergency kit or create your own. It’s crucial to prepare your kit well before a disaster strikes and check your supplies every three months.

Key Items for Your Disaster Survival Kit

Every disaster survival kit should contain the following items:

  1. Water: One gallon per person, per day, for at least three days.
  2. Food: A three-day supply of non-perishable items.
  3. Shelter items: Blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, and towels.
  4. Clothing: Closed-toe, sturdy shoes, and a jacket or coat.
  5. Communication devices: NOAA weather radio or other battery-powered radio, cell phone, and charger.
  6. Important documents: Copies of insurance policies, identification, bank account records and emergency medical information — stored in a waterproof and portable container.
  7. Medications: Prescription medication and a first aid kit.
  8. Hygiene items: Personal hygiene items, feminine supplies, and dust masks.
  9. Tools: Basic tools such as a wrench, pliers, screwdriver, manual can opener, and local maps.
  10. Cash: Extra cash to cover unexpected expenses.

Additional Items to Consider

While the items listed above are essential, there are other items you may want to include in your disaster survival kit:

  • Child supplies: Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children, and baby supplies like bottles, formula, and diapers.
  • Pet supplies: Photocopies of medical records and photos of your pets, medications, feeding dishes, extra collar or harness, and leash, and a sturdy pet carrier.
  • Health supplies: Two pairs of latex or other sterile gloves, sterile dressings to stop bleeding, soap and antibiotic towelettes, and a variety of bandages.

Preparing for COVID-19 During a Disaster

The COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer of complexity to disaster preparedness. Here are a few additional steps to protect your health:

  • Order disaster supplies for home delivery if possible.
  • If in-person shopping is your only choice, take precautions to protect your health.
  • Limit in-person visits to the pharmacy. Manage prescriptions by signing up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time.
  • Prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, bar or liquid soap, and two cloth face coverings for each person.

Disaster Preparedness for Homeowners

Disasters can strike at any moment, with little notice. In order to protect your home and family, it is important to be prepared.

Creating a Family Preparedness Plan

A family preparedness plan contains four steps that families should take to be ready for any disaster.

  1. Communication plan: Decide how you will get in touch with each other and where you will meet if you can’t go home.
  2. Emergency plan: Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan how to stay safe and communicate during a disaster.
  3. Evacuation plan: Plan where to go and how to get there if you need to evacuate.
  4. Disaster supply kit: Assemble your kit as recommended in this guide.

Helping a Family Rebuild After a Disaster

Families who partner with us rebuild their homes alongside volunteers, pay an affordable mortgage and are grateful for your help.

Useful Resources

There are numerous resources available to help you prepare for a disaster:

Remember, the key to surviving a disaster is preparedness. Start building your disaster survival kit today and ensure your family’s safety tomorrow.

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