As we all know, a natural disaster can strike at anytime. You may not always have a day or two notice when severe weather is on its way, in fact you may just have a matter of minutes. Because such severe weather and disaster can occur at the drop of a dime, it is important to have an emergency supply kit on hand at all times. Most people are aware they need emergency supplies on hand, but are not sure exactly of what those supplies in their entirety may be. Below, you will find a comprehensive list of how to assemble a basic disaster supply kit and keep your family prepared in the case of an emergency!
Don’t be caught unprepared. Take a look below at the items that agencies such as Red Cross and FEMA deem necessary for surviving a disaster. It is ideal that you have enough to last 72 hours, or at least three days, so keep that in mind when making your own list and assembling your kit. Here is how to get started.
How to Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit:
Here is what you need, why you need it, and how much you need of it.
You are going to want one gallon of water per person per day. You should have enough for at least three days. Remember you will not only need it for drinking but for sanitation reasons as well. Save your gallon milk jugs to store water and keep it fresh for sanitation, and opt for bottled water or spring water in the gallon jug for consumption. In the case that your water is still unsanitary, you will want a water purification kit.
A Life Straw is a HUGELY helpful piece of equipment to keep in your kit for an emergency situation that outlasts your water supply.
You will want at least a three-day supply of food. All food items should be non-perishable. You don’t want to need your food stash only to see it is spoiled, so be sure your items have a lengthy shelf life. Examples include canned fruits and vegetables, canned meat products for protein such as canned ham or Spam, dried goods such as beans and rice, etc. Opt for foods with high fiber and protein contents. Don’t forget, to open these items you will need a manual can opener as well. Energy Bars are great short term emergency food items.
If you have pets or young children, don’t forget you should have a supply of canned pet foods and baby formula you can use. In the case of an emergency, they won’t be able to make due on the canned food products and will need their own specialized food items.
A radio will be your link to the world, so you will want a reliable one as well as plenty of batteries to keep it operating. You can’t count on having electricity so a battery or hand crank, or even solar powered radio is a must. You can find these anywhere electronics are sold and many makes are models are recommended by the National Weather Association.
Flashlight and extra batteries:
Electricity may not be available and if you should find yourself in the dark, you will want a flashlight and plenty of batteries to keep it operating. Disaster can strike at any time of day, so a reliable light source is a must. Once you have a flash light, feel free to add candles and matches (kept in a container to stay dry) to the kit as well.
Again, this LED Flashlight doubles as a weather radio, smart phone charger and power bank with cables. It’s also handcrank and solar powered to survive when the batteries run out! If you’re going to be able to work on anything with your hands free – might be a good idea to have an LED helmet in your bugout bag.
There is no telling how long you will have to wait out this emergency, so keep a water proof tote full of blankets, warm bedding, and changes of clothing. Don’t worry about them matching or being pricey or fancy. You just want to aim for practical. You can keep them in a protective tote with a dryer sheet for freshness. Plan on one change of clothes per person for three days.
So where do you store all of these items? You can find waterproof, airtight containers at many retailers and on Amazon. These are ideal for storing all of these supplies. For an added measure of safety, you can choose to put your supplies in a plastic zip bag before putting them in the containers. Container should then be stored off the ground on simple shelving in your basement, cellar, closet, or wherever your location in an emergency would be.
You don’t need to feel anxiety about disasters happening. Instead, take that energy and make sure you and your family are prepared. As we have already seen, you may only have a moments notice, so a disaster kit such as this is essential.