As we all know, a natural disaster can strike at any time. 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 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. Ideally, you have enough to last 72 hours, or at least three days, so keep that in mind when making your 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 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 to 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 and 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 flashlight, 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, smartphone charger, and power bank with cables. It’s also hand-crank 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 – it 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 waterproof 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. The 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 anxious 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 moment’s notice, so a disaster kit such as this is essential.