Personal and Home Preparations
There are many places in which one can find information about preparedness items and actions for personal and home preparation. Included are local county/city emergency management offices and local television news websites.
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air, and shelter.
You'll need to plan for two situations: Remaining in your home after a disaster or evacuating to a safer location.
Have a three-day supply of food and water on hand — plan for one gallon of water per person per day and food that won't spoil.
Keep a manual can opener and emergency tools including a fire extinguisher, battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of batteries.
Disaster Supply Checklist
Be sure to gather the following items to ensure your family's basic comfort and well-being in case of evacuation.
- Cash — Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods.
- Water — At least one gallon per person for three to seven days.
- Food — At least enough for three to seven days, including: Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices, food for infants or the elderly, snack food, non-electric can opener, vitamins, paper plates, plastic utensils.
- Radio — Battery powered and NOAA weather radio.
- Blankets, pillows, etc.
- Clothing — Seasonal, rain gear/ sturdy shoes.
- First Aid Kit — Medicines, prescription drugs.
- Special items — For babies and the elderly.
- Toiletries — Hygiene items, moisture wipes.
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Toys, books, games.
- Pet care items to include proper identification, immunization records, ample food and water, medicine, a carrier or cage, leash.
Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler's checks and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper — When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Store important documents in a fire and water proof container. Include:
- Insurance papers
- Medical records
- Bank account numbers
- Social Security cards
- Deeds or mortgages
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Stocks and bonds
- Recent tax returns
Keep Your Kit Fresh — Remember to replace stored food and water every six months, keep a supply of fresh batteries on hand and keep your most important up-to-date family papers in a fire and water proof container.
The Importance of Water — Stocking an emergency water supply should be one of your top priorities so you will have enough water on hand for yourself and your family. While individual needs will vary depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate, a normally active person needs at least two quarts of drinking water daily. Children, nursing mothers and people who are ill need more water.
Very hot temperatures can also double the amount of water needed. Because you will also need water for sanitary purposes, and possibly for cooking, you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. When storing water, use thoroughly washed plastic, fiberglass or enamel-lined containers. Don't use containers that can break, such as glass bottles. Never use a container that has held toxic substances. Plastic containers, like soda bottles, are best. Seal your water containers tightly, label them and store them in a cool, dark place. It is important to change stored water every six months.
On the site Ready.gov, we are encouraged to have a "Family Emergency Plan." We encourage each of you to check this information out by clicking the image at the top.