In a disaster situation, many of the things we take for granted - clean water, food, electricity - become unavailable or in short supply.
This is why making a preparedness kit is so important - it ensures you and your family will be able to take care of themselves until help arrives.
Remember that even though you may be scared during a disaster, your parents may be just as scared as you are! It's important for you to stay as calm as you can.
What is a preparedness kit?
A preparedness kit is a kit you and your family fill with the basic necessities to last at least three days and preferably two weeks, in the event of a disaster. These include water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, bedding and tools and emergency supplies.
What should I put in my preparedness kit?
Store one gallon per person per day. Keep the water in plastic containers, but not milk containers; use two-liter plastic soda bottles or bottled water instead.
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, keeping your selections as lightweight as possible; e.g., canned fruit, vegetables. Avoid salty foods. Don't forget to include a can-opener!
First Aid Kit
Include band-aids and sterile adhesive bandages of various sizes; antibacterial soap; sterile gauze 2" and 4" in size; scissors; tweezers; medications; pain relievers; and extra pairs of contact lenses or eyeglasses for family members who wear them.
Store one extra set of shoes and clothing for each family member in the kit, making sure the clothes stored are appropriate for any weather condition. If you live in a colder climate like Wyoming, make sure the change of clothes includes a sweatshirt or jacket, a hat and gloves.
Store one sleeping bag for each member of the family, as well as blankets and pillows.
Tools and supplies
Include paper cups, plates and plastic utensils; a utility knife; pliers; a battery-operated radio with extra batteries; duct tape; a plastic storage container; waterproof matches; and a flashlight stored with batteries inserted backward to preserve charge.
Important Family Documents
Keep the following in waterproof container to prevent damage: Will; insurance policies; contract deeds; stocks and bonds; passports; social security cards; immunization cards; bank account numbers; credit card account numbers and companies - names, addresses, and contact information; inventory of valuable household goods using photos or video for documentation; important telephone numbers; and family records (birth, marriage, death certificates). You can also scan these in and just keep them on a flash drive to save space.
Where is the best place to store my disaster kit?
An easy way to keep your items stored and ready when you need them is to divide them between one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trash can, camping backpack or duffel bag. Keep canned foods in a dry place where the temperature is cool.
Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.