Assembling a disaster supply kit is one of the easiest things that can be done before a disaster occurs and is something that is good for not only hurricanes, but also severe rain or winter storms as well as earthquakes and other natural disasters. There are plenty of kit checklists and even pre-assembled kits available for purchase; however, your kit should be tailored to meet the specific needs for your family.
The most important thing about putting together a kit is to remember you not only need supplies to get you through the storm but also for the potentially long and unpleasant aftermath. For instance, after Hurricane Ike, many in Houston and the surrounding area were out of power (and water) for days or weeks.
The basic thought is to have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of one week. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. Many of us have cell phones, and they all run on batteries. You’re going to need a portable, crank or solar powered USB charger. Here is a more complete list of several of the basic items you need:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Special Considerations for Medication and Food Storage (FDA Guidance)
And lastly, it is always a good idea to keep your vehicles full and have plenty of fuel safely stored during hurricane season. It is not necessarily apart of a disaster kit, but you could need fuel for equipment (i.e. chainsaws, generators, etc.) in addition to your vehicles. Fuel can become limited shortly before, during, and for extended periods after.
Resources for Creating a Disaster Kit (DIY)
Resources for Creating a Disaster Kit (Pre-Assembled)
In today’s Amazon.com world, there are several online retailers that have “complete” kits available for purchase. Please note that you should always review any pre-assembled kits to ensure it has the resources and items required for your specific family needs. This includes ensuring it has the proper quantity of resources per person.