9 Tips for a Home Disaster Preparedness Kit

by Susan Evans

Disasters and fires can occur quickly and without warning. When an emergency strikes, you may need to evacuate your neighborhood or be confined you to your home with no time to shop or search for supplies. So assemble a Home Disaster Preparedness Kit now.

Remember to make copies of important documents and records and add these to your waterproof kit.

What, Where and How

An emergency or evacuation can last a lot longer than just a few hours or overnight. When packing, think of what you would take on a two-week camping trip. Remember to pack for each family member.

  1. At the very least, have three days of food, water and extra clothing (socks, underwear, etc.) for each person, plus any necessary medications.
  2. Include a cell phone and charger (car and outlet).
  3. Don’t forget cash — $100 minimum — plus credit cards and checkbook.
  4. Place loose items in airtight plastic bags and keep all items in easy to carry, waterproof containers. Label each container with your name and address.
  5. Store the kit near a main exit or in your home’s ‘safe place’ like the basement or shelter. In an emergency, you may not have a lot of time to grab the items you’ll need – keep the kit safe and stocked.
  6. Make sure that all family members know where the kit is kept and what you use it for. Why? You may not be home when a disaster hits, and your kids will need to know where things are.
  7. Print the kit’s supply list and keep it inside the kit. Write down the dates you put in food, water, medications and batteries so that you know when to replace them.
  8. Each month (especially during storm seasons), check on items to add or replace. Rethink items and family needs, especially if new meds are needed or if the kids have grown (boots, socks, jeans, tops – they may be too small now!)
  9. Add last-minute items when a disaster is approaching or you need to evacuate – extra water, etc.

Get the Apps!

Download these free apps from the Red Cross and be prepared for emergencies:

  1. First aid app – Get instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies.
  2. Emergency app – Monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts.
  3. Earthquake app – Receive notification when an earthquake occurs, find help and let others know you’re safe even if the power is out.
  4. Flood app – Learn and prepare your family and friends for flooding, evacuation and a safe return home.
  5. Hurricane app – Monitor hurricane conditions in your local area, throughout the storm track, and let others know you are safe even if the power is out.
  6. Tornado app – Receive weather alerts whenever the NOAA issues a tornado watch or warning for your community – or any location where you have loved ones.

Photo Credit: Ready.gov

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