The Six Basics
There are six basics you should stock for your home are: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container (suggested items are marked with an * ), like a large, covered plastic container, a camping backpack, or a duffle bag. The six basics should be enough to last for at least 72 hours.
Store water in plastic containers, like empty soft drink bottles. Avoid using milk cartons, glass bottles or any container that can decompose or break. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
- Store one gallon of water per person per day.
- Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).
- Store at least a four-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno and matches or a lighter. Select food items that are compact and lightweight.
Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
- Canned juices
- Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
- High energy foods
- Vitamins (granola or energy bars, etc)
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods (Chocolate, candy, snack foods)
3. First Aid Kit
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. The kit should include, among other things, antiseptic ointment, bandages and gauze pads in assorted sizes, adhesive tape, cold packs, disposable gloves, hand cleaner, scissors, tweezers and eyewash. Periodically check expiration dates and replace outdated items as needed. Educate yourself on how to treat injuries or take a first aid course when offered through TIERS. You can also purchase a quality first aid kit at a reasonable cost from TIERS.
- Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antacid (for stomach upset)
- Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
- Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)
4. Clothing and Bedding
*Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
- *Sturdy shoes or work boots
- *Rain gear
- *Blankets or sleeping bags
- Hat and gloves
- Thermal underwear
5. Tools and Supplies
- * Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
- *Emergency preparedness manual
- *Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- *”Shake Light” no-battery flashlights
- *Cash or traveler’s checks, change
- *Non-electric can opener, utility knife
- Fire extinguisher: small canister type ABC
- Tube tent
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic storage containers
- Signal flare
- Paper, pencil
- Needles, thread
- Medicine dropper
- Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
- Plastic sheeting
- Map of the area (for locating shelters)
• *Toilet paper, towelettes
• *Soap, liquid detergent
• *Feminine supplies
• *Personal hygiene items
• Plastic garbage bags, ties
• Plastic bucket with tight lid
• Bag of Kitty Litter
• Household chlorine bleach
6. Special Items
Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons
- Powdered milk
- Heart and high blood pressure medication
- Prescription drugs
- Denture needs
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Extra eye glasses
- Games, books, playing cards etc.
Important Family Documents
- Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
- Will(s), insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
- Passports, social security cards, immunization records
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and companies
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
- Medical records—especially for anyone with serious health problems
- Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
- Keep items in airtight plastic bags. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Replace your stored food every six months. Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
- Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.