You have a plan; now you need a disaster kit
When it comes to planning for an emergency, step one is to create a comprehensive disaster plan, accounting for your own unique circumstances, location, and family members. The next step is to begin implementing your plan, setting yourself up for success should it ever become necessary. Creating a disaster kit is an essential part of putting your disaster plan into action.
Where do you begin?
A disaster kit consists of all the supplies you’d need to survive for several days after a disaster. Like your emergency plan, your disaster kit will be tailored to your household’s specific situation. To create an effective disaster kit, you will need to account for the unique needs of every person and pet in your household. And don’t forget to update your kit based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control!
Step 1: Build your kit.
What do you need in your kit? this will depend on your unique circumstances, but good baseline items include:
- Nonperishable Food and water
- First aid kit
- Face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes
- Prescription and non-prescription medications
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
- Cash and traveler’s checks
- Copies of Important family documents like insurance policies, bank account records, and ID cards
- Pet food and water
- Personal hygiene items
For a more comprehensive list, you can download the PDF here.
Step 2: Maintain your kit.
Now you’ve compiled all the items in your kit. You’re good to go, and you never have to think about it again, right? Wrong! You need to maintain your kit so it’s ready should you ever need it. This includes updating your kit periodically, replacing all expired items, and rethinking your household needs at least once a year.
Step 3: Store your kit for easy access.
It’s a good idea to have kits stored in multiple separate locations such as your car, your home, and your place of work. This way, no matter where you are when disaster strikes, you can be prepared. Remember to store canned food in a cool, dry place, and keep boxed food in tightly closed containers.