Tornadoes: Assembling a Disaster Kit
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What to Plan For
You’ll need to plan for two situations: Remaining in your home after a disaster or evacuating to a safer location.
Have a three-day supply of food and water on hand — plan for one gallon of water per person per day and food that won’t spoil.
Keep a manual can opener and emergency tools including a fire extinguisher, battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of batteries.
Disaster Supply Checklist
Be sure to gather the following items to ensure your family’s basic comfort and well-being in case of evacuation.
- Cash — Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods.
- Water — at least one gallon per person for three to seven days.
- Food — at least enough for three to seven days, including: Non-perishable packaged or canned foodand juices, food for infants or the elderly, snack food, non-electric can opener, vitamins, paper plates, plastic utensils.
- Radio — battery powered and NOAA weather radio.
- Blankets, pillows etc.
- Clothing — seasonal, rain gear/ sturdy shoes.
- First Aid Kit — medicines, prescription drugs.
- Special items — for babies and the elderly.
- Toiletries — hygiene items, moisture wipes.
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Toys, books, games.
- Pet care items to include proper identification, immunization records, ample food and water, medicine, a carrier or cage, leash.
Store important documents in a fire and water proof container. Include
- Insurance papers
- Medical records
- Bank account numbers
- Social Security cards
- Deeds or mortgages
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Stocks and bonds
- Recent tax returns
Keep Your Kit Fresh
Remember to replace stored food and water every six months, keep a supply of fresh batteries on hand and keep your most important up-to-date family papers in a fire and water proof container.
The Importance of Water
Stocking an emergency water supply should be one of your top priorities so you will have enough water on hand for yourself and your family.
While individual needs will vary depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate, a normally active person needs at least two quarts of drinking water daily. Children, nursing mothers and people who are ill need more water.
Very hot temperatures can also double the amount of water needed. Because you will also need water for sanitary purposes, and possibly for cooking, you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day.
When storing water, use thoroughly washed plastic, fiberglass or enamel-lined containers. Don’t use containers that can break, such as glass bottles. Never use a container that has held toxic substances.
Plastic containers, like soda bottles, are best. Seal your water containers tightly, label them and store them in a cool, dark place. It is important to change stored water every six months.