- The Red Cross offers tips
and information about natural disasters.
Cross Preparedness Check List
anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to
respond. A highway spill or hazardous material could mean evacuation. A winter
storm could confine your family at home. An earthquake, flood, tornado, or any
other disaster could cut water, electricity, and telephones-for days.
After a disaster, local
officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach
everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days. Would
your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives?
Your family will cope best
by preparing for disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is by assembling
a Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you won't have time to shop or
search for supplies. But if you've gathered supplies in advance, your family can
endure an evacuation or home confinement.
Prepare Your Kit
- Review the checklist
- Gather the supplies that
are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home.
- Place the supplies you'd
most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. These
supplies are listed with an asterisk (*).
- There are six basics you
should stock for your home: 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 asterisk(*).
- Store water in plastic
containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will
decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. 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
three-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. Select food items that are compact and
lightweight. *Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster
- Ready-to-eat canned
meats, fruits, and vegetables
- Canned juices
- Staples (salt, sugar,
pepper, spices, etc.)
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
First Aid Kit
Assemble a first aid kit for
your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:
- Aspirin or nonaspirin
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antacid (for stomach
- Syrup of Ipecac (use to
induce vomiting if advised by the Poison
- Activated charcoal (use
if advised by the Poison Control Center)
Tools and Supplies
Clothing and Bedding
- Remember family members
with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons
- Keep these records in a
waterproof, portable container:
- Will, 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)
- Store your kit in a
convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the
Disaster 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.
Preparedness Materials for Children
Preparedness Coloring Book" (ARC 2200, English, or ARC 2200S, Spanish)
for children ages 3-10.
- "Adventures of the
Disaster Dudes" (ARC 5024) video and Presenter's Guide for use by an
adult with children in grades 4-6.
To get copies of American
Red Cross Community Disaster Education materials, contact your
local Red Cross chapter.
This brochure is also
available in other languages from the Red Cross Website. The translations were
provided by the Humanitarian
"Disaster Supplies Kit." developed by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency and the American