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Be Prepared: Building a Disaster Supply Kit in 2023

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Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. With hurricane season underway, it's even more important to be prepared for unusual events. The last thing you want to do is find yourself feeling ill while away from home and not have the basic essentials.

A disaster supply kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

Use this checklist to build your disaster supply kit:

Recommended supplies to include in a basic kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food per person (pack a can opener if your kit contains canned food
  • Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit (check that it’s stocked and restock as needed)
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
  • Moist towel (baby wipes), garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Need more tips for preparing yourself and your family for hurricane season? Click here.

Other items for your family to consider adding to your supply kit:

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, face shields and hand sanitizer
  • Thermometer
  • Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book
  • Batteries for medical devices such as CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) machine, motorized wheelchairs, and insulin pumps
  • Medical device or infusion tubing
  • Extra supplies for medical equipment, i.e. diabetic testing supplies
  • Sterile water if needed for medical device cleaning
  • Rain gear
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Cash
  • Paper towels
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Tent
  • Compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Signal flare
  • Paper and pencil
  • Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
  • Disinfectant
  • Medicine dropper
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Unscented, color safe household chlorine bleach to use as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency to treat water (16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water)

Remember – it’s important to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and just take essentials with you. If you wait, you will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.

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