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What should I include in a disaster supply kit?

Dr. Leigh Vinocur, MD
Emergency Medicine Specialist

Disaster supply kits should include:

  • water (3 gallon per person)
  • canned and non-perishable foods (10 cans per person)
  • baby food and pet food 
  • a 3-5 day supply of medications including over the counter pain medicines such acetaminophen and ibuprofen as well as anti-histamines. 
  • personal hygiene items, extra glasses, baby supplies such as diapers. 

An evacuation kit should include:

  • a first aid kit
  • a battery powered flashlight
  • radio to listen for media updates and information on the emergency broadcast warning system
  • Use lithium batteries, which have an extended life of 5-7 years 

You should also have all-important personal identification documents such as passports, birth certificates, driver's license, social security cards, list of bank accounts and credit card accounts. As well as important health information, copies of prescriptions, doctors phone numbers, child's immunizations records, list of allergies. Include important documents such as deeds, insurance policies, stocks and bonds. Don't forget to also include spare care keys, signal flare, whistle, matches (in water proof container), chlorine bleach for a water sanitizing system, duct tape, plastic garbage bags, blankets or sleeping bags, rain or warm weather gear, non electric can opener, utensils or mess kits.

If a disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water or electricity for some time. You should have emergency kits for your home, office, school and car. Here’s what you’ll need for an emergency supply kit:

Food and water

  • One gallon of water per person, per day
  • Food, such as canned goods, that is easy to prepare and won’t spoil
  • Manual can opener

Electronics

  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered, solar or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Extra batteries

Health and safety supplies

  • First aid kit
  • Medicine (seven-day supply), other medical supplies and paperwork about any serious or on-going medical condition
  • Emergency blanket
  • Soap, toothbrush and other personal care items

You should also keep:

  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Copies of important documents such as insurance cards, immunization records, etc.
  • Extra cash
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.