Every home needs an emergency preparedness kit in case disaster strikes. Getting your kids involved in helping put yours together can help them learn about being prepared, and also open up an opportunity to make sure they know what to do and where to go if something happens, like a tornado or fire.
Meghan Spreer, American Red Cross, and her 3-year-old daughter, Maci, demonstrate what should go in a family emergency kit, and how it’s helped Maci learn more about disaster preparedness.
A basic disaster supplies kit should include:
Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Manual can opener for food
Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Other things to keep in mind, depending on your family:
Prescription medications and glasses
Infant formula and diapers
Pet food and extra water for your pet
Cash or traveler's checks and change
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit - EFFAK (PDF - 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)
Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
Matches in a waterproof container
Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
Paper and pencil
Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
There is disaster kit information posted on the government website http://www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit and http://www.redcross.org/prepare
Here are more resources the Red Cross offers parents: http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Parents-Red-Cross-Is-for-You