Be Prepared, Build a Kit

What you have on hand when a disaster happens can make a big difference. Plan to store enough supplies for everyone in your household for at least three days.

  1. Water. Have at least one gallon per person per day.
  2. Food. Pack non-perishable, high-protein items, including energy bars, ready-to-eat soup, peanut butter, etc. Select foods that require no refrigeration, no preparation or cooking and little or no water.
  3. Flashlight. Include extra batteries.
  4. First aid kit. Pack a reference guide.
  5. Medications. Don’t forget prescription and non-prescription items.
  6. Battery-operated radio. Include extra batteries.
  7. Tools. Assemble a wrench to turn off gas if necessary, a manual can opener, a screwdriver, hammer, pliers, a knife, duct tape, plastic sheeting and garbage bags and ties.
  8. Clothing. Provide a change of clothes for everyone, including sturdy shoes and gloves.
  9. Personal items. Remember eyeglasses or contact lenses and solution; copies of important papers, including identification cards, insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, etc.; and comfort items such as toys and books.
  10. Sanitary supplies. You’ll want toilet paper, towelettes, feminine supplies, personal hygiene items, bleach, etc.
  11. Money. Have cash. (ATMs and credit cards won’t work if power is out.)
  12. Contact information. Carry a current list of family phone numbers and e-mail addresses, including someone out of the area who may be easier to reach if local phone lines are out of service or overloaded.
  13. Pet supplies. Include food, water, leash, litter box or plastic bags, tags, any medications and vaccination information.
  14. Map. Consider marking an evacuation route on it from your local area.

In your kit, include any necessary items for infants, seniors and people with disabilities. Store your disaster supplies in a sturdy but easy-to-carry container. A large covered trash container, overnight backpack or duffel bag will work. Keep a smaller version of the kit in your vehicle. If you become stranded or are not able to return home, having some items with you will help you be more comfortable until help arrives.

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This web site will continue to be developed in conjunction with EMPact America’s preparedness programs and the efforts of a preparedness coalition that is forming in Western New York.

Erica Prescott Written by: