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Disaster Supply Kit Checklist for Emergency Preparedness

When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. A spill of hazardous material could mean immediate evacuation. A winter storm could strand your employees at work. An earthquake, flood, tornado or any other disaster could cut off supplies of water, power and telephone for days.

After a disaster, local officials will be on the scene, but they may not be able to reach everyone immediately. You might receive help in hours, or it may take days. Your organization will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes.

What should be in a disaster supply kit?

One way to prepare is to assemble a disaster or emergency kit. Follow this checklist of Federal Emergency Management Agency recommended disaster items:

How much water is needed in an emergency kit?

  • At least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation and sanitation)
  • Store water in plastic containers and avoid containers that will break or decompose
  • Organizations located in hot environments should consider maintaining twice the normal drinking water supply

How much food does a disaster supply kit need?

  • At least a three-day supply of nonperishable food
  • Select foods that require no refrigeration, no preparation or cooking, and little or no water
  • If you must heat food, maintain a supply of canned fuel or other heating source
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, protein bars, peanut butter, crackers, etc., are excellent choices

What should be included in a first aid kit?

Include one of each of the following items for every 10 people.

  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Sterile gloves (two pairs, latex or other)
  • Sunscreen
  • Two-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • Four-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • Triangular bandages (3)
  • Two-inch sterile roller bandages (3)
  • Three-inch sterile roller bandages (3)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle
  • Moist towelettes
  • Antiseptic
  • Adhesive tape
  • Instant ice packs
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue blades (2)
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Burn ointment
  • Eyewash solution
  • Nonprescription drugs
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Antidiarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for stomach upset)
  • Laxative
  • Activated charcoal

Other Tools and Supplies in a Disaster Supply Kit

  • Mess kits, or paper plates, cups and plastic utensils
  • Emergency preparedness manual
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • Utility knife
  • Fire extinguisher (ABC type)
  • Pliers
  • Duct tape
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Aluminum foil
  • Signal flare
  • Paper & pencil
  • Needles & thread
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Map of area for locating shelters
  • Pry bar
  • Hard hats
  • Safety glasses
  • Leather work gloves

Sanitation Materials in a Disaster Supply Kit

  • Toilet paper
  • Moist towelettes
  • Soap or liquid detergent
  • Feminine supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic garbage bags & ties (for personal sanitation uses)
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding Needed in a Disaster Supply Kit

  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • For additional comfort, sleeping cots could also be kept
  • Rain gear and winter parkas can be useful, depending on the season and the organization’s location

Disaster Supply Kit Maintenance

  • Store disaster supply kit in a convenient place known to all employees
  • Keep all items in airtight plastic bags to help maintain the quality and longevity of the items
  • Change water and food supplies every six months
  • Replace all batteries annually
  • Reevaluate kit’s contents periodically to help ensure the appropriate items are available and adequate

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