The following information is provided by the Hawaii State Civil Defense
When preparing a disaster preparedness kit, first plan for the essentials for survival. Think practical first, and think comfortable second. All essential needs should be able to fit in a 5 gallon bucket. Absolute necessities include food, water, and warmth.
Foodstuffs should be high energy non-perishables and kept in sealed air-tight containers. Made-ready meals and canned goods are excellent choices for emergency food sources. It is safe to ration, the body can be maintained on half of your average caloric intake during an emergency. Provisions should include enough food supplies to last five to seven days for each family member.
Water stored for drinking purposes should also be a supply sufficient to last three days for each family member. Electrolyte-enhanced water and vitamins help to replace electrolytes and the fluids lost, in order to prevent dehydration and seizures. Consider having an equal amount of water handy on the side for sanitation purposes. Stored food and water should be cycled out every six months.
The body can only subsist in a short range of temperatures. Keep warm in cold temperatures to prevent illness and hypothermia. Critical areas to keep dry and warm are the head, neck, chest, feet, and groin. Athletic clothing offers moderate environmental insulation without giving up the benefits of being easily attainable, affordable, lightweight, portable, and breathable. Mylar is an excellent lightweight and portable material that offers better thermal and environmental protection, but is not breathable and recommended for limited use only.
After considering your most basic needs, consider additional necessities to include in your emergency preparedness kit. When making additions to your family emergency kit, keep in mind that it should be easily transportable, accessible, and close to an exit of the building. Mobile emergency kits should be smaller, more personalized, and should be no bigger than a backpack or fanny pack. While you can never be too ready or too prepared, you do not want to over burden yourself when you need to be on the move. Consult with the checklists from the FEMA Ready.gov and American Red Cross websites provided below to determine your planning needs.
Make a disaster supplies kit that contains your basic disaster supplies for home and your disability related supplies. You should keep enough basic supplies to maintain you in your home for at least three days, preferably seven or more. Supplies you need related to your disability should last a minimum of seven days. Remember any special dietary needs you may have when planning your disaster food supplies.
Suggestions & Reminders
- Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car.
- Keep items in air-tight plastic bags.
- Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
- Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.