Emergencies and disasters can strike quickly without warning. You are especially vulnerable if you live alone, are confined to your home or forced to evacuate. Physical limitations put you at risk. The likelihood of recovery from an emergency tomorrow often depends on planning and preparation done today. Practice these three steps: Get a Kit; Make a Plan; Be Informed.

Disaster Supplies Kit Checklist

You should have a kit packed and ready in one place before a disaster strikes.

  • Water — one gallon per person, per day (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
  • Food — non-perishable items (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
  • Can opener
  • Flashlight — do not use candles
  • Radio (battery-powered or hand crank)
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7 day supply) and medical items
  • Emergency blanket
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents, keep in a water proof container for quick and easy access
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Extra set of keys
  • Pet or service animal supplies
  • Specialized items including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters etc

Make a Plan

Planning ahead reduces anxiety. 85,000 Social Security check recipients lost mail service after Hurricane Katrina. Switching to electronic payments is one simple solution to protect you.

Here are things to plan and prepare:

  • Create network of neighbors, friends, etc. for aid
  • Develop a family communication plan
  • Carry family contact information with you
  • Discuss needs and operation of heavy equipment
  • Post emergency numbers near all phones
  • Arrange someone outside to check on you
  • Ask for emergency plans from your homecare agency or case manager
  • Know your community response and evacuation plans and shelters
  • Plan for evacuation transportation
  • Prepare durable medical equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, etc.) for easy access

Keep copies of vital family records and about emergency procedures close by. Store documents such as birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, passports, wills, deeds, and financial, insurance and immunizations records in a fire safe or safe deposit box.

Be Informed

Ask how local authorities will notify persons during a disaster and how the community will get information, whether through local radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio stations or channels.

For more information, visit these useful websites: