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Building A Disaster Supplies Kit

Winter weather season is almost here, and the Department of Homeland Security recommends families prepare ahead to survive independently for at least 72 hours in the event of an emergency, and offers tips on creating, updating and storing supplies.

Basic disaster supplies should be stored in airtight plastic bags and placed into one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. Kits should contain:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for both drinking and sanitation

  • Non-perishable food to feed each person for three days

  • Battery-powered devices such as flashlights and a radio equipped with NOAA weather and tone alert capability; or consider a hand-crank radio

  • First aid kit

  • Dust masks

  • Personal sanitation supplies including moistened wipes, toilet paper, garbage bags and plastic ties in case public utilities are unavailable

  • Tools and equipment, like manual can openers, a wrench, pliers, a whistle, plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place if needed, local maps, backup batteries, and solar or crank chargers for cell phones

  • Blankets and winter clothing, suitable to the area you live in

Consider unique needs your family may have beyond these basics, such as special foods and medicines or supplies for young children, seniors and pets.

If you have some warning before an emergency, a trip to the market to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables that can last unrefrigerated for about a week will provide a welcome alternative to uncooked packaged foods.

These essential items can make a difference in comfort and survival during a disaster. Visit for more detailed information and free resources.

Sources: Department of Homeland Security, Real Simple

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