72 Hour Kit/Supplies
Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes,
you may not have much time to respond. A highway spill or hazardous
material could mean evacuation. A winter storm could confine
your family at home. An earthquake, flood, tornado, or any other
disaster could cut water, electricity, and telephones-for days.
After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on
the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could
get help in hours, or it may take days. Would your family be prepared
to cope with the emergency until help arrives?
Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it
strikes. One way to prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies
Kit. Once disaster hits, you won't have time to shop or search
for supplies. But if you've gathered supplies in advance, your
family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.
Prepare Your Kit
Possible Containers Include-
Review the checklist below.
Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your
family is confined at home.
Place the supplies you'd most likely need for an evacuation in
an easy-to-carry container. These supplies are listed with an
There are six basics you should stock for your home: water, food,
first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency
supplies, and special items. Keep the items that you would most
likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container--suggested
items are marked with an asterisk(*).
Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.
Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as
milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs
to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments
and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children,
nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
Store one gallon of water per person per day.
Keep at least a three-day supply of water per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).*
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select
foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and
little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno.
Select food items that are compact and lightweight. *Include
a selection of these following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
First Aid Kit
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A
first aid kit* should include:
- Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antacid (for stomach upset)
- Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
- Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)
Tools and Supplies
Clothing and Bedding
Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and
elderly or disabled persons
Important Family Documents
General Disaster Preparedness Information
Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
- Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds
- Passports, social security cards, immunization records
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and companies
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
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 airtight plastic bags. Change your stored water
supply every six months so it stays fresh. Replace your stored
food every six months. 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.
General Disaster Preparedness Materials for Children
"Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book" (ARC 2200, English,
or ARC 2200S, Spanish) for children ages 3-10.
"Adventures of the Disaster Dudes" (ARC 5024) video
and Presenter's Guide for use by an adult with children in grades
To get copies of American Red Cross Community Disaster Education
materials, contact your
local Red Cross chapter.
Copyright 1998, The American National Red Cross. All