Disaster Preparedness Complete Guide And Family Emergency Plan

Dated: March 3 2020

Views: 1516

A small first aid kit for on the goDownload your copy now here!

Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit

Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond.

A highway spill of hazardous material could mean instant evacuation. A winter storm could confine your family at home. An earthquake, flood, tornado or any other disaster could cut off basic services- gas, water, electricity, and telephones- for days, as we found out recently during the November 2015 wind storm here in Spokane, WA. Electricity was out for nearly all residents multiple days, and for some, it was out for nearly a week and a half.

After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. This means phone lines will be tied up and help will be hours, or it may days away. Would your family be prepared to cope with an 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, even if you do that store may not have power or the ability to provide you with such supplies. 

However, if you’ve been proactive and gathered supplies in advance, your friends and family can endure an evacuation or home confinement situation.

To prepare your kit

  • Review the checklist in this blog or download it on the link above.

  • Gather the supplies that are listed. You will need them if your family is confined at home or forced to leave your home.

  • Place the supplies you’d most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. These supplies are listed with an asterisk (*).


  • There are six basics you should stock in your home: Water, Food, First Aid Supplies, Clothing and Bedding, Tools and Emergency Supplies/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 (*). Possible containers include

  • A camping ice chest works great to waterproof and carry items

  • Large Tupperware boxes

  • A large, covered trash container,

  • A camping backpack,

  • or a duffle bag.


  • 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.

  • Consider a water filter/purifier that can be used to pump and filter water from a stream or large puddle, this is a great camping tool but also a great survival tool if storing water at that time is not an option. Bring a container that you can pump this into.

  • Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking two quarts for food preparation/sanitation)*   

  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.


Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little to no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno or propane fuel (backpacking stove). Select food items that are compact and lightweight.

*Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables

  • Canned juices, milk, soup

  • (if powdered, store extra water)

  • Staples-peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix

  • Vitamins

  • Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets

  • Comfort/stress foods-cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit should include:

  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes, Steri strips/butterfly bandages.

  • Nonstick medical tape (latex free)

  • Nonstick medical pads (Large)

  • 2-inches sterile gauze pads (4-6)

  • 4-inches sterile gauze pads (4-6)

  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape

  • Triangular bandages (3)

  • 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)

  • 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)

  • Scissors, Tweezers, and a Needle

  • Liquid bandage

  • Moistened towelettes

  • Antiseptic and Antiseptic Wipes

  • Thermometer

  • Sam Splint

  • Tongue blades (2)

  • Tube of petroleum jelly or another lubricant

  • Assorted sizes of safety pins

  • Cleansing agent/soap

  • Latex gloves (2 pair)

  • Sunscreen

  • Mosquito/bug repellent

Non-prescription drugs

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever

  • Anti-diarrhea medication

  • Antacid (for stomach upset)

  • Laxative, Migraine, Allergy (Ibuprophen)

  • Syrup of Ipecac (use to introduce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)

  • Activated charcoal

Tools and Supplies

  • Rechargeable power bank (for phones Etc…)

  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils*

  • Emergency preparedness manual*

  • Battery operated radio and extra batteries*

  • LED Flashlight and extra batteries*

  • Cash or traveler’s checks, change*

  • Non-electric can opener, utility knife*

  • Small ABC type Fire extinguisher

  • Tube tent

  • Pliers

  • Hatchet

  • Tape & Zip Ties (Duct & Electrical)

  • Compass

  • Butane Lighter

  • Matches in a waterproof container

  • Aluminum foil

  • Plastic storage containers

  • Signal flare

  • Paper, pen, pencil & permanent markers

  • Rope (light and heavy-duty)

  • Needles, thread

  • Medicine dropper

  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water

  • Whistle

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Map of the area (for locating shelters)

  • Emergency heat blanket

  • Ponchos


  • Toilet paper, Towelettes*

  • Soap, liquid detergent*

  • Feminine supplies*

  • Personal hygiene items*

  • Plastic garbage bags, ties

  • (for personal sanitation)

  • Plastic bucket with a tight lid

  • Disinfectant

  • Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding

Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

  • Sturdy shoes or work boots*

  • Rain gear*

  • Blankets and sleeping bags*

  • Hat and gloves

  • Thermal underwear

  • Sunglasses

Special Items

Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.

For Baby*

  • Formula

  • Diapers

  • Bottles

  • Powdered milk

  • Medications

For Adults*

  • Heart and high blood pressure medication

  • Insulin

  • Prescription drugs

  • Prescription drugs

  • Denture needs

  • Contact lenses and supplies

  • Extra glasses

  • Entertainment – games books

  • Important Family Documents

  • 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.

  • Rotate 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.


To get started…

Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your local American Red Cross chapter.

  • Find out which disaster are most likely to happen in your community.

  • Ask how you would be warned

  • Find out how to prepare for each.

Meet with your family.

  • Discuss the types of disasters that could occur.

  • Explain how to prepare and respond

  • Discuss what to do if advised to evacuate.

  • Practice what you have discussed.

Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster.

  • Pick two meeting places:

  • a location a safe distance from your home in case of fire.

  • a place outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home.

  • Choose an out-of-state friend as a “check-in-contact” for everyone to call.

Complete these steps.

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by every phone and on the refrigerator or easily seen surface.

  • Show responsible family members how and when to shut off water, gas, and electricity at main switches/turn-offs.

  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home and in each bedroom. Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on each level of your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries two times each year.

  • Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.

  • Learn first aid and CPR. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for information and training

Meet with your neighbors. Get their phone numbers! Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbor’s skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home. Remember to practice and maintain your plan.

Your Family Disaster Supplies Calendar

This Family Disaster Supplies Calendar is intended to help you prepare for disasters before they happen. Using the calendar, your family can assemble an emergency kit in small steps over a six month period. Check off each week as you gather the contents. Supplies maybe stored all together in a large plastic garbage can or food may be kept on kitchen shelves.

  • Remember to rotate your perishable supplies and change the water every six months.

Week 1

Grocery Store

Week 2

Hardware Store

Week 3

Grocery Store

Week 4

Hardware Store

  • 1 gallon of water

  • 1 jar peanut butter

  • 1 large can juice

  • 1 can meat

  • Hand-operated can opener

  • Instant coffee, tea powdered soft drinks

  • Permanent marking pen to mark date on cans

  • (remember 1 gallon of water for each pet)

  • Also, pet food diapers and/or baby food if needed.

  • Crescent wrench

  • Heavy rope

  • Hatchet

  • Duct tape

  • 2 flashlights with batteries

  • “Bungee” cords

  • Also: a leash or carrier for your pet, if needed.

  • 1 gallon of water

  • 1 can meat

  • 1 can fruit

  • Sanitary napkins

  • Video tape (or SD Card)

  • (remember 1 gallon of water for each pet)

  • Also: pet food, diapers and/or baby food, if needed.

  • Buy strap for securing hot water tank in case of earthquake.

  • Crowbar

  • Smoke detector with battery

  • Also: Extra medications or a prescription marked “emergency use,” if needed.

To Do:

  • make a family plan

  • Date each perishable food item using a marking pen

To Do:

  • Check your home for hazards.

  • Locate your gas meter and water shutoffs and attach a wrench near them

To Do:

  • Use a video camera to tape the contents of your home for insurance purposes

  • Store videotape or SD Card with friend/family member who lives out of town

To Do:

  • Install and/or test your smoke detector.

  • Tie water heater to studs with steel straps.

Week 5

Grocery Store

Week 6

First Aid Supplies

Week 7

Grocery Store

Week 8

First Aid Supplies

  • 1 gallon water

  • 1 can meat

  • 1 can fruit

  • 1 can vegetables

  • 2 rolls toilet paper

  • extra toothbrush

  • travel size toothpaste

  • Also: special food for special diets, if needed.

  • Aspirin and/or acetaminophen

  • compresses

  • rolls of gauze or bandages

  • first aid tape

  • adhesive bandages (in assorted sizes)

Also: extra hearing aid batteries, if needed

  • 1 gallon of water

  • 1 can ready-to-eat

Soup (not concentrate)

  • 1 can fruit

  • 1 can vegetables

Also: extra plastic baby bottles, formula, and diapers, if needed.

  • scissors

  • tweezers

  • antiseptic

  • thermometer

  • liquid hand soap

  • disposable hand wipes

  • sewing kit

Also: extra eyeglasses, if needed.

To Do

  • Have a fire drill at home

To Do

  • Check with your child’s day care or schools to find out about their disaster plans

To Do

  • Establish an out-of-state contact to call in case of emergency

To Do

  • Place a pair of shoes and a flashlight under your bed so that they are handy during an emergency

Week 9

Grocery Store

Week 10

Hardware Store

Week 11

Grocery Store

Week 12

First Aid Supplies

  • 1 can ready-to-eat soup

  • liquid dish soap

  • plain liquid bleach

  • 1 box heavy-duty garbage bags

Also: saline solution and a contact lens case, if needed

  • waterproof portable plastic container (with lid) for important papers

  • portable am/fm radio (with batteries)

  • battery bank power pack

Also: blankets or sleeping bag for each family member

  • 1 large can juice

  • 1 plastic food bags

  • 1 box quick energy snacks

  • 3 rolls paper towels

Also: sunscreen, if needed

  • anti-diarrhea medicine

  • rubbing alcohol

  • 2 pr. Latex gloves

  • ipecac syrup and activated charcoal (for accidental poisoning)

Also: items for denture care, if needed

To Do

  • Send some of your favorite family photos (or copies) to family members out of state for safekeeping

To Do

  • Make Photocopies of important papers and store safely

To Do

  • Practice making a fire with minimal materials

To Do

  • Take your family on a field trip to gas meter and water meter shutoffs

Week 13

Hardware Store

Week 14

Grocery Store

Week 15

Hardware Store

Week 16

Grocery Store

  • whistle

  • ABC fire extinguisher

  • pliers

  • vise grips

  • 1 can fruit

  • 1 can meat

  • 1 can vegetables

  • 1 package paper plates

  • 1 package eating utensils

  • 1 package paper cups

  • adult vitamins

  • extra LED flashlight batteries

  • masking tape

  • hammer

  • assorted nails

  • “L” brackets to secure tall furniture to wall studs

  • Wood screws

  • 1 can meat

  • 1 can vegetables

  • 1 box large heavy duty garbage bags

  • Kleenex

  • 1 box energy snacks (such as granola bars or raisins)

To Do

  • Take a first aid/CPR class

To Do

  • Make a plan to check on a neighbor who might need help in an emergency

To Do

  • Brace shelves and cabinets

To Do

  • Find out if you have a neighborhood safety organization and join it

Week 17

Grocery Store

Week 18

Hardware Store

Week 19

Grocery Store

Week 20

Hardware Store

  • 1 box graham crackers

  • assorted plastic containers with lids

  • assorted safety pins

  • dry cereal

  • “child proof” latches or other fasteners for your cupboards

  • double-sided taper or Velcro-type fasteners to secure moveable objects

  • 1 box large heavy duty garbage bags

  • 1 box quick energy snacks (such as granola bars or raisins)

  • camping or utility knife

  • extra radio batteries

Also: purchase an emergency escape ladder for second story bedrooms, if needed.

To Do

  • Arrange for a friend or neighbor to help your children if you are at work

To Do

  • Pack a “go-pack” in case you need to evacuate

To Do

  • Have an earthquake drill at home

To Do

  • Find out about your workplace disaster plans

Week 21

Hardware Store

Week 22

Grocery Store

Week 23

Hardware Store

Week 24

Grocery Store

  • heavy work gloves

  • 1 box disposable dust masks

  • screwdriver

  • plastic safety googles

  • extra hand-operated can opener

  • 3 rolls paper towels

  • Battery-powered camping lantern with extra battery or extra flashlights

  • large plastic food bags

  • plastic wrap

  • aluminum foil

Blog author image

Matt Side

As an Owner/Sales Manager for Realty One Group Eclipse, I am committed to my brokers. If they have the desire and the commitment to learn, I have the passion and the expertise to work with them to giv....

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