To prepare for the unknown, each home should have a 72-hour Disaster Survival Kit. You will need to pack some essential items to help you and your family survive, whether you stay at home or leave it during a disaster.
Ensure at least three days (72 hours) supply for each person. Do not forget pets where applicable! The following is a minimum suggested list of Survival Kit supplies:
• One gallon per person/per day in unbreakable containers, Avoid using containers that will decompose or break,l 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.
• Don’t forget to add additional water for mixing formula if you have children and for your pets. Rotate the drinking water each year.
• Food preparation and sanitation require another two quarts (minimum) per person daily.
• Purchased bottled water that has been sealed is best for storage. It meets FDA guidelines for food and is not as vulnerable to temperature changes as unsealed water
• Tip: Purchase water this year and use it for drinking next year. This allows for rotation on an annual basis and keeps the water fresh. Yes water can go bad!
Water for sanitation use:
• Store extra containers of water to be used for flushing toilets, cleaning, and bathing.
• Purchase water purification tablets (Halazone) to be used if you still have running water but are told to boil water before using it. This allows you to fill the bathtub and other containers without purchasing expensive drinking water.
• Tip: Keep plastic containers (milk jugs and other containers) and fill them with water when a storm threatens. You can put these items in the freezer to keep food cold longer in the event that the electricity goes out.
• Maintain at least 3-7 days of food for each member of the family.
• Small, preferably single serving cans (should not require cooking or refrigeration). Dried fruit, peanut butter and jelly, coffee, tea, soft drinks and pet foods.
• Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables.
• Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water).
• Staples – sugar, salt, pepper in water proof containers.
• High energy foods like crackers, granola bars, trail mix.
• Raw vegetables that do not need refrigeration.
• Fresh bread.
• Comfort/stress foods – cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags.
• Sterno for cooking.
• Food for infants
• Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
• Non-electric can opener
• Aluminum foil
• Plastic storage containers
• Lots of ice (you can freeze your water supply)
• Pedialyte (to restore hydration if needed)
• Tip: Purchase only items that you like to eat and would eat even without a storm. Rotate these items by using them Dec-May each year and purchasing new items Jan-May. This allows you to reduce the cost of buying items for a hurricane kit at one time and keeps the items fresh. Yes even canned goods have a shelf life!