Breakdown: Why your family needs a disaster kit

Breakdown: Why your family needs a disaster kit

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -This pandemic may have you thinking a lot about being prepared. Having a disaster kit can do just that. Disaster kits are needed because man-made and natural disasters are on the rise. Disasters affect over 200 million people every year. A disaster kit can help people feel more secure and comfortable if a disaster should occur.

There are companies that make disaster kits but if you want to make your own, they are easy and affordable.

Here are some basic things to include in your disaster kit.

  • one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Non-perishable food at least a three-day supply
  • Battery-powered radio that is able to receive weather alerts
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Mask
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (in case you need to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Additional items can also be included such as for infants and pets.

  • Medications
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Don’t forget to update your kit every year to replace expired items as necessary. It’s good to update your kit annually as your family needs may change.

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