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How to Make Disaster Preparedness Kits
Do you have a disaster preparedness kit? Disasters are something we usually only think about when we watch the news and see another earthquake in Japan, tsunami in Sri Lanka, or hurricane in Florida. How often do you think about what you would do if there were a disaster in your city, town, or neighborhood?
Disasters are definitely something that everyone should be prepared for, and the best thing you can do to prepare is create your own disaster preparedness kit. If you have the means to take care of yourself and your loved ones during a disaster, then you know that you have at least done all that you can.
Water: Essential for Disaster Preparedness
Water is the first, most important thing to think about. Store as much water as you can. It is best to just buy water that is already sealed in a plastic container, rather than filling up bottles from the tap. This is because you cannot seal your own bottles and this could lead to the water becoming contaminated over time. Remember glass bottles are probably not the best idea as they can break easily. If you need to purify contaminated water during an emergency, you can do this with bleach. Make sure you store some regular household bleach in your disaster preparedness kit. Do not use scented bleach or bleach with added chemicals and cleaning products.
To do the water purifying, an eyedropper works best. You will need to add 16 drops of bleach per each gallon of water. Then you should stir it and wait for around half an hour. If after the half-hour period the water does not smell slightly of bleach, you should add another 16 drops and wait another half hour.
Food for Disaster Kits
When thinking of the type of food to stock, you should opt for high-energy foods. Things like peanut butter, granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, energy bars, and jerky are all good options. Do not stock up on overly salty foods, like potato chips or salty canned fish, as these may make you too thirsty.
Canned soups, meats, and vegetables are also good to stock up on for in-home kits, but freeze-dried entrees are best for grab-and-go bags as they are much lighter. Foods like rice, beans, or pasta are also good for in-home long term food storage but not ideal for vehicle preparedness kits, as you will need a plentiful source of water to prepare them.
Keep it Handy
Your disaster preparedness kit should be kept in an easily accessible location. You will need to be able to access it quickly in the case of an emergency. It should also be stored in a watertight container so that the contents will not be damaged by water or dampness.
More Disaster Preparedness Supplies
In addition to food and water, there are many other great tools and supplies to consider for inclusion in your disaster preparedness kit, such as:
- Survival blankets and sleeping bags, such as reflective blankets and sub-zero sleeping bags for extreme weather situations. With a loss of shelter in a disaster, these can be life-saving.
- Heat & Light: Flashlights, candles, hand warmers, camp stove and fuel, and lanterns are all excellent items to keep on hand and in emergency kits should the need arise. Go-bags and vehicle kits should have matches, candles and flashlights at a minimum; heavier and bulkier items should be kept in the in-home disaster preparedness storage area.
- Water filters, both family/home and personal water-bottle sized, as well as water purification tablets, are essential for times of crisis in which water supplies may be contaminated.
Storing Survival Food for Disaster Preparedness
- Survival Food List
Basic Survival Food List: Certain foods are key to short-term survival, and a wider variety is necessary for long-term survival preparation. This survival food list covers all the basics to last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
- Survival Food Resources
To make your own preparedness plan, start by compiling a survival food list including the type and quantity of food items to have on hand. Emergency survival foods include freeze dried items, dried grains and beans, canned goods and more.