Why We Should All Have Household Disaster Kits

Household Disaster Kits

We all know we should have 72-hour kits or, as some are calling them now, personal disaster kits. I have put ours together and found they are absolutely bulging! I'm not sure I can carry it on my back, at least not for a long period.

There are items that should be in every disaster kit (no matter what you call the kit). But putting items like radios and water purifiers in each B.O.B. is unnecessary.

There only needs to be one or two of some items and other items must be personalized to each family member, like clothing, which takes up too much space in individual kits.

What Should Go Into a Household Disaster Kit?

  • Drinking water (minimum one gallon per person per day).
  • First aid supplies such as medications, essential hygiene items such as soap, toothpaste and toilet paper.
  • Emergency lighting such as light sticks or several flashlights with extra batteries and light bulbs. (Hand-powered flashlights are available also.)
  • A hand-cranked, solar, or battery-operated radio and spare batteries.
  • Canned and packaged foods and cooking utensils, including a manual can opener.
  • Items to protect you from the elements, such as warm clothing, sturdy shoes, extra socks, blankets and maybe even a tent.
  • Heavy-duty plastic bags for waste and for other uses, such as tarps and rain ponchos.
  • Work gloves and protective goggles.
  • Pet food and pet restraints.
  • A good length of paracord.
  • Copies of vital documents, such as insurance policies and personal identification. (This would be a good place to keep your Family Emergency Planner that has all your personal info in it. You've completed yours, right?)

Items That Need Rotating

  • Perishable items like food, medications and batteries. Replace yearly at least.
  • Check children's clothing - making sure they all fit growing children.
  • Adjust clothing for winter or summer needs.
  • Check expiration dates on batteries, light sticks, warm packs, food and water.

Helpful Tips

  • Enclose extra clothing, matches, personal documents and other items that could be damaged by smoke or water in plastic to protect them.
  • Keep an extra kit or at least some supplies in your car and at your workplace.
  • Pack at least a 3- to 5-day supply of these items.


Tools & Supplies For Your Household Disaster Kit:

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