How to Create a Disaster Preparedness Kit

Set Aside Supplies for When Disaster Strikes

A Little Preparation Now Could Mean Safety and Comfort Later

Earthquakes, tornados, winter storms – at any time of the year an incident could knock out power to your house, your neighborhood, your entire town. Would you be able to live off of what you already have at home?

While you don’t think about disaster supplies every day, they’re vital to have. Use this checklist to help you put together a disaster preparedness kit or update the one you already have.

  • Food and Water
    A good rule of thumb is to keep a two-week supply of nonperishable food (don’t forget the can opener) and bottled water for you and your family. You typically want one gallon of water per person, per day. Store it all in a safe, dry place.
     
  • Medications and First-Aid
    Stock your emergency kit with both medications that you and other family members take daily (enough for at least a week) as well as supplies, such as bandages, antiseptic ointment and fever reducers, to help you treat injuries and illness.
     
  • Pet Supplies
    Your pets will need food and water, too, so always keep extra on hand for them. And, don’t forget any medications they may need.
     
  • Flashlights
    Store extra batteries along with your flashlights or lanterns. Or, choose a hand-crank flashlight instead. Just check regularly that it’s in good working order.
     
  • Portable Radio
    A hand-crank radio is another must and allows you to tune in to emergency broadcasts.
     
  • Blankets and Clothing
    If you’re without power during inclement weather, you’ll appreciate having some extra clothes, socks, undergarments, hats, gloves and blankets on hand. Don’t forget a blanket for your pets.
     
  • Personal Items
    Think things such as baby wipes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and more.
     
  • Paperwork
    Having copies of important paperwork, such as passports and insurance policies, comes in handy if you need to evacuate your home. Also have contact information for family members and emergency providers.
     
  • Tools
    A multipurpose tool may be all you need, but also think about including things you might take camping, such as a small axe or pliers.
     
  • Other Supplies
    Matches, maps, cash, breathing masks, a whistle, a compass, a tarp – there are plenty of other things you can add to your emergency preparedness kit. Use your family’s needs as a guide. It might not hurt to throw in a pack of cards or activity books to help keep kids occupied during long stretches.

It may seem a little daunting to set all this aside, much less make it all portable in case you need to leave your home. But, if the need ever arises, you’ll be glad you planned ahead. Your disaster supplies may even save your life one day, so be sure to check periodically that you have everything you need and to replace expired items.

© 2016 Liberty Mutual Insurance, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116

Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria.