Build a Disaster Supply Kit
Resources in a Disaster:
Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov
Maryland Emergency Management Agency: www.mema.state.md.us
United States Department of Homeland Security: www.ready.gov
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration: www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencyresponse/index.html
American Red Cross-ARC: www.redcross.org
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: www.bt.cdc.gov
Howard County Government: www.howardcountymd.gov
Howard County Health Department: www.hchealth.org
Maryland State Government: www.maryland.gov
Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it may take days.
One way to prepare is to assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit. Once a disaster hits, you won’t have time to shop or search for supplies. If you have gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.
Assemble a disaster supplies kit.
If you need to evacuate your home or are asked to “shelter in place,” having some essential supplies on hand will make you and your family more comfortable. Prepare a disaster supplies kit in an easy-to-carry container such as a duffel bag, backpack or small plastic trashcan.
- A supply of water (one gallon per person per day). Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Identify the storage date and replace every six months
- A supply of nonperishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.
- A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
- Blankets or sleeping bags.
- A first aid kit and prescription medications.
- An extra pair of glasses.
- A battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
- Credit cards and cash.
- An extra set of car keys.
- A list of family physicians.
- A list of important family information; the style and serial number of medical devices such as pacemakers.
- Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.
It is also a good idea to include some cash and copies of important family documents (birth certificates, passports and licenses) in your kit. Copies of essential documents-like powers of attorney, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, life insurance beneficiary designations and a copy of your will-should also be kept in a safe location outside your home. A safe deposit box or the home of a friend or family member who lives out of town qualifies.