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Building a supply kit for your family

When Hurricane Sandy struck New York, many were left without power and subways and buses were not in service. Residents were left stranded due to flooding. Keeping a disaster supply kit is essential for emergencies.    

A disaster supply kit is simply a collection of basic items you need in the event of an emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.  This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours.    

Maintaining Your Kit

Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supply kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag.

Kit Storage Locations

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.

  • Your disaster supply kit should contain essential food, water and supplies for at least three days.
  • You need to be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Make sure you have food and water and other necessities like medicines in your kit.
  • In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car. Be prepared for an emergency by keeping your gas tank full and if you find yourself stranded, be safe and stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.
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Water is an essential element to survival and a necessary item in an emergency supply kit. Following a disaster, clean drinking water may not be available. Your regular water source could be cutoff or compromised through contamination. Prepare yourself by building a supply of water that will meet your family’s needs during an emergency.


Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils.

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Last Updated: 
07/08/2017 - 10:22