Prepare Your Disaster Preparedness Kit

Biloxi, MS, June 23, 2009--Angela Blahut-Neville and her father Andy Blahut look at a hurricane evacuation map and discuss disaster preparedness. The family, including Angela's husband Steve Neville, sister Beth Blahut and dog, Buddy, have their supplies ready for hurricane season. Jennifer Smits/FEMA.
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Every year, thousands of people are impacted by severe weather threats such as tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Last year was the most active year in disasters in recent history, with more than 1,000 weather related fatalities, more than 8,000 injuries.

Every state in the U.S. has experienced tornadoes and severe weather and although some more than others- everyone is at risk and should take steps to prepare for when severe weather strike in your area. Knowing the most common weather hazards in your area, your vulnerability and what actions you should take can save your life and others.

A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. 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. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. 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.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.

Here's the list of supplies your kit should have:
-Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days,
for drinking and sanitation
-Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
-Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio
with tone alert and extra batteries for both
-Flashlight and extra batteries
-First aid kit
-Whistle to signal for help
-Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and
duct tape to shelter-in-place
-Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal
-Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
-Manual can opener for food
-Local maps
-Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

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