Thursday, September 1, 2011

Week 1: Comb your home

During week 1, you won't need to spend a dime. You might not know it, but your home already contains many of the materials you need in a disaster kit. Take, for instance, the kit itself. While a kit is most often depicted as a back pack, you can use any easy-to-carry container. Maybe you have a tote or large covered trash can. And if you choose to use a bag, it doesn't need to be new. Maybe you or your kids have an old backpack or duffel bag that can be used. Once you choose your container, tour your house to find the following items:

  • a set of clothing and sturdy shoes for each family member*
  • copies of important papers (birth certificates, ID, insurance policies, passports, etc.)*
  • a 3-day supply of medications in a childproof container
  • contact information (current list of family phone numbers and e-mail addresses, including someone out of the area who can be reached if local lines are out of service)*
  • map (mark an evacuation route from your local area)*
  • cash in small bills (ATMs and credit cards won't work with the power out)*
  • spare keys
  • spare glasses or contacts and solution
  • books or toys
  • *place item(s) in waterproof container or bag

    Remember to check off each item on your list as you go. In the coming weeks, you might find other items around the house that you can put in your kit. It's always a good idea to check your cabinets before heading to the store. Just make sure to also check expiration dates ;)

    Download 21 Weeks to Prepare Shopping List