The number of natural disasters, particularly weather-related disasters, appears to be rising each year. If you live in a hurricane-, earthquake-, or flood-prone area, you know you may only have seconds to get to safety. Since help may not arrive immediately, it’s important to be ready for the aftermath of a disaster.

To prepare for such an event, create your own disaster supply kit, something you can grab quickly and easily as you head to safety. The kit should contain enough food, water, and other vital supplies to help you for at least 72 hours.

Your disaster kit should contain:
• 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, including food for your pet
• Manual can opener for food
• Any prescription medications
• Radio (hand-cranked or battery-powered – make sure you have extra batteries)
• Flashlight (hand-cranked or battery powered – make sure you have extra batteries)
• First aid kit
• Whistle to signal for help
• Dust mask
• Plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a shelter
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Local maps
• Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
• Copies of important papers in a sealable, waterproof bag

Store your items in a plastic bin or duffel bag and place it in an easily accessible place. If your work is far from your home, you may want to create a separate disaster kit for your car.

No one likes thinking about calamities, but giving a thought to a disaster prep kit now may save your life later. To get more helpful advice, go to


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