You don’t want to make important parenting decisions last minute when it comes to emergencies. Nor do you not want to be fully prepared. These are important disaster survival kit supplies you need for your family!
As a born-Floridian, I’m aware of the annual threats of hurricanes. Wherever you live, you’re likely accustomed to natural disasters specific to your region. Having grown up here, there are things you know you need to purchase and have on hand, preferably before the disaster season begins.
The question is, do you have a disaster survival kit ready for your family? As parents, this is something we should concern ourselves with more than before. With kids around, you don’t want to have to manage a disaster without having been prepared. It’s best to prepare your kit ahead of time by stocking up on supplies before you need them.
If you find yourself in a situation without power, internet, or the means to head out to the store, you’ll be glad you prepared your disaster survival kit in advance!
This is part 4 in the Emergency Preparedness for Families Series:
- Discussing the types of disasters to prepare for as a family
- How to Make an Emergency Preparedness Plan For Your Family
- Survival Food Storage Ideas for Families in a Disaster
- Must-Have Supplies for Your Family Disaster Survival Kit (this post)
- How to Stay Positive During an Evacuation Trip with Kids
7 Must-Have Supplies For Your Family Disaster Survival Kit
Food And Water
Your aim is to have enough food and water stored for up to eight days, but prepare for three days at minimum. If a major weather event or other natural disaster occurs, it could take days (or even weeks) before rescuers and supplies make it to you.
Water is the number 1 resource to be concerned with because your body can live longer without food than it can water. Prepare to store at least a gallon of drinking water per person per day.
According to Health Line, food consumption can contribute to 20 percent of your water intake. While your body may be able to survive longer periods without food, it’s not recommended, especially when you have children to think of.
Store non-perishable food items you can eat without being cooked or prepared. Bread, crackers, nuts, canned goods and protein bars are great choices as staples.
Don’t forget the following:
Garbage Bags – These are my favoritesManual Can Opener
As a bonus, having a camping stove to cook foods may be a good idea, too.
Medical Supplies And First Aid
As a mom battling Hashimoto’s, it’s important to have my thyroid medication every day.
Whatever your medication needs are, first and foremost, stock up on as much of your prescription medications as you’re able to. The key is to keep yourself from running out of your medication during a disaster with no way to get more. I use a compounding pharmacy which supplies me with 90 days of my prescription at a time.
As you put together your disaster survival kit, think about basic first aid items so you can treat minor injuries or aches if needed. My favorite is to purchase a large first aid kit which contains the most used and necessary items in one handy, portable kit. This is also perfect if you decide to evacuate in a disaster situation.
Consider throwing in wet wipes and mouth wash to help freshen up. You’d be surprised what a little light refreshing will do for you when you’re beginning to feel down.
Food and water isn’t going to be your only major concerns. Being able to communicate with friends, family, and emergency personnel during a disaster will also be important.
Make sure cell phones are charged and you have chargers available.
Additionally, a portable charger, already charged and ready to go will help ease your mind in the event your smartphone batteries become low.
Finally, keep and laminate emergency contact information, including addresses and phone numbers. Place these and old-fashioned maps in a plastic Ziploc bag in case wireless systems fail or your phone dies. In my last evacuation trip, the electronic dashboard (including my navigation system) failed about an hour into my trip. Had I not had my phone – or been in an area with poor signal, I could have been stranded until I found a traditional map! Basically, leave nothing to chance!
It’s important not to rely on your phone and internet as your sole source of information during a disaster. Should networks go down, your phones should be a backup source of information. You’ll want your phone available in case you need to make an emergency call, too.
So, if you want to stay up to date in the midst of a disaster, include a small battery-operated weather radio in your disaster survival kit. In the same packaging, keep a set of spare batteries as well. A weather radio will allow you to hear the latest weather, government, and news updates.
Flash Lights And Batteries
Living in the dark isn’t always fun, especially with kids. Plus, moving around in and out of the home with out a reliable source of light can be dangerous. While candles are a good source of heat and light, around children, they’re an even larger risk of setting your surroundings on fire. Have candles and matches sealed in a plastic bag as a last resort.
Instead, include flash lights, and/or camping lanterns, and batteries in your disaster survival kit.
Headlamps are particularly helpful when you’re trying to move around while working. Taking trash out or moving objects in a dark room is much easier when your hands are free.
Clothing And Bedding
Whether or not you’re planning on sheltering outside of home, it’s important to have bedding and clothing available in your disaster survival kit because plans could change.
Have a couple outfits packed for each member of the family. But, bear in mind this is emergency gear, not a travel wardrobe. Your main concern is having basics in the event you have to evacuate. Fashion and impractical outfits are not to be considered.
Additionally, pack small pillows, sheets, and light blanket. Other ideas may be an inflatable mattress or sleeping bags.
Finally, let’s discuss miscellaneous items to have in your disaster survival kit.
If you have a baby, include:
If you have a pet, make sure to remember:
- A pet carrier
- Leash and collar
- Vaccination records
- food and water
- Research pet friendly accommodations if you have to travel
For young children, have some entertainment supplies that are easy to travel in case you need to evacuate. Small games, paper and pens, pencils, or crayons, and books are good travel supplies that will help entertain and keep moods light.
Finally, have plastic bags, tarps, duct tape and some basic tools. If you need to find a leak or broken window these will come in handy.
Preparing a disaster survival kit requires some thinking ahead. I hope these tips were thorough enough for you to plan and be ready for anything.
If you’ve enjoyed these tips for building a family disaster survival tip, I encourage you to join my newsletter. You’ll receive immediate access to a library of printable resources for parents as well as my newest – a 14 page Family Disaster Preparedness workbook.