Be prepared, plan and stay informed with Basic Disaster Supplies

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, knows more than a thing or two disasters. Take the time to look at their list of basic disaster supplies to have on hand when there’s a threat of major weather damage where you live. And have a discussion about where family members and your pets can meet if they are forced to leave their homes. And don’t forget that cell phones (chargers included) play a major part in keeping everyone informed.

FEMA Basic Disaster Supplies Kit 

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

*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
*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 sanitation
*Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
*Manual can opener for food
*Local maps
*Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:

*Prescription medications and glasses
*Infant formula and diapers
*Pet food and extra water for your pet
*Cash or traveler’s checks and change
*Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
*Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
*Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt

Visit us at to compare the cost of doing a project yourself vs. hiring a contractor for the job.



Gene and Katie Hamilton are authors of 20 home improvement books and creators of, a website that compares the DIY and contractor costs of hundreds of repair, decorating and remodeling projects. Their weekly column Do It Yourself or Not is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency.
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