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What basic disaster kits should include

  • Published Friday, April 13, 2012, at 7:03 p.m.

Authorities recommend that residents create a basic disaster kit for their homes.

The kits should include the following:

Water. Plan on having 1 gallon of drinking water per person per day. Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition and climate; children, nursing mothers and ill people need more.

Food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little to no water. Avoid foods that will make you thirsty; choose salt-free crackers, whole-grain cereals and canned foods with high water content. Include foods for infants, the elderly and those with special dietary needs. Make sure to include a manual can opener, disposable plates and utensils.

Maps of your local area (disasters can wipe out landmarks, making getting around difficult even for those who have been in the area a long time)

First aid kit with instructions

Medicines/prescription medications

Toiletries, hygiene items and wet wipes

Seasonal clothing (including shoes), blankets and pillows

Flashlight and batteries

Matches in a waterproof container

Whistle to summon for help if needed

Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

Battery-powered clock

List of emergency telephone numbers, including the utility company

Cash and/or credit cards

Extra keys


Entertainment – games, books, cards, etc.

Important family documents – keep them in a waterproof, portable container

Tools such as a Swiss army knife, crowbar, hammer and nails, adjustable wrench, bungee cords

Full tank of gas in each vehicle

Pet care items – food and water for at least three days for each pet, proper identification, immunization records, a carrier or cage, muzzle and leash

Any special needs items for children, the elderly or those with disabilities.

Source: Kansas Department of Emergency Management

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