Donna White

Since 2004, National Preparedness Month is held in September to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for disasters in their homes, businesses and schools. National Preparedness Month 2007 is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Much has changed in our world, nation, state and community since September 11, 2001. We have become much more aware of the devastation that can be caused by unexpected disasters-whether they are caused by nature, by accident or by terrorist attacks. We often worry about the “what ifs” and wonder what we can do to protect ourselves and our families. One of the most important things you can do for your family is to have a Disaster Supplies Kit ready to take care of your family. If there is a power outage or you have to evacuate from your home, assembling this kit will help your family stay safe and be more comfortable after a disaster. Your kit should contain enough supplies to enable you and your family to take care of yourselves without outside help for at least three days.

Supply List

1. Water - Three-day supply of bottled water. Pack 1 gallon for each person per day.

2. Water Purification Tablets - May be purchased at any store that carries camping supplies.

3. Food - Three day supply. Choose foods your family will eat and that do not require refrigeration. Examples include protein and fruit bars, dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter, crackers, canned juices, and canned food.

4. First Aid Kit - Include two pairs of sterile gloves, gauze, soap, antibiotic wipes and ointment, burn ointment, adhesive bandages, aspirin, thermometer, and sunscreen SPF 30.

5. Cash - You may not be able to access a bank or ATM machine for days. You’ll always need more cash than you think!

6. Extra Clothing - Gather one complete change of clothes, a pair of sturdy shoes, and one blanket per person.

7. Prescription Medications - Include medications such as heart and high blood pressure, insulin, and other drugs prescribed by your doctor.

8. Special Needs Items - Baby formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, baby wipes, rash ointment, foods for special dietary needs (diabetics), supplies for dentures and contact lenses.

9. Battery Powered Radio

10. Flashlights

11. Extra Batteries

12. Basic Tool Kit

13. Whistle

14. Garbage Bags

15. Toilet Paper

16. Hand-held, Manual Can Opener

17. Disposable Eating Utensils

18. State Map

Note: Store items in a waterproof container or a rubber trash can with a lid. Information for this article and for more information about disaster preparedness, please visit the Web site: http://texashelp.tamu.edu/