Building your emergency kit in 24 weeks

Local officials recommend building a 14-day emergency kit.

Local officials recommend building a 14-day emergency kit.

POLK COUNTY -- The American Red Cross has designed a 24-week calendar to build a two-week home disaster kit.

Here is the ongoing list:

Week 1

• Two gallons of water *

• One jar peanut butter

• Three cans of meat *

• One hand-operated can opener

• Permanent marking pen

Additional: pet food, diapers and baby food.

Action Steps:

• Date perishable items with marker.

• Decide upon & notify out-of-area contact who can coordinate information for scattered family members.

Week 2

• Heavy cotton or hemp rope

• Duct tape

• Two flashlights with batteries

• Matches in waterproof container -- for outside use only with appropriate camp stove or barbecue

Action Steps:

• Sign up for first aid/ CPR class at local American Red Cross.

Additional: leash or carrier for your pet, extra set of identification tags.

Week 3

• Two gallons of water

• Two cans of meat *

• Two cans fruit *

• Feminine hygiene supplies

• Paper and pen

• Local map

• Pain reliever

• Laxative

Additional: One gallon of water for each pet.

Action Steps:

• Find out about what kinds of disasters can happen in your area.

• Encourage neighbors to develop their own plans.

Week 4

• Compass

• Medicines / prescriptions “for emergency use,” contact-lens supplies

Action Steps:

• Develop a family disaster plan including where to meet if separated, name and number of out-of-area contact and kinds of information to give that contact in an emergency.

Week 5

• Two gallons of water*

• Two cans of fruit*

• Two cans of vegetables*

• Two cans of meat*

• Three rolls toilet paper

• Extra toothbrush

• Travel-size toothpaste

Additional: Special foods for special dietary needs.

Action Steps:

• Identify escape routes from house for all family members.

• Identify safe places to go in case of fire, flood, earthquake, or other local disasters

Practice a drill for each of your plans.

Week 6

• First aid kit which includes sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes, adhesive tape, gauze pads, sterile roller bandages, latex gloves

• Safety pins

• Sunscreen

Action Step:

• Identify storage area for your supplies such as closet along an inside retaining wall, or several heavy-duty, watertight plastic garbage cans that can be stored outside. If using outside storage— ensure container is weather and animal proof.

Week 7

• Three cans of ready to-eat soup* (not concentrated)

• Three cans of fruit*

• Three cans of vegetables*

• Sewing kit

• Disinfectant

Additional: Extra baby supplies (bottles, formula, diapers) if needed.

Action Steps:

• Place a pair of sturdy shoes, flashlight, whistle and work gloves in a plastic grocery bag and tie the bag to your bed frame

Week 8

• Scissors

• Tweezers

• Thermometer

• Liquid antibacterial hand soap

• Disposable hand wipes

• Sewing needles

• Petroleum jelly or other lubricating cream

• Two tongue blades

Additional: Put extra eyeglasses in first aid kit.

Week 9

• Three cans of ready-to eat-soup*

• Liquid dish soap

• Household chlorine bleach with medicine dropper for water treatment

• One box heavy-duty garbage bags with ties

• Antacid

Action Steps:

• Test smoke detectors and replace batteries.

Week 10

• Waterproof portable container for important papers

• AM/ FM Radio

• Wrench to turn off utilities

Action Steps:

• Make sure everyone in the house knows where to find gas and water meter shut-off valves and how to turn them off.

• Attach a wrench near each shutoff valve so it is there when needed.

Week 11

• One large can juice*

• Large plastic food bags

• One box high-energy snacks

• Three rolls of paper towels

Additional: Keep extra battery for cell phone or change for pay phone usage in disaster supplies kit.

Action Steps:

• Locate pay phones closest to your home.

teps: Locate pay phones closest to your home.

Week 12

• Litter and box

• Extra water

• Pet first aid kit


• Make sure all pet vaccinations are current and obtain medical records from veterinarian for disaster records kit. Keep emergency supply of any special pet medication needs.

Action Steps:

• Photocopy important documents and store in Ziploc bag: driver’s license, medical prescription, insurance information and will.

*Indicates per person

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