How to assemble a disaster kit

March 20, 2003|By SCOTT BUTKI

If you have not bought items to make a disaster kit in preparation for the possibility of war-related terrorist attacks, don't despair. Most residents can create a kit with items found around the house, an official with the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross official said Wednesday.

In recent weeks, an increasing number of people have called the local Red Cross chapter to get information about what they should have ready in case of an emergency, said Cindy Kline, director of disaster services.

She said she asks callers: "What if you were camping out? What would you take?"

Whether they are camping out or preparing for the possibility of losing electricity or facing other emergency problems, there are some items people should have at hand, Kline said.


She suggests people get together a kit containing:

  • Food and drink. It is recommended people have a 72-hour supply of water, allowing for one gallon of water per person per day. They should have nonperishable food saved as well as a nonelectric can opener.

  • Batteries for flashlights and battery-operated radios.

  • Important paperwork, includes eye glass prescription information, wills and insurance policies.

  • Plastic bags and plastic containers.

  • First aid supplies.

It is a good idea to have batteries and a change of clothes in your car, Kline said.

If you have time to put together a kit, it is a good idea to get extra batteries, she said.

While people can store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles, they may want to buy bottles of water, she said.

If it makes you comfortable to have a "safe room," you can buy duct tape and plastic to seal off an area, she said.

A more complete list of items the Red Cross suggests be included in emergency kits can be found on the Internet at



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