Items Our Family Keeps in Our Emergency Preparedness Kit

One of the saddest stories that my husband ever heard was from one of his coworkers. Several years earlier her husband and daughter were killed in a tornado. Her family was sleeping when the tornado sirens went off; they did not hear the sirens or the bad weather. Her husband was sleeping on the bed beside her when died in the tornado. She does not remember the events during the tornado. The only thing that she remembers is that she was standing the middle of the street with ambulance lights all around her. The paramedics were telling her to talk to her son who was bleeding badly from the head. She had no idea how she got there or where her daughter or husband was located. This sad story has made us even more aware of how important having a natural disaster kit is to have in the house in the event of bad weather such a tornado. You never know if a tornado is going to hit, but at least our family will be prepared if we hear the sirens go off.

We have four members in our family; we have two adults, an infant, and preschooler. We update our natural disaster kit every 6 months to replace the food, water, clothes for our kids, update the pictures, and to update any phone numbers. We have two kits in large plastic bins. One kit is designed to be used right after a natural disaster, and the second kit is designed to be used if we end up stranded in our house for a few days after a natural disaster or bad weather. We keep both kits in the basement where we would be in the event of a tornado or other bad weather.

In our emergency preparedness kit we keep a first aid kit, flashlight, battery powered radio, spare batteries, a small amount of cash in small denominations, a map of the area, extra car keys, a change of clothes, a blanket, old but comfortable walking shoes, old eyeglasses, matches, snacks, water, and a listing of important phone numbers. For our infant we keep diapers, snacks, a few bottles, formula. Our infant is not formula fed, but we figure that it would not hurt to have a small can of formula around in case something happens to mom during the natural disaster and is unable to feed the baby. Our preschooler has a plush toy for comfort in the kit as well. We also have photos of our family to aid in identification in case our family gets separated during the natural disaster.

In a second bin designed to be a more long-term kit, we keep blankets, sleeping bags, can opener, plastic cups, plates, utensils, toiletries, paper, pen, small sewing kit, whistle, wrench, plastic bags, fire extinguisher, compass, food, and water. We keep 10 gallons of water on hand. We replace the water every six months. For food, we have a balance of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, canned tuna, beef jerky, canned peaches, canned corn, canned beans, canned pineapple, cereal, cold brew tea, cookies, canned ravioli and a case of 1300XT XMRE. This kit will aid us if we end up stranded in our house for a few days after a tornado or other natural disaster.

In our car, we keep a first aid kit, a map of the area, a blanket, a small amount of cash in small denominations, and snacks. Our car kit is not designed to carry us long term since we keep the bulk our supplies in our basement.

Between these three kits we feel that are as prepared as we will ever be for a natural disaster. We do not know what is stored for us in the future, but we sleep well at night knowing that we at least have a plan in the event or a tornado or other bad weather.