Natural disaster kit.

DIY Natural Disaster Kit

Updated April 24, 2017 . AmFam Team

Natural disasters are unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. Makeshift your own natural disaster kit and take on the storm with confidence.

Just because natural disasters are unpredictable doesn’t mean you can’t be ready for them. If you face an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for a number of days. And one of the best ways to proactively prepare for the unexpected is to spend time putting together your own natural disaster survival kit.

Having food, water and other supplies stored away in the event of a disaster can help your family get through a tough time. Take a look at our list of essentials to create your own emergency survival kit.

Basic Supplies for Your Survival Kit

No matter where you live or what type of natural disaster may be common to your area, include these basic supplies for your survival kit:

  • At least two gallons of water per person in your household
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable food that’ll feed your whole family
  • Snack foods high in water and calories
  • A manual can opener for food
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • A battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • A first aid kit
  • A whistle to signal for help in case of emergencies
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to fashion a temporary shelter
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Garbage bags
  • A wrench and pliers to turn off utilities
  • A solar cell phone charger
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Blankets
  • A change of clothing fit for your climate
  • Copies of important documents, like insurance (sign up for My Account and access your insurance documents electronically)

Additional Survival Kit Items

You may need other important items for your kit depending on your unique needs. Take a look at the following items and determine which additional supplies you should add:

  • Pet food and extra water for them
  • Prescription medications (7-day supply)
  • Non-prescription medication, like pain relievers
  • Contact lenses and solution/glasses
  • Baby supplies, such as formula, bottles, diapers and wipes
  • Cash
  • Games, books or other activities for kids
  • Dust mask to filter contaminated air
  • Rain gear
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Personal hygiene items

How to Store Your Emergency Survival Kit

Now that you know which items are necessary to assemble your kit, make sure you’re doing what you can to store them securely. The items won’t do you much good if they’re inaccessible or unusable after the disaster.

Keep the items in airtight plastic bags or waterproof bags. Then store the bags in plastic bins. Place them where you have room, but the most important thing is to store them in a place where they’re secure and won’t fall. Keep the kit in a designated place where your entire family can access it.

Having a kit ready for your home is important, but if you live in areas prone to earthquakes or other natural disasters, consider building a survival kit for your car and one for work. You never know when or where disaster will strike, but you’ll gain peace of mind knowing you took steps to prepare.

Don’t forget — one of the best ways to prepare for the unexpected is talking with your American Family Insurance agent. From earthquake and flood insurance to having the right homeowners and car insurance in place, your agent will help ensure you have the customized coverage you need.

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