Your body is 60 to 70 percent water. It’s necessary for all bodily functions. You can only last three to four days without it. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Water is vital to our survival, so it’s important to store a MINIMUM of 1 gallon of water per person per day in preparation for an emergency. That’s a ½ gallon for drinking and a ½ gallon for food preparation and sanitation. You will need more at high altitudes or in dry climates. People who are older or sick, children, nursing mothers, and those who are physically exerting themselves will also need more. Store a MINIMUM 2 week supply (14 gallons each) for you and your family in clean, airtight containers. Look for the “HDPE” and “2” label on containers for safe, long term storage. You don’t need to do anything to municipal “tap” water before filling your containers. It is already treated and ready for your storage. Be sure to fill your containers full. This keeps their gaskets moist and maintains an airtight seal. After filling, put your water storage in an area or areas of your house that are cool, dark, and dry. Check your containers yearly and replace the water as necessary. If there are no leaks or contamination, water can be stored for 5 years or longer without rotation. DO NOT store water in glass or metal because of breaking and rust. DO NOT store water in milk jugs. They break down and become brittle. DO NOT store water in containers which held hazardous chemicals.
- Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.
- Pack a manual can opener and eating utensils.
- Avoid salty foods, as they will make you thirsty.
- Choose foods your family will eat:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
Most people have at least heard that they should have a 72-hour kit. Based on an assessment of the most current data estimating the extent of damage to transportation corridors and critical infrastructure in the Salt Lake Valley, it is estimated that after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which is the expected magnitude of the next earthquake in the Salt Lake City segment of the Wasatch Fault, it will be at least 96 hours before resources from outside the area begin to arrive.
To assemble a proper 96-hour kit consider the following “must do” points:
- Have enough food for 96 hours
- Light weight
- Appropriate for dietary needs/restrictions
- Based on caloric intake needs for climate, level of physical exertion
- Have enough water for 96 hours
- The basic guideline is 1 gallon of water per person per day
- At roughly 8 lbs per gallon, if you will have to be mobile consider it is just as important to have a sufficient means to filter water
- Age, physical conditioning, health issues, weather, geography, and level of physical exertion effect your intake requirements
- Have an appropriate first aid kit
- Make sure antibiotic ointments and other items are not expired
- Have a sufficient assortment of bandages and gauze
- Have medical tape and shears
- Have medical gloves
- Have proper amounts of any required medications
- Consider whether medications need to be kept cool
- Temperature fluctuations affect all medications
- Consult with your doctor about getting additional medications for your emergency kit
- Have appropriate clothing for geographic location, climate, and time of year.
- Make sure clothing is in good condition, fits properly, and is appropriate for conditions
- Have clothing in your kit that allows for layering
- Proper footwear is part of your clothing, again, make sure it is appropriate for conditions
- Have sufficient hygiene items
- In a situation were you are having to use your emergency kit, conditions are obviously less than ideal. Improper hygiene can make an already bad situation worse if you become ill
- Include mouthwash, tooth paste, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, soap, etc.
- Have some form of lighting
- The newer LED lights are brighter, use less power, bulbs last longer, and are lighter weight than conventional lights
- Include extra batteries in your kit
- Consider solar powered/rechargeable lighting
- Have proper tools for opening and preparing food as well as repairing/maintaining your equipment/clothing
- A good quality “multi-tool” will include many of the tools you need
- A small sewing kit is a good addition
- Based on the items in your kit determine what tools are appropriate. However, keep weight in mind.
- Have a radio
- A basic AM/FM radio is good. One that includes NOAA weather channels is better.
- Know what stations to listen to for emergency alerts and information
- Include extra batteries in your kit
- Consider solar powered/rechargeable radio or power source
- You should also prepare a survival kit for your home.
Disaster Supply Kit