CERT Basic Disaster Supplies

Several smaller packets are better than one large container.
Ordinary plastic bottles should be drunk and replaced every six months.
Special aseptic packaging lasts up to five years.

Select food you like (that doesn’t incite thirst): you may have to eat it someday! Note the shelf-life of the food you select; eat it and replace it before it expires. Choose food that will not require cooking, when possible.

First-aid kit:
First-aid kits come in a wide variety of sized and prices. Choose what is right for you, considering how many people it should serve, your and their medical needs, and where you are keeping the kit. Essential medications/ eyeglasses/ hearing aids. Store an emergency supply of medication in your go-kit.
Medications such as some insulin's should be kept in refrigeration until needed.
Keep a spare pair of glasses or a hearing aid in your kit, along with a prescription.

AM/FM radio (with extra batteries):
Radios are available that use batteries, solar power, or a dynamo (hand crank). Some have two or three of these options, as well as a power cord. Small, battery-powered radios are generally the least expensive.

Mylar blankets (space blanket):
Mylar blankets are fairly inexpensive, effective at retaining warmth, and very compact and lightweight. They are ideal for disaster supplies.

Flashlight (with extra batteries):
In addition to helping you see, flashlights help you be seen. Flashlights make a useful signaling tool over distances for the hearing impaired. Consider using one flash for “yes”, two for “no”, three for “SOS”. Like radios, flashlights are available that need no batteries, generating power as you squeeze the handle. These models naturally cost more, and are only useful for someone with moderate hand strength. Under some circumstances, electrical devices, including flashlights, can pose a fire danger if there is flammable gas in the surrounding air. Most flashlights are not sealed against this possibility. If you live or work in an environment where such a gas leak is a potential danger, consider buying an MSHA-approved light.

Several light layers are better than heavy or bulky items.

Use a solid, metal or strong plastic whistle. Like flashlights, whistles can make excellent signaling devices. If you need to call for help, a whistle will carry further and last much longer than your voice.

Comfortable/sturdy shoes:
Use comfortable shoes you have already worn, with good treads and waterproofing.

Duct tape & Garbage bags (plastic bags):
Garbage bags and duct tape, used together, can solve a surprising number of problems. Some examples of their many uses:

  • Emergency rain gear or waterproofing - even clothes
  • Privacy screens
  • Toilets and sanitation when plumbing doesn’t work
  • Diapers ( with some cloth)
  • Seal cracks in doors and windows against weather or toxins
  • carry water
  • floatation aids
  • carrier for valuables

Tissues/Toilet paper:
Store in a see-through sealable sandwich bag to protect from moisture and dirt. Deck of cards, book or something to help pass time Face masks/dust mask/Bandana or cloth to cover your mouth and nose.
If you need to protect yourself from airborne particles, make sure to wet the cloth you use.

Pocketknife/ Scissors:
Pocketknives and scissors are very useful tools, and like all sharp objects, should be used with care. Ensure that children and people with reduced dexterity have proper supervision or support.

Copies of important papers:
ID, credit cards, insurance policies, etc. Store in a see-through sealable sandwich bag. To protect yourself against theft, use a simple code on any of your important numbers (such as bank account, credit card, or insurance policy numbers). Something easy for you to remember, such as adding one to every digit, will make it very hard for a thief to get your information.

Cash and coins:
Money for general use - ATMs need electricity - and coins for payphones.

Paper and Pens:
Document actions, leave notes, and communicate.