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Red Cross Checklist
(Published for Y2K)

Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. A highway spill or hazardous material could mean evacuation. A winter storm could confine your family at home. An earthquake, flood, tornado, or any other disaster could cut water, electricity, and telephones-for days.

After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days. Would your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives?

Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is by assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you won't have time to shop or search for supplies. But if you've gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.

Prepare Your Kit

  • Review the checklist below.
  • Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home.
  • Place the supplies you'd most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container. These supplies are listed with an asterisk (*).
  • There are six basics you should stock for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container--suggested items are marked with an asterisk(*).

Possible Containers Include-

  • A large, covered trash container,
  • A camping backpack,
  • A duffle bag.
  • Water

    • Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
    • Store one gallon of water per person per day.
    • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).*

    Food

    • 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. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. *Include a selection of thee following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
    • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables

    First Aid Kit

    Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:

  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Latex gloves (2 pairs)
  • Sunscreen
  • 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • Triangular bandages (3)
  • Non-prescription drugs
  • 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Antiseptic
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue blades (2)
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Non-Prescription Drugs

    • Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
    • Anti-diarrhea medication
    • Antacid (for stomach upset)
    • Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
    • Laxative
    • Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

    Tools and Supplies

  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils*
  • Emergency preparedness manual*
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries*
  • Flashlight and extra batteries*
  • Cash or traveler's checks, change*
  • Non-electric can opener, utility knife*
  • Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
  • Tube tent
  • Pliers
  • Tape
  • Compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper, pencil
  • Needles, thread
  • Medicine dropper
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Map of the area (for locating shelters)
  • Sanitation

  • Toilet paper, towelettes*
  • Soap, liquid detergent*
  • Feminine supplies*
  • Personal hygiene items*
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach
  • Clothing and Bedding

  • *Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
  • Sturdy shoes or work boots*
  • Rain gear*
  • Blankets or sleeping bags*
  • Hat and gloves
  • Thermal underwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Special Items

    • Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons

    For Baby*

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications
  • For Adults*

  • Heart and high blood pressure medication
  • Insulin
  • Prescription drugs
  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses
  • Entertainment

    • Games and books

    Important Family Documents

    • Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
      • Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds
      • Passports, social security cards, immunization records
      • Bank account numbers
      • Credit card account numbers and companies
    • Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
    • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
    • Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk of your car.
    • Keep items in airtight plastic bags. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Replace your stored food every six months. Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
    • Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.

    General Disaster Preparedness Information

    • "Your Family Disaster Plan" (ARC 4466)
    • "Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit" (ARC 4463)

    General Disaster Preparedness Materials for Children

    • "Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book" (ARC 2200, English, or ARC 2200S, Spanish) for children ages 3-10.
    • "Adventures of the Disaster Dudes" (ARC 5024) video and Presenter's Guide for use by an adult with children in grades 4-6.

    To get copies of American Red Cross Community Disaster Education materials, contact your local Red Cross chapter.

    Copyright 1998, The American National Red Cross. All Rights Reserved.
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    General Information

    ___ Stock disaster supplies to last several days to a week for yourself and those who live with you. This includes having nonperishable foods, stored water, and an ample supply of prescription and nonprescription medications that you regularly use. See Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit for suggestions.

    ___ As you would in preparation for a storm of any kind, have some extra cash on hand in case electronic transactions involving ATM cards, credit cards, and the like cannot be processed. Plan to keep cash in a safe place, and withdraw money from your bank in small amounts.

    ___ Similar to preparing for a winter storm, it is suggested that you keep your automobile gas tank above half full.

    ___ In case the power fails, plan to use alternative cooking devices in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. Don't use open flames or charcoal grills indoors.

    ___ Have extra blankets, coats, hats, and gloves to keep warm. Please do not plan to use gas-fueled appliances, like an oven, as an alternative heating source. The same goes for wood-burning or liquid-fueled heating devices that are not designed to be used in a residential structure. Camp stoves and heaters should only be used out of doors in a well-ventilated area. If you do purchase an alternative heating device, make sure it is approved for use indoors and is listed with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

    ___ Have plenty of flashlights and extra batteries on hand. Don't use candles for emergency lighting.

    ___ Examine your smoke alarms now. If you have smoke alarms that are hard-wired into your home's electrical system (most newer ones are), check to see if they have battery back-ups. Every fall, replace all batteries in all smoke alarms as a general fire safety precaution.

    ___ Be prepared to relocate to a shelter for warmth and protection during a prolonged power outage or if for any other reason local officials request or require that you leave your home. Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for information about where shelters will be available.

    ___ If you plan to use a portable generator, connect what you want to power directly to the generator; do not connect the generator to your home's electrical system. Also, be sure to keep a generator in a well-ventilated area_either outside or in a garage, keeping the door open. Don't put a generator in your basement or anywhere inside your home.

    ___ Check with the emergency services providers in your community to see if there is more information available about how your community is preparing for any potential problems. Be an advocate and support efforts by your local police, fire, and emergency management officials to ensure that their systems will be able to operate at all times.

    Copyright 1998, The American National Red Cross. All Rights Reserved.

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    Laser color copies are available at Minuteman Press (Boulevard & Franklin, Hasbrouck Heights).


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