Emergency Kit: Be Prepared

The following should be included in a basic disaster-preparedness kit:

  • Eating utensils, a manual can opener, paper plates and cups
  • A seven-day supply of nonperishable food (see below)
  • A portable, battery-powered radio or television
  • Flashlights
  • Hand sanitizer, soap, moist towelettes, and toilet paper
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Whistle
  • Extra clothing and blankets
  • Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils
  • Photocopies of identification and credit cards
  • Cash in small bills and coins
  • Medications, eyeglasses, contact lenses, solution, hearing aid batteries
  • Infant items - formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers
  • Tools, pet supplies, and a map of the local area
  • An emergency blanket
  • Sunscreen
  • A heavy black marker and posterboard for making signs
  • Water purification tablets
  • Good walking shoes
  • Lots of batteries, in all sizes
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Dust mask

Diabetes-specific supplies include:

  • A list of your current prescriptions
  • Glucose tabs or other fast-acting carbohydate
  • An additional 2- week supply of any diabetes medication you take (check with your pharmacy about safe storage)
  • Extra insulin (make sure you keep your supply updated and store appropriately)
  • A light-proof box for your monitor and test strips
  • Extra test strips, lancets, and pump supplies
  • Nonperishable food, including:
    • one jar peanut butter
    • whole wheat crackers
    • unsalted nuts
    • a small box powdered milk
    • 6 cans diet soda
    • 1 gallon water per person, per day
    • 6 packs Parmalat milk
    • canned prepared meat
    • meal replacements such as Glucerna or Choice DM shakes or bars that don't require refrigeration
    • canned goods high in protein (like tuna, beans)
    • canned fruit packed in juice or water

Your basic first aid kit should include:

  • First aid manual
  • Sterile gauze
  • Adhesive tape
  • Adhesive bandages in several sizes
  • Elastic bandage
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibiotic cream (triple-antibiotic ointment)
  • Antiseptic solution (like hydrogen peroxide)
  • Hydrocortizone cream (1%)
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • Tweezers
  • Sharp scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Disposable instant cold packs
  • Calamine lotion
  • Alcohol wipes or ethyl alcogol
  • Thermometer
  • Plastic gloves (at least 2 pair)
  • List of emergency phone numbers

If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat during or after a disaster. Think about your clothing and bedding needs. Be sure to include one set of the following for each person

  • Jacket or coat
  • Long pants and long-sleeved shirt
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Hat, mittens, and scarf
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket

Supplies for your vehicle include:

  • Flashlight, extra batteries, and maps
  • White distress flag
  • Tire repair kit, booster/jumper cables, pump and flares
  • At least 4 cases of bottled water and ample non-perishable foods
  • Seasonal supplies: For winter — blanket, hat, mittens, shovel, sand, tire chains, windshield scraper, florescent distress flag; For summer — sunscreen lotion (SPF 15 or greater), shade item (umbrella, wide brimmed hat, etc.)

Reviewed by Susan Weiner, RD, MS, CDE, CDN. 11/13

Click here to get this article as a printable PDF file.

Last Modified Date: February 25, 2014

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.
  1. American Red Cross. Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs. (2004). http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240199_A4497.pdf (Accessed 11/12/13.)
  2. American Red Cross. Anatomy of a First Aid Kit. http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/get-kit/anatomy (Accessed 8/10/11.)
  3. Ready America. First Aid Kit. (2013). http://www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit (Accessed 8/10/11.)

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by Brenda Bell
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...
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