Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Supply Kit

Prepare for disaster before it strikes 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. Your kit should be stored in a convenient place known to everyone in your family. Keep a smaller version of your disaster kit in your vehicle. Most items should be kept in air tight plastic bags.

Fore more information:
Ready.gov (U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security)

Knowhat2do.com (N. Texas Council of Government - Preparedness) 

Texasready.gov/resources (Texas Dept. of State Health Services.  

Emergency Supply Bag items


Store water in plastic containers, such as soft drink bottles, or buy bottled water. 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. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises to have on hand a minimum of one gallon of water per person, per day for at least three days--for both drinking and sanitation purposes. 

Stored water should be replaced every six months to stay fresh. A good time to do this is when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.

Learn more at Ready.gov/Water


Store at least a  three day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little to no water. If you must heat food, refer to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website: Ready.gov/Food. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Food items should also be changed every 6 months. Recommended non-perishable foods include:

  • Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store more water)
  • Comfort / stress foods: cookies, hard candy, cereals, instant coffee, tea bags
  • Foods for infants, elderly, or persons with special diets
  • High energy foods: peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola, and trail mix
  • Ready to eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Staples seasons like sugar, salt, and pepper

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and for each vehicle you own. Your family physician or pharmacist should be consulted about storing prescription medications. A first aid kit should generally contain the following:

  • Antiseptic agent
  • Cleansing agent / soap
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Latex gloves
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Non-prescription drugs (aspirin, antacid, anti-diarrhea, ipecac, laxatives)
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Prescription drugs
  • Safety Pins
  • Sterile adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes (Band-aids)
  • Sterile Gauze Pads
  • Sunscreen
  • Thermometer
  • Triangular bandages
  • Tweezers, scissors, and a needle
  • Vitamins

Learn More:  Ready.gov/home-safety

Tools & Supplies

A variety of tools and basic supplies are recommended to accompany your disaster kit:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Battery operated radio or TV with spare batteries
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Compass
  • Duct tape
  • Emergency preparedness manual
  • Fire extinguisher (Small ABC Type)
  • Flashlight with spare batteries
  • Map of area (for locating shelters)
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Medicine dropper
  • Mess kits, plates, cups, plastic utensils
  • Needles and thread
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Paper, pencil
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Shut-off wrench for household utilities
  • Signal flare
  • Whistle 

Learn more: Ready.gov/shelter

Clothing & Bedding

Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person:

  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Hats and gloves
  • Rain gear
  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Thermal underwear

Learn more: Ready.gov/plan

Special Items

Remember family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons:

  • Bank account information
  • Check your kit at least once a year and replace old batteries and update clothing
  • Credit card numbers and companies
  • Entertainment items: books, games, magazines
  • Formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, medications, pacifier
  • Heart and high blood pressure medications, insulin, prescriptions, eye glasses, contact lenses and supplies, denture needs
  • Identification, passports, social security cards
  • Important family documents in waterproof container
  • Inventory of household valuables
  • Pet food and supplies 

Learn more:
CDC's Pet Preparedness