Floods, tornadoes, and other disasters can seriously disrupt normal life. Services may not be available and transportation may be gone. You may be forced to evacuate your home with no time to save anything. The Texas Department of Emergency Management has developed a list of emergency supplies that all residents should have on hand for any type of severe weather situation. This “readiness kit” should be kept in a water resistant container that will be easy to life and can be moved rapidly if necessary. The “readiness kit” should contain the following items:

  • Manual can opener
  • 3-day supply of non-perishable food (crackers, tuna, peanut butter, Spam, etc.)
  • First aid kit
  • Battery operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Bottled water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Blankets, sleeping bags and extra clothing
  • Extra prescription medication
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, deodorant, etc.)
  • Toilet paper
  • Tarp, rope and duct tape
  • Plain bleach
  • Eye glasses and/or sunglasses
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Extra keys
  • Booster cables and road maps
  • Extra clothes
  • Special supplies that might be needed for older adults, babies, and pets
  • Cash (power outages mean that banks and ATM’s may not be available)
  • Favorite entertainment items (games, books, coloring books, colors, cards)
  • Important documents (birth certificates, ownership papers) and records, photo IDs, proof of residence
  • Sturdy shoes and gloves

Remember to change the perishable supplies and water every six months.

Necessities are the only things that you should put in your “readiness kit”. In the event that a tornado is spotted headed your way, it is advisable to grab any prescription medication, a cell phone, your daughter’s favorite blanket and doll, and the cat. That is – only if you have time to do so!

Do not waste time looking for something that you feel is too valuable to leave behind. The key is to plan ahead, move quickly, and don’t take chances.