Disaster preparedness kits?

I guess it’s because of the Colorado wildfires, but I’m suddenly seeing a lot of articles about putting together a disaster preparedness kit. Now that we have a daughter, it almost sounds worth it to me (or at least appealing), but they do involve some maintenance–tracking and rotating of perishables, for example.

We live in Illinois. There’s no particular history of flooding, wildfires, or severe earthquakes in our area (mild ones yes, no higher than 4.5). It’s flat so there are no mudslides. We live in a forested area that defuses tornadoes tout suite. Would it really be worth it to us to have a kit already put together? I can hardly imagine a situation here that wouldn’t give us time to gather our things before evacuating.

PS–I’m talking about a kit that you throw in the car when you need to GO. We do keep flashlights, candles, an oil lamp, and extra food in the house for power outages and being snowed in, which definitely happens here.

You might check if there’s a local Red Cross chapter, which might be able to provide advice specific to your area.

Considering the effort level is fairly low and there are other uses for it I don’t see any reason why anyone would not have one.

Ours is just an old gym bag that sits on the front shelf of the coat closet. Twice a year I check it and rotate out the canned food that is in it and in the winter it moves to the back of the van for any out of town driving.

Just keep part of your house kit in one bag and you’re done.

I have a pacsafe bag I use to keep my med bottles corralled between saturdays [I have a pill sorter that holds 7 days of meds in little compartments, I refill it saturday evening just before going to bed so I have a fresh filled one for the coming week] that I keep a set of 30 prescriptions for every med I take, so all I need to do is grab the pacsafe, and my bailout backpack [fits on either me or slung on the back of my wheelchair] and my external backup hard drive [which fits into my purse] and I am good to go. I can therefore have up to 3 months of meds in bottles, depending on how recently I refilled my scrips, and an additional 30 days of scrips. I also have my passport, cell phone, hand crank charger for the phone and a paper backup of all my contacts, along with 3 days of clothing, a flashlight, a selection of munchies, a filtering water bottle and a small first aid/survival kit.

Sattua - you may feel safe in Illinios, but don’t forget that the New Madrid Fault extends into Illinios and produced the largest earthquake in US history. Many geologists think it is overdue for another mega quake!

Not to alarm you or anything :smiley:

I live in the suburbs of Chicago and have disaster kits, both supplies for staying at home and for going away.

Floods do happen, even in unexpected areas. A few years back, there was such a strong earthquake that my husband and I were woken up and at first thought that a car had hit our house or the furnace had exploded. We have snowstorms, tornadoes, train derailments, extended electrical outages, all kinds of things that could happen. With the huge drought we’re suffering from, we could even have wildfire risks in some areas.

Check the suggestions at http://www.ready.gov/ and figure out what makes sense for your family and needs.

So, I definitely have the best intentions to assemble a kit myself. There is really no good reason that I can’t look up some suggestions, like at the link Ferret Herder posted, and put one together for our family. But it’s been months and months and we still haven’t gotten our act together.

One thing we are apparently capable of, in our self-inflicted busy schedule, is ordering stuff off the Internet. Can anyone recommend a good starter kit for disaster preparedness?

A lot of pre-prepared kits, from what I’ve seen and read, have a lot of crap/extraneous items in them, plus it depends on whether you’re planning for staying home or planning for getting the hell out. My “go bag” has stuff in it that I could use during a “stay home” disaster, but it’s packed to deal with about 3 days’ worth of having to get the hell out of Dodge.

Ready.gov has basic starting suggestions as does the American Red Cross. The Red Cross also has pre-prepared kits in their store, like their kit for one adult for 3 days. But I bet you can find a lot of those things separately for less money, or customize what you need for your family and area.

Missed the edit window: Check over the contents of that bag and think about what you might need that’s not in there. For instance, there’s plastic sheeting, which if you had to shelter outside, might work as a simple lean-to, but there’s no cord. The duct tape might work in place of that.

What will you do with a “go bag”, too? If you have to leave your home, where will you go? If you can’t drive away, does that change your answer? Make decisions for different situations now so that you aren’t overwhelmed by indecision and fear if something happens.

I have pets, so if I chose to escape to a hotel temporarily (assuming a very small, local disaster - house fire, train derailment and evacuation, power outage, flood), I’d need to know where I could bring them. Among the documents I have (copies of my driver’s license, insurance cards, addresses and phone numbers of people important to contact - what if you break or lose your cell phone?), I checked for hotels in the surrounding suburbs that accept pets, and printed up a list with their names, addresses, and phone numbers, and put that with those documents. I have an iPhone but there’s no guarantee I’d have it intact, or that cell networks would work right - many times, disasters can overwhelm cell networks due to sheer call volume and make it hard to even make calls in the affected area.

Edit: Here’s an easy way to get started: The Do 1 Thing method. Step-by-step, do one preparation per month, and in a year, you’ve got the basics covered.