When disaster strikes, there may be no time to gather the things you need — you need to be able to “grab and go” or “duck, cover and hold” at a moment’s notice. Prepare kits appropriate for your family members and your business now — it can save lives and ensure your relative comfort until help arrives from outside the area.

When assembling your supplies, please think about what your family must have for its comfort, including sanitation and first aid supplies. Think about the specific ongoing needs of your own household, and stock the items your household normally uses. Don’t forget your medications, or special needs for children, seniors and pets.

Review your supplies twice a year (for example, each time you change your clocks) to rotate out expired food, medications, first aid supplies and batteries. Adjust your kits to your household’s changing needs.

Building a disaster kit does not have to be time-consuming or expensive. Most of the items you need are already in your home. The most important thing is to get started.

Make time one evening this week to assemble emergency kits with your family. While you are working on them, talk about safe evacuation routes from your house and meeting places for different kinds of emergencies, and designate an out-of-area contact person.

To get started, print this page and grab an old backpack, duffle bag, cloth shopping bag, or whatever you have on hand. Go shopping in your own home first for the items on this list. It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener

Check off each item as you add it to your kit. When you are finished shopping at home, place your kit and this list by your front door. The next time you go shopping, take the list with you and get more items for your kit, checking them off as you go.

Eventually, you will have a complete kit. Now you can upgrade items in your kit over time. Ask for a hand crank radio/flashlight/phone charger for your next birthday, or a good water purification kit. Upgrade from a duffle bag to a backpack that you can carry more easily.

After you have checked off all of the items in the basic kit list, look at the additional items you might want on the shelter-in-place and GoBag lists. Be sure to check you kit once a year for expired items and to make sure it still meets your family’s changing needs.

This kit takes just minutes to assemble, and will protect each member of your family in the event of a sudden emergency at night. Place one under each family member’s bed, inside a grocery sack tied to the leg of the bed to keep the items from moving during an earthquake.

What should be inside:

  • Safety helmet
  • Pair of sturdy thick-soled shoes
  • Pair of leather-palmed gloves
  • Flashlight with batteries or a glow stick
  • Map Your Neighborhood guidebook

Check the EVCNB calendar for the next Map Your Neighborhood training for great information on under-bed kits.

A good GoBag has the bare essentials to grab and go when your house is on fire, is damaged by a disaster, or a tsunami is rapidly approaching. Ideally, a GoBag will be easy to carry and contain enough supplies to keep you warm, dry, fed and hydrated for up to three days.

The bag itself could be a large fanny pack, a small backpack, rolling suitcase, or even a golf bag! Think about the specific ongoing needs of your own household, and your ability to carry these items to the designated evacuation area. If you are unable to carry your own supplies while hurrying uphill, consider storing your GoBag with friends at high ground.

Keep your GoBag in an easily accessible location, and consider keeping emergency supplies in your vehicles and at your place of employment as well.

What should be inside:

Food and Water

  • Six 4-ounce water pouches per person
  • Water purification tablets
  • Canteen with water filter
  • 12 meals per person, such as 3000-calorie food bars, MREs, freeze-dried meals or canned goods
  • Can opener
  • Pet food and bowl

First Aid and Medications

  • First aid kit
  • EMT shears
  • Pain relievers
  • Extra prescription medications
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • Hand sanitizer

Comfort and Sanitation

  • Waterproof ground cloth
  • Space blanket
  • Hand warmers (heat packs)
  • Warm socks
  • Wool watch-type cap
  • Boots or sturdy shoes
  • Plastic rain pants and jacket
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap bars
  • Travel size baby wipes
  • Feminine hygiene items
  • Diapers
  • Toilet paper
  • Plastic garbage bags

Equipment

  • Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool
  • Fixed-blade knife with sheath
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Hand-crank flashlight
  • Cyalume light sticks
  • Leather-palm gloves
  • Duct tape
  • 50 feet of light rope
  • Hand-crank AM/FM radio
  • Waterproof matches
  • Plastic spoons
  • Metal cup

Miscellaneous

  • Copies of important documents
  • Extra house and car keys
  • Contact names & numbers
  • Playing cards
  • Cash: small denominations and coins

Check the EVCNB calendar for the next GoBag 101 class presented by Larry Wiedenhoft and Tim Anderson.

Shelter-in-place kits have everything you’ll need to stay comfortably in place, whether at home or at work, without power, plumbing or sewer, or the ability to go to a store for up to two weeks. In the Nehalem Bay area, the most common reason to shelter in place would be an extended winter power outage.

Keep your shelter-in-place kit on sturdy shelving, in an easy to access location, secured to the wall.

What should be inside:

Food and Water

  • 1 to 1.5 gallons of water per person per day
  • Water purification tablets or chlorine bleach
  • Clean plastic, glass or fiberglass water containers
  • Non-perishable food, such as ready-to-eat soups, dry mixes; canned fruits, vegetables, meats and fish; pasta, rice and instant potatoes; peanut butter and jelly; crackers, nuts, hard candy; canned, boxed or powdered juice; instant milk; instant coffee and tea
  • Pet food and bowl

Food Preparation

  • Aluminum foil, food containers, zip-tip bags
  • Cooking utensils
  • Eating utensils, plates and cups
  • Pots and pans
  • Can opener
  • Camp stove and fuel
  • Barbecue grill and fuel

First Aid and Medications

  • First aid kit
  • Extra prescription medications
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aid batteries
  • Anti- diarrhea medication

Comfort and Sanitation

  • Pre-moistened towelettes
  • Dish soap
  • Towels
  • Disinfectant or bleach
  • Wash basin
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene items
  • Toilet paper
  • Plastic garbage bags

Equipment

  • Lanterns with batteries and/or fuel
  • Trash can with lid
  • All-purpose weather radio with batteries
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Sewing kit
  • Plastic sheeting to cover windows
  • Tools, including wrench to shut off utilities
  • Leather gloves
  • Generator with fuel

Miscellaneous

  • Copies of important documents
  • Extra house and car keys
  • Contact names & numbers
  • Cash: small denominations and coins

Making oneself and family safe may seem like an overwhelming task.  In an effort to make it seem more manageable, the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay offers some guidelines and a source for the more difficult-to-find items.  For more information, click here.
For more information, please visit American Red Cross and ready.gov.

View recommended Go Bag contents at Disaster Kit 101.

View recommended first aid kit contents at American Red Cross.

Check the EVCNB calendar for the next Prepare Your Neighborhood training for great information on under-bed kits, or the next GoBag 101 class presented by Larry Wiedenhoft and Tim Anderson.