Create Your Own Disaster Kit in Just 3 Months (3 Easy Steps)


Over the past several years, there have been major weather events have moved through the area and brought down trees and power lines, enough to knock out power for days and even weeks. Plus we have the potential for major earhtquakes

traffic sign down from Ike Hurricane Ike

Ice Storm

Building damaged during the May 8 wind storm May 8 Derecho

During those events, many people required immediate assistance because of a lack of planning. Others needed assistance after several days.

You can be prepared from now on if you put together a Disaster Kit. Once created you rotate the items to make sure that they are fresh 2 times a year. However, the difficult part is often just getting started.

The National Weather Service Office in Paducah, in conjunction with Emergency Managers and other partners, is having a 3 month campaign to help you put together a kit for you and your family.

There are many different lists out there on what you need. We have looked at most of those lists and attempted to take the best from each one. However, our list is just the beginning. You need to take an inventory of what you have and what you might need. Use the list to get started.

We broke the list up into 3 sections to help make it more affordable and not so overwhelming. You can do this in just 3 easy steps.

These lists are meant for a family of 4. If you have infants, or elderly living with you, then you need to take that into account and have plenty of formula and diapers for the kids. The elderly may have special needs as well.

Step 1 - 1st Month

Use the list to inventory your food supplies:


Download 1st Month list (pdf)

Step 2 - 2nd Month


download 2nd Month list (pdf)

Step 3 - 3rd Month

Download 3rd Month list (pdf)

*Remember to keep cooking fires, such as charcoal, and generators outside. Never use these indoors. We strongly suggest a carbon monoxide detector for your house.*

*Another important item is to have both cash and credit cards that you can use to make emergency purchases or to help you get to another place of shelter. Initially after the ice storm some locations were only taking cash and as the area began to recover, some only took credit cards. Remember that ATMs are run on electricity, if there is no electricity, there may be no way to get your money out of the bank. Change may also be useful if you need to go to a laundrymat to wash your clothes.*

Download the entire 3 month list (pdf)

Download Explanation and list (pdf)

There are several other good lists out there including this one from the State of Illinois.

A detailed producedure including creating a kit and a disaster plan is available frorm


Above & Beyond

This section is for ideas to increase your survivability.

Of course, if you want to have your kit last longer than 3 days, purchase more items than what we suggest.

- Generator

- Extra change of clothes

- Important family documents are put into a watertight container

- Books, magazines and games to keep kids (and yourself) busy

- One of the biggest things to plan for is the lack of communications. What if your phone and/or cell phone will not work. How will you contact anyone?


Other Questions to Ask Yourself

1) How long can you stay in your home without power, or heating/cooling?

2) If you must leave your home due to an extended outage, where will you go, and how will you get there?


3) What is the contact information for the location(s)? (Name, Address and Number)


4) Where will you store your kit, and can it be taken with you to an alternate location?


** If you are able to provide shelter to others in your home during an extended emergency:


5) How many additional friends or relatives can you shelter?


6) Do they have a kit prepared for their family?


7) Have they planned transportation or storage of the kit at your home, in the event of an emergency?  


8) If they are storing their supplies at your home, can they walk to your home in the event transportation is not possible?


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