Author Archives: Ready Colorado

READYColorado: Pack a Kit


Stocking water reserves should be a top priority. Drinking water in emergency situations should not be rationed.  Therefore, it is critical to store adequate amounts of water for your household.

Two quarts of water/day/person for drinking.

Example: 2 quarts x 3 days x 5 person household = 30 quarts (about 8 gallons of water).

Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate. A normally active person needs at least two quarts of water daily just for drinking. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more. Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.

One gallon of water/day/person for sanitary purposes and cooking.

Example: 1 gallon x 3 days x 5 person household = 15 gallons.

Because you will also need water for sanitary purposes and, possibly, for cooking, you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day.


If activity is reduced, healthy people can survive on half their usual food intake for an extended period or without any food for many days. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women.  You don’t need to go out and buy unfamiliar foods to prepare an emergency food supply. You can use the canned  foods, dry mixes and other staples on your cupboard shelves. Canned foods do not require cooking, water or special preparation.

Food items that you might consider including in your disaster supply kit include:

Ready-to-eat meats (e.g., beef jerky, canned ham)

Canned fruits and vegetables

Canned or boxed juices

Boxed milk

Powdered milk

Canned soup

Peanut butter


Granola bars

Trail mix


Foods for infants

Foods for persons on special diets (e.g., low sodium or gluten free)


Hard candy

Instant coffee

Tea bags



First aid manual

Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes

Assorted sizes of safety pins

Cleansing agents (isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide)/soap/germicide

Antibiotic ointment

Latex gloves (2 pairs)

2-inch and 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6 each size)

Triangular bandages (3)

2-inch and 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls each)

Cotton balls




Moistened towelettes



Tongue depressor blades (2)

Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant



It may be difficult to obtain prescription medications during a disaster because stores may be closed or supplies may be limited. Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications. Be sure they are stored to meet instructions on the label and be mindful of expiration dates — be sure to keep your stored medication up to date.  List prescription medications that you need to have on hand.


Extra pair of prescription glasses or contact lens.


Have the following nonprescription drugs in your disaster supply kit:

 Aspirin and non aspirin pain reliever

 Antidiarrheal medication

 Antacid (for stomach upset)

 Syrup of ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the poison control center)




It is important to assemble these items in a disaster supply kit in case you have to leave your home quickly.   Even if you don’t have to leave your home, if you lose power it will be easier to have these item already assembled and in one place.

Tools and Other Items

A portable, battery-powered radio or television  portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries (also have a NOAA weather radio, if appropriate for your area)

Flashlight and extra batteries

Signal flare

Matches in a waterproof container (or waterproof matches)

Shut-off wrench



Other tools (screwdriver, etc.)

Duct tape and scissors

Plastic sheeting


Small canister, A-B-C-type fire extinguisher

Tube tent


Work gloves

Paper, pens, and pencils

Needles and thread

Battery-operated travel alarm clock

Kitchen Items

Manual can opener

Mess kits or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils

All-purpose knife

Household liquid bleach to treat drinking water

Sugar, salt, pepper

Aluminum foil and plastic wrap

Re-sealing plastic bags

If food must be cooked, small cooking stove and a can of cooking fuel

Sanitation and Hygiene Items

Washcloth and towel

Towelettes, soap, hand sanitizer, liquid detergent

Tooth paste, toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorants, comb and brush, razor, shaving cream, lip balm, sunscreen, insect repellent, contact lens solutions, mirror, feminine supplies

Heavy-duty plastic garbage bags and ties—for personal sanitation uses—and toilet paper

Medium-sized plastic bucket with tight lid

Disinfectant and household chlorine bleach

Consider including a small shovel for digging a latrine


Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think about your best friend’s basics for survival, particularly food, water and medication.  A kit for your pet may be very similar to a kit for any other member of your family.

Food — at least three days of food for each pet in an airtight, waterproof container.

Water — at least three days of water for each pet in addition to water for your family.

Medicines and medical records — be aware of your pet’s medical needs!

First aid — cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, rubbing alcohol.

Crate or pet carrier — be able to safely transport your pet and give them a place to sleep.

Collar with ID tag, harness or leash — have a second set of ownership and contact information, microchip registry and other important documents (vaccinations, breed registration)

Sanitation — does your pet use a litter box or need newspapers/liners, poop bags or towels?

Familiar items — favorite toys, treats or bedding can help reduce stress in your pet.

A picture of you and your pet — if you become separated, this is a great way to issue notification and an easy way to establish ownership.

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