Family Preparedness Checklist

For most individuals and families, preparation is limited to assuming government will help when times get hard. However, people should learn to take responsibility for their own welfare rather than always depend on others for support. There may even be occasion when government is unable or unavailable, even unwilling to help when the need comes. At the very lease, one must expect delays and restrictions in government assistance during times of stress.

This list helps guide individuals and families in preparing for crisis. Many people have experiences in their lives at one time or another where this preparation can be at least reassuring and even lifesaving. Perhaps the most common crises requiring this preparation are job loss and disability. Many families find they also need to take advantage of this preparation during and after disasters such as fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake. Other remote, but possible situations include civil disruption, interruption of the transportation system, hyperinflation, breakdown of the market economy, even war.

It is not expected that every family or individual have all these items. The cost of obtaining and maintaining everything on this list would be prohibitive for most people. Therefore, do what you can, when you can, to obtain what you feel is most important for your situation. Buying a few extra items of food and other supplies each time you go to the store can help to steadily prepare for disaster. One should also consider other resources that would be available during a crisis such as neighbors and relatives. For example, several families can share a single garden tiller. Many of these items deteriorate with age -- even canned foods and gasoline. Such items should be rotated (replace stored items with new items, then consume the replaced items).

Clear title to your own home and land

Four month's wages in savings

Savings for two year’s property taxes

Food (one year)

  • Baby food
  • Baking power
  • Baking soda
  • Beans
  • Bouillon: chicken/beef
  • Brown rice
  • Coffee creamer for powdered milk
  • Flour (white)
  • Fruit – canned (wet or dehydrated)
  • Fruit juices (100%) - canned or bottles
  • Garlic powder
  • Honey
  • Meat (canned) (wet or dehydrated)
  • Milk (powdered)
  • Oatmeal
  • Olive oil for cooking & for blessings
  • Onion power
  • Pepper
  • Pet food & supplies
  • Salt
  • Soups with meat (wet or dehydrated)
  • Special dietary items
  • Spices
  • Spray oil
  • Sugar (brown)
  • Sugar (powdered)
  • Sugar (white)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vegetables – canned (wet or dehydrated)
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Water purification filters, tablets, or chlorine bleach
  • Wheat
  • Yeast

Garden

  • Hoe
  • Hose
  • Mower
  • Plow (human powered)
  • Garden rake
  • Leaf rake
  • Seed potatoes
  • Seeds (non-hybrid with 10 year shelf life)
  • Shovel (s)
  • Sprinkler
  • Tiller
  • Tractor
  • Work Gloves

Personal Hygiene Item (one year)

  • Body Lotion
  • Cosmetics
  • Curlers
  • Deodorant
  • Dental floss
  • Hairspray
  • Hair conditioner rinse
  • Hand soap
  • Kleenex
  • Mouthwash
  • Nail polish (clear)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paper towels
  • Razor
  • Razor blades
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Shampoo
  • Tampons
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste

Clothes (one year)

  • Boots
  • Blouses
  • Cloth
  • Coats
  • Diapers
  • Dresses
  • Garments
  • Gloves
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Hats
  • Jackets
  • Nylon stockings
  • Pants
  • Rain gear
  • Sewing needles
  • Sewing thread, buttons, & supplies
  • Shirts
  • Shoes
  • Skirts
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Thermal underwear (polypro best)
  • Underwear

Medical & First Aid Supplies (one year)

  • Antacid
  • Antibiotic cream or ointment
  • Anti-diarrhea medication such as Pepto Bismol
  • Antihistamine such as Benadryl for allergic reactions
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Arm sling
  • Bandages
    • Ace bandage
    • Gauze pads (3x3", 4x4", 5x5", triangular bandages)
    • Gauze rolls (conforming roller gauze bandage, 3" cohesive bandage)
  • Band-aids (20, assorted sizes)
  • Cold medicine (decongestant/antihistamine)
  • Cold pack
  • Contact lenses
  • Contact lens solution
  • Contact lens cleaner
  • Cotton balls
  • Cough drops
  • Cough syrup
  • CPR breathing barrier or face shield
  • Disinfectant
  • Disposable gloves
  • Electrolyte solution like Pedialyte to restore fluids
  • Eye drops
  • Eyeglasses
  • First aid manual
  • First aid ointment
  • First aid tape (2-inch)
  • Germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Gloves (non-latex, medical grade)
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Iodine
  • Laxative
  • Medical thermometer (rectal for infants, oral for others)
  • Medicinal herbs with book
  • Nose drops
  • Pain reliever (Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Ibuprophin) -- liquid for young children, tablets for older kids and adults
  • Phone numbers of your local poison control center, pediatrician, hospital emergency room
  • Prescription medications
  • Q-Tips
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Scissors
  • Sore throat spray or lozenges
  • Suction bulb to clear a baby's nose
  • Super glue
  • Syrup of ipecac and activated charcoal for treatment of poisoning. Note: Call your doctor or poison-control expert before administering
  • Tweezers
  • Zinc oxide-based product for diaper rash

School and Office Supplies (one year)

  • Envelopes
  • Glue sticks
  • Lined paper
  • Markers
  • Notebook dividers
  • Notebooks
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Postage
  • Stationery
  • Tuition – for one year
  • Type paper

72-Hour Kit (this should be in a backpack or duffle for immediate and easy carrying in case you must evacuate for a short period due to flood, forest fire, toxic leak or spill, hurricane, tornado, etc.) See also Camping Survival Kit

  • Battery-operated radio with batteries
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Can Opener – non-electric
  • Cash (plan for a 2-week vacation)
  • Change of clothing
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Disinfectant
  • Emergency preparedness manual
  • Feminine supplies
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlights with batteries
  • Food for at least three days (select foods that don't require refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and water)
  • Manual can opener
  • Matches
  • Mess kits or paper plates, cups, plastic utensils
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Pliers or multi-tool
  • Sewing kit
  • Soap
  • Special needs (diapers, formula, medications)
  • Toilet paper
  • Utility knife
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Water (1 gallon per person for 14 days - change every 6 months)

Camping-Hiking Survival Kit (see also 72-Hour Kit and Camping Equipment)

  • Blankets
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Food (one day)
  • Gloves
  • GPS
  • Map
  • Matches
  • Multi-tool
  • Paper and pencil
  • Paper towels
  • Parachute chord
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Pocket knife
  • Signal flare
  • Signal mirror
  • Space blanket
  • Spare batteries
  • Stainless steel cup (large)
  • Sunglasses
  • Toilet paper
  • Trash bags (3-4, large)
  • Water purification tablets or filter
  • Whistles
  • Wire saw

Family Records (in fireproof safe)

  • Computer backup tapes/disks
  • Education records
    • Diplomas
    • Report cards
    • Special commendations/awards
    • Standardized test scores
    • Transcripts
    • Vocational/professional training
    • Volunteer training (ie Boy Scout leader)
  • Employment records
    • Special commendations/awards
    • Vocational/professional training
  • Family tree
  • Financial records
    • Accounts receivable
    • Annual income/expense summary
    • Bank account records
    • Charitable contribution records
    • Credit card and debt records
    • Frequent flyer records
    • Funeral arrangements and planning guide
    • History of loan payments
    • Information to report lost/stolen cards
    • Investment gains and losses log
    • Ledger of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, precious metals and jewels, etc
    • Personal financial statement
    • Savings and Investment records
    • Stock and bond certificates
    • Tax records
  • Genealogical records
  • Health & medical records
    • Dental and orthodontic care history
    • Immunization records
    • Medical care history
    • Mental health care history
    • Optical care history
    • Prescriptions
  • Insurance policies
    • Auto
    • Boat, airplane, ATV, etc
    • Disability
    • Health
    • Home
    • Insured property list
    • Life
  • Insurance claims records
  • Inventory of valuable household goods (with photos or video)
    • Appliances
    • Collectibles
    • Computer equipment
    • Firearms
    • Furniture
    • Jewelry
    • Tools
  • Military and VA records
    • Awards and decorations records
    • Disability records
    • Discharge records (ie DD-214)
    • Training documentation
    • Pension records
    • VA education eligibility certificates
    • VA home-loan eligibility certificates
  • Personal records
    • Adoption records
    • Birth certificates
    • Club/organization affiliations
    • Court records
    • Death certificates
    • Divorce decrees
    • Driving record
    • Emergency and commonly called phone numbers
    • Gift giving record
    • Journals & diaries
    • Marriage certificates
    • Military & veteran's records
    • Names, addresses, birthdays of friends & family
    • Passports
    • Periodical subscription information
    • Voter registration ID
  • Pet care records
  • Photographs & albums
  • Power of Attorney documents
  • Property records & titles
    • Assessments
    • Auto
    • Inventory of personal property and collectibles
    • Maintenance records
    • Patents, copyrights, royalties, etc
    • Real estate
    • Warranties
  • Retirement records
    • 401k
    • Defined benefit plans
    • IRA
    • Keogh and SEP
    • Loans secured by pension plans
    • Military/VA
    • PBGC (Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp)
    • Pension contribution log
    • Social security records
  • Wills and trust documents

Items for Children (one year)

  • Board games
  • Books
  • Crayons
  • Games
  • Toys

Camping & Cooking Equipment (See also www.nay.org/camplist.htm)

  • Axe
  • Backpack
  • Bow saw
  • Camp stove with fuel
  • Candles
  • Can Opener – non-electric
  • Charcoal
  • Charcoal grill
  • Compass and appropriate maps
  • Cot(s)
  • Dining fly
  • Dutch ovens
  • Kerosene
  • Kerosene heater
  • Kerosene lamps
  • Large kettles for heating water
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic cups (heavy-duty)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Potato peeler
  • Propane
  • Rope
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sewing kit
  • Shovel
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping pads/mattresses
  • Tarps
  • Tent(s)
  • Toilet paper
  • Trash bags (3-4, large)
  • Water buckets/barrels
  • Waterproofing
  • Wheat Grinder – Hand-operated
  • Zip-Loc bags – various sizes

Auto

  • Air compressor or Fix-a-Flat
  • Antifreeze - 1 gallon
  • Axe
  • Blanket
  • Brake fluid - 1 pint
  • Clothes, warm
  • Coveralls
  • Deicer spray
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Extra gasoline
  • Fire extinguisher (ABC type)
  • First aid kit
  • Flares
  • Flashlight
  • Fuel stabilizer (ie Stabil)
  • Gasket sealer
  • Gasoline - 5-gallons
  • Gear oil - 2 quarts
  • Gloves
  • High-lift jack
  • Hose clamps
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Matches
  • Misc nuts & bolts
  • Motor oil
  • Multipurpose tool (ie Leatherman)
  • Oil filter (s)
  • Paper towels
  • Plywood (2' x 2' x 3/4") for jack base in soft soil
  • Power steering fluid - 1 quart
  • Pulley drive belt
  • Radiator sealer
  • Shovel
  • Silicone spray
  • Snacks
  • Spare fan belt(s)
  • Spare tire - full-size
  • Tarp
  • Tire chains
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Tire repair kit
  • Toilet paper
  • Tools (mechanics)
  • Tow strap
  • Transmission fluid
  • Trash bags (3-4, large)
  • Water (2 gallons - change every 3 months)
  • Wet wipes
  • Winch or come-along (hand or electric)
  • Windshield scraper

Other Supplies & Equipment (one year)

  • Batteries
  • Binoculars
  • CD player with music CDs
  • Clocks with batteries
  • Clothesline
  • Clothespins
  • Dish soap
  • Disinfectant cleaner
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Firewood
  • Fishing equipment
  • Flashlights
  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Garbage bags
  • Generator with fuel
  • Glue (carpenter/hot glue/super glue)
  • Gun cleaning supplies
  • Guns & hunting ammunition
  • Gun safe
  • Ham radio & antenna (if licensed)
  • Hobbies
  • Large tubs, scrub board, & wringer for washing clothes
  • Laundry detergent
  • Matches
  • Paper towels
  • Radio (battery-operated)
  • Scriptures
  • Shut-off wrench to turn off household gas and water
  • Spray bottles
  • Tape recorder with blank tapes
  • Tools (mechanics)
  • Tools (household/woodworking)
  • UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)
  • Wood burning stove with external air supply

(Source: Ol' Buffalo Preparedness Page)

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