First thing’s first – you should have at your reach two disaster kits together, meaning: 1 for your car, for the case when a disaster strikes while you’re not at home; 1 at home.
For the house kit, you should consider packing food and water and you should think about which items are essentially needed in the case you have to leave the house. Water can be easily contaminated, therefore you need enough fresh water supplies, for drinking, cooking and washing.
The kit for your car ought to include supplies that should last for 2-3 days, whereas the kit found in your home should ideally include supplies that last for 5-7 days. These supplies should include and be in the categories of: food, clothing, safety and shelter. Considering the food you should carry, think of packing canned food, such as fruit, and protein bars that would conserve your energy. You should include fresh medication among your supplies.
Moreover, considering garments, you should be ready to dress in layers, if you’re facing different types weather conditions, such as heat waves, floods or severe cold weather. For instance, you should grab a rain jacket, and/or canoeing shoes, i.e. shoes that allow you to walk in water.
Step 1 would be for you to identify the hazards you could or are about to face. Aside from natural hazards, you should also take into consideration hazardous material spills, train derailments or even plane crashes, so, all in all, those that aren’t really caused by “natural” phenomena. For instance, the Red Cross or local emergency managers could aid you in discovering which hazards risk affecting your area.
Now, after you’ve identified the potential hazards, you should proceed to writing a survival plan. The plan should be issued according to hazards that could actually occur in your area – for instance, a tsunami wouldn’t occur in Oklahoma, but a tornado might. Additionally, you should make a list of items you want to carry with you prior to evacuating your home, such as family photos, that work as encouragement in difficult situations.
Remember to provide safety, food and water supplies for your pets as well (if applicable).
It’s really important that you get notified via weather radio warnings, so, if you invest a modest amount of money in a weather radio, this could actually save your life. You should have extra batteries for the radio too. So, basically, you ought to keep an eye out for the weather radio alerts and watch your daily news channel, especially if you were to potentially deal with a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, heat wave or a heavy winter storm.
Furthermore, you should have at your disposal flashlights, a hand-crank radio for safety and extra batteries, and even glow sticks. About lighting your way in the dark, you could also consider acquiring a LED headlamp. The LED lights last a long time on batteries, whereas the headlamp doesn’t keep your hands occupied.
Also, consider applying for text alerts on your cell phone and subscribing to weather channels to also receive alerts via e-mail. These are usually offered for free by many local governments.
You should have a bag at your disposal where you’d be able to keep your supplies in case your car breaks down. In this case, you should safely pack your supplies in a backpack for your car or a bucket for your home.
All in all, you should also pack a sleeping bag and a tent for shelter purposes, whereas the survival kit should also be at your reach in case you have to leave in a hurry, for instance in an upper level closet.