women 4 hope

Dedicated to addressing women’s issues.

Is your family prepared for a hurricane or disaster?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 11, 2007


Is your family prepared for a hurricane or disaster? — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Angela Mickalide, Director of Education and Outreach for the Home Safety Council, about disaster preparation.

We talked about the importance of having “ready kits“, and the need for families to have supplies ready for both leaving, as well as staying in their home, during an emergency or disaster.

Recently the Home Safety Council did a survey to find out how prepared families “felt” they were for a disaster. What they found was; 64 percent of the children surveyed said they “think” their families are prepared for an emergency situation, but only 27 percent said that their family has a communications plan in place or has assembled readiness kits to use in case of an emergency. That’s a troubling statistic. How prepared is your family?

What you will need for your Ready-to-Go Kit:

  • One gallon of water per person
  • Food that doesn’t have to be refrigerated a manual can opener
  • Plastic/paper plates, cups and silverware
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio
  • A change of clothes
  • A card with your contact information and the number of someone out of state to call
  • Pet food and supplies for one or more days
  • Small first aid kit
  • Personal identification card
  • Personal hygiene items, soap and hand sanitizer
  • Store medicine you usually take near your Ready-to-Go Kit

What you need for your Ready-to-Stay Kit:

  • Three gallons of water for each family member
  • Canned food and snacks for at least three days
  • Non-electric can opener
  • First aid kit
  • Medicine you usually take
  • Toilet paper
  • Clothes set aside for each family member
  • Blankets
  • Books and games to keep you busy
  • Paper and pencils
  • Pet food and supplies for three days
  • Non-scented bleach

A recent poll by the American Red Cross and Harris Interactive shows that 90% of Americans who have a disaster supply kit feel prepared. The problem is, that only a mere 28% of the population actually has one.

Patricia, from A Better You Blog wrote this about…



What Matters Most

Prep Pack- I used to live with earthquakes, and despite hearing about the importance of an emergency kit in your trunk, I never created one. Now as a parent, my third thought is meeting the basic needs of my children in a worst-case scenario (I do not really think this would ever happen, but no one ever does, so I still pack).

Here is a video of a woman from the American Red Cross being interviewed on disaster preparation, and what supplies every family should have on hand…



Preparing for an emergency need not be overwhelming, time consuming or expensive. To help Americans prepare, the Red Cross launched the Be Red Cross Ready campaign, an initiative to promote personal and community preparedness by taking three steps.

“We want everyone to have the confidence and peace of mind that comes with being prepared,” says Darlene Sparks Washington, American Red Cross Director of National Preparedness. “Anyone can Be Red Cross Ready by taking three simple actions: 1) get a kit, 2) make a plan and 3) be informed.”

And here, Katie Couric reflects on the difficulty of preparing for unexpected disasters, especially when resources are tight, something we don’t always think about…

I finished up my interview with Dr. Mickalide, talking about a program that the Home Safety Council has recently implemented, to get our kids excited about “family” disaster preparation. The Kids Prepare America Contest is a campaign that boasts both a great animated character (Freddie) and website, with a contest and exciting prizes. If you are the parent or teacher of a child in third or fourth grade, this is a program you should really check out.

Additional Resources:

In a major disaster, it could be several days before vital services are restored…Are you prepared?

Ready America

More to come on disaster preparation from Denise and Amanda, later this week. Until then…What does your family do to prepare for a possible disaster?

6 Responses to “Is your family prepared for a hurricane or disaster?”

  1. thepointis said

    On the anniversary of 9/11, this is a very timely topic. This year I decided that I was going to get prepared. It’s one of those things that I’ve been avoiding. A friend sent me a link to a new facility at http://www.axcesspoints.com. It lets me store all my information like my families medical histories, financial information – and it calculates what I should have in my emergency kit – even for my horses. I like it better than Ready – because it does more than just tell me what to do – I can actually DO IT there.

  2. Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out.

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  4. Geri said

    This is useful information.
    Disasters are part of our lives and we need to be prepared all the time since we don’t know when it will strike.

  5. Jim Davis said

    This website will also help people be prepared for a disater – http://www.iown.it

  6. Doug said

    Thanks for sharing these home safety thoughts. I’m bookmarking this for future reference.

    I am currently travelling so, for this reason, I’ve nothing better to do than surf the web for safety info, more or less anyway. Thank you for your valuable point of view

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