7th Step – Be Informed – Basic Disaster Kit – Insurance & Vital Financial Records

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

**Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least THREE days, for drinking and sanitation
**Food, at least a THREE-day supply of non-perishable food
**Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
**Flashlight and extra batteries
**First aid kit
**Whistle to signal for help
**Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
**Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
**Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
**Manual can opener for food
**Local maps
**Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:

**Prescription medications and glasses
**Infant formula and diapers
**Pet food and extra water for your pet
**Cash or traveler’s checks and change
**Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (see link below) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
**Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
**Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
**Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
**Fire extinguisher
**Matches in a waterproof container
**Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
**Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
**Paper and pencil
**Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children


Disasters not only affect community infrastructure and public works, but they often overcome family finances, making recovery difficult and sometimes impossible. Start by completing an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (PDF – 977 Kb) created in partnership with Operation HOPE. This document can help you keep track of important documentation, like insurance policy information, so you have clear financial records that will help maintain stability in the event of an emergency.

Emergency Financial First Aid Kit

Personal Property Inventory Forms

Obtain property (see Step #2), health and life insurance if you do not have them. Review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards.

Store important documents such as insurance policies, deeds, property records and other important papers in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box away from your home. Make copies of important documents for your disaster supplies kit. Having such information handy should make the registration process for FEMA benefits smoother, should you be involved in a presidentially declared disaster.

Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. It is advisable to keep a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks at home in a safe place where you can quickly access them in case of evacuation. It is important to have small bills on hand because ATM’s and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.

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