The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has launched its second annual National Severe Weather Preparedness Week this week. The intention of the week focuses on you, your family and your community being prepared in the event of a disaster.

FEMA reports that each year people are killed or injured due to hurricanes, blizzards or other natural disasters despite early warnings. In 2012, there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 weather-related injuries.

Ready.gov says putting together a disaster supply kit is essential to making sure that your family has the provisions needed for each individual keeping in mind that some kits may need additional items if there are seniors or infants in the house.

The agencies list some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency supply kit (templates at ready.gov) and developing an emergency plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency.

For specifics as to what to add to your kit, please read below.

BASIC DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT

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

[Source: NWS]