Preparing the Northwest

brought to you by NW Insurance Council

Build a Disaster Survival Kit

In order to effectively respond to, and survive, a disaster, it’s important that your preparedness plan includes a comprehensive disaster survival kit.  This kit could be your family’s lifeline if emergency services cannot immediately reach you. 

  • Develop a disaster survival kit that includes:
    • a three-day supply of drinking water and food you don't have to refrigerate or cook
    • first aid supplies
    • a short-wave weather radio
    • batteries
    • clothing, blankets and medicine
    • some basic tools
    • copies of your insurance policies and other financial documents
    • contact information for local emergency agencies and hospitals
  • Review your insurance policies to be sure you have the right coverage to meet your needs.  Find out what your insurance will cover.  Standard Homeowners and Business insurance does not cover damage caused by flood, earthquake, landslides or tsunamis. Flood Insurance may be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. You may purchase earthquake coverage separately through your Homeowners Insurance company.
  • Develop a comprehensive Home Inventory of your personal property.  A complete inventory of your possessions will help in obtaining insurance settlements and/or tax deductions for losses.  Don't trust your memory.  List descriptions, take pictures/and or video and include receipts if possible.  NW Insurance Council offers free downloadable Home Inventory software from the Insurance Information Institute. Visit
  • Store your Home Inventory, insurance papers and other important financial documents in waterproof containers offsite in a safety deposit box or with a friend.  Become familiar with your community's disaster preparedness plans.
  • Plan an escape route in the event you have to evacuate your home if your family is separated at the time of a disaster.
  • Designate a central meeting point for family members if you are separated at the time of a disaster.
  • Designate an out-of-area relative or friend who can act as a communication link between you and family members if you’re separated.  Local phone lines may be down or over capacity.
  • Check with city or county officials for low points in the event of a flood.
  • Be sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas.
  • Locate the nearest official shelter.  The Red Cross can locate the shelter nearest your home and explain what you should bring with you.