Bozeman, MT, September 11, 2013 September 11 is a good day to remind Montanans that every household needs to be prepared for major emergencies. Disasters can strike quickly and often without warning. During National Preparedness Month, American Red Cross of Montana invites families to get ready for disasters by building a family emergency kit.

 “When we talk to people about building an emergency kit, they often tell us that they understand the importance of having a kit, but that they just haven’t gotten around to assembling one,” says Rod Kopp, CEO of Montana Red Cross. “That’s why we are challenging families all across our state to build a kit this month.”

 Montanans can do this in several ways: (1) They can follow the directions below; (2) they can go to and let Jamie Lee Curtiss take them through our short Be Red Cross Ready program; (3) they can go to download one of our free emergency app to follow kit-building instructions there; or (4) they can follow Montana Red Cross on Facebook ( or Twitter ( and complete the short checklists that are being posted there this month.

 Here is a list of items that should be part of every family’s emergency kit:

 At a minimum, each kit should have the basic supplies listed below:

      Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

      Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)


      Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

      Extra batteries

      First Aid kit

      Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

      Multi-purpose tool

      Sanitation and personal hygiene items

      Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

      Cell phone with chargers

      Family and emergency contact information

      Extra cash

      Emergency blanket

      Map(s) of the area

 Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

      Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)

     Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

     Games and activities for children

     Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

     Two-way radios

     Extra set of car keys and house keys

     Manual can opener

 Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:


      N95 or surgical masks


      Rain gear


     Work gloves

     Tools/supplies for securing your home

      Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

      Plastic sheeting

     Duct tape


     Household liquid bleach

     Blankets or sleeping bags

 Overwhelmed? By tackling just 5 items each day, a family can assemble a complete kit in just one week.

 To support the work of Montana Red Cross, go to or call 1-800-ARC-MONT (1-800-272-6668) to make a donation. Contributions may also be sent to American Red Cross of Montana, 1300 28th Street South,Great Falls,MT 59405.Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.

 About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.