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Fact Sheet

Severe weather can occur in every season. With preparation, coping after the storm can be made easier.

Keep an adequate supply of food, water and emergency equipment on hand. Foods recommended for storage in case of emergency are:
  • Smoked or dried meats; rice and beans
  • Juices: canned, powdered or crystallized
  • Soups: bouillon cubes or "dried soups in a cup"
  • Milk: powdered or canned
  • High energy foods: peanut butter, jelly, crackers, nuts, trail mix, energy bars
  • Vitamins
Include enough canned food to last four to five days, a hand operated can opener, and emergency cooking equipment like a camp stove, with fuel to operate it.

Each person will need a gallon of water per day for three to four days. If there is adequate warning and the possibility of being without water, fill the bathtub and large containers.

Bring emergency supplies to the safest area of your house  interior hallways, central bathrooms or closets, and basements (reinforced concrete). Basements are especially good for protection from tornadoes, but if you have a flooding problem, you may not want to go there. Also, take care not to choose a "safe" place where there is an appliance or other heavy object on the floor directly above you. Heavy winds and rains can weaken walls and floors.

In addition to the items above, your supplies should include:
  • A change of clothing and footwear, and a blanket or sleeping bag for each person
  • A first-aid kit, including prescription medicines
  • Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio (or download a weather app on your smartphone)and a portable radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries (keep extra batteries in sealed plastic bags)
  • An extra set of car keys and a credit card or cash
  • Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
  • Pet supplies
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Candles or kerosene lamps and matches
Keep your disaster supplies kit in a clearly labeled, easy-to-grab box.

A major storm can disrupt the normal pace of life, but with careful preparation the aftermath can be dealt with calmly.

University of Florida Disaster Handbook Guide
National Safety Council
Farmers Insurance Group
American Red Cross

Contact the South Dakota Safety Council at
or phone 605-361-7785 or 1-800-952-5539.