Dickinson County Courthouse, Spirit Lake, Iowa

20 Weeks to Preparedness

It's crucial to be ready for unexpected emergencies and disasters that can occur without warning, no matter when or where. This handy emergency supplies calendar is designed to assist you in preparing for such situations in advance. By following the calendar, you can gradually build an emergency supplies kit over a span of five months. Simply mark off the items you collect each week. Don't forget to regularly update and replace perishable supplies based on their expiration dates. The suggested food purchases should be sufficient to sustain you for around three to five days.

The list of items is below or you may download this information in a PDF document, courtesy of Safeguard Iowa.

Week 1

Place in Storage Bin:
  • 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • Cellphone charger
  • Battery-powered standard AM/FM radio and batteries or weather radio
  • Flashlight/batteries
  • Protein bars
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Diapers and essential medications
  • Car adapter for small electronics
To Do:
  • Develop/update family communications plan

Week 2

Place in Storage Bin:
  • 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • First-aid kit, or gather Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, nitrile latex gloves and gauze pads
  • 1 package of toilet paper
  • Dried fruit and/or nuts
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Baby food
To Do:
  • Find natural gas and water shut-offs. Place appropriate wrench near valves.

Week 3

Place in Storage Bin:
  • 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • Cash, in small denominations
  • Disposable wipes
  • Crackers and peanut butter and jelly
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Baby bottles and formula
To Do:
  • Scan or make copies of birth certificates, licenses and passports. Store in a plastic bag, on a thumb drive or send to an email account that is accessible from anywhere.

Week 4

Place in Storage Bin:
  • Five gallon bucket with lid
  • Plastic tarp
  • Work gloves
  • Ready-to-eat meals

Personalized Item: (if applicable)

  • Special diet foods
To Do:
  • Arrange for emergency care for children, elders and/or pets

Week 5

Place in Storage Bin:
  • Disposable dust mask (one per person)
  • Travel sized shampoo, body wash and deodorant
  • Manual can opener
  • Canned vegetables (one can for every two people)
  • Mirror
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Hearing aid batteries
To Do:
  • Scan or make copies of health care information, including vaccination records, prescription information and insurance. Store in a plastic bag, on a thumb drive or send to an email account that is accessible from anywhere.

Week 6

Place in Storage Bin:
  • Duct tape
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and hairbrush for all family members
  • Unscented liquid household bleach for water purification
  • Canned meat (one can for every two people)
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Contact lens solution
To Do:
  • Practice alternate methods of evacuation

Week 7

Place in Storage Bin:
  • Disposable eating utensils
  • Camp-style stove, fuel and matches in a waterproof container
  • Disposable plates and heavy duty garbage bags
  • Canned soup (one can per person)
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Denture supplies
To Do:
  • Purchase and/or install emergency escape ladders, if necessary

Week 8

Place in Storage Bin:
  • Extra batteries for flashlight and radio
  • Pan to use on camp-style stove
  • Bleach
  • Pain reliever e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen
  • Canned fruit (one can for every two people)

Personalized Item: (if applicable)

  • Pet food
To Do:
  • Send video contents of home to email or store a copy of the video in an alternate location

Week 9

Place in Storage Bin:
  • Extra flashlight
  • Whistle
  • Paper towels
  • Granola and/or snack bars
  • Large, clear, empty plastic jar, such as mayonnaise, and a candle to fit inside
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Pet leash and crate
  • Make copies of pet vaccination and/or prescription information
To Do:
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Test the alarms

Week 10

Place in Storage Bin:
  • 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Thermometer and tweezers
  • Cereal (one box for every four people)
  • Collapsible shovel
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Water for pet
To Do:
  • Establish out-of-town contacts

Week 11

Place in Storage Bin:
  • 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • Paper, pen, pencil and scissors
  • Sunscreen
  • Protein bars
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Litter pan
To Do:
  • Determine signal with family and friends to be used to communicate safety

Week 12

Place in Storage Bin:
  • 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • Laxative/antidiarrheal medicines
  • Rolled bandages and safety pins
  • Dried fruit and/or nuts
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Extra battery for motorized mobility aid
To Do:
  • Make copies of credit and debit card account information. Store in a plastic bag.

Week 13

Place in Storage Bin:
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Antacid
  • Hammer and nails
  • Crackers and peanut butter and jelly
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Extra prescription glasses
To Do:
  • Review and finish video task

Week 14

Place in Storage Bin:
  • An extra pair of sturdy shoes per person
  • Screwdriver
  • Safety goggles
  • Ready-to-eat meals
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Extra keys to the house
To Do:
  • Prepare emergency car kit

Week 15

Place in Storage Bin:
  • One towel per person
  • Pliers
  • Hard hat
  • Canned vegetables (one can for every two people)
To Do:
  • Extra keys to the car

Week 16

Place in Storage Bin:
  • An extra pair of sturdy shoes per person
  • Screwdriver
  • Safety goggles
  • Ready-to-eat meals
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Extra keys to the house

Week 17

Place in Storage Bin:
  • An extra set of clothes per person
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Kleenex
  • Canned soup (one can per person)
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Family photo

Week 18

Place in Storage Bin:
  • Rain gear
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Adhesive tape
  • Canned fruit (one can for every two people)
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Talking clock for visually impaired

Week 19

Place in Storage Bin:
  • Cash, in small denominations
  • Sleeping bag and/or blanket for each person
  • Map of local area
  • Granola and/or snack bars
Personalized Item: (if applicable)
  • Extra cane for visually impaired

Week 20

Place in Storage Bin:
  • Sewing kit
  • Signal flare and compass
  • Liquid detergent and hand soap
  • Cereal (one box for every four people)