FORT WALTON BEACH — The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County's staffers say preparing a family disaster kit or “go-kit” before a hurricane or storm is crucial.

Go-kit awareness is part of National Preparedness Month, during which DOH-Okaloosa reminds residents of easy ways to stay safe during emergencies

A go-kit — which should be in a portable container — includes basic supplies that will keep your household safe and healthy for at least 72 hours.

Necessities include:

•Water — at least 1 gallon daily per person. Store three to seven days’ worth

•Food — enough for three to seven days; include nonperishable items, baby formula, food for senior citizens, high-energy foods like protein bars with long shelf life and pet food

•Cooking tools — such as a non-electric can opener — and means of fuel, like Sterno for heating foods

•Plates and utensils

•First aid kit



•Clothing — seasonal and rain gear; diapers; and proper shoes like boots

•Flashlights — with batteries or able to be charged by hand crank

•Radio — with batteries or able to be charged by hand crank and include weather radio

•Toys, books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

•Pet care items

•Disaster supply tools — utility knife, whistle, pencil, map compass, thread, needles, signal flare, tape, shut-off wrench, eyewear and thermal blankets

•Medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, insurance information, telephone listing of important numbers, cash and a cell phone charger.