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Prepared Families

Disaster Planning Guide

disaster family planning guide

Download the free PDF version here

Disaster can strike at any time.

From hurricanes along the East Coast to floods and tornadoes in the Midwest, to fires in California, and worldwide pandemics, Operation Blessing is all too familiar with disasters and crises. We’ve been helping victims in times of disaster both in the US and around the world for decades.

Thanks to generous friends like you, we’re able to deliver disaster relief in real-time—quickly reaching out to hurting families with hot meals, emergency supplies, helping hands, love, and encouragement.

Too often, as our teams pick through the debris of damaged homes searching for precious family mementos, we hear disaster victims say, “How could we have prepared for this?”

So we’ve collected a number of resources to help you and your family stay safe and well-cared-for during disasters. This guide is specifically designed to help you create an emergency kit and plan disaster meal ideas. And you can find more helpful materials on our Disaster Preparedness page.

Disaster relief

Disaster planning resources

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

JOHN 16:33 ESV


emergency meal plan
disaster preparation checklist
  • Learn about disasters common to your area
  • Decide when you will leave vs. when you will stay
  • Choose a family meeting place
  • Plan your disaster evacuation route
  • Know the location of your nearest evacuation shelter
  • Locate the safest spot in your home
  • Gather important contact information
  • Make copies of important documents
  • Prepare your family emergency kit
  • Review and practice your plan with your family
  • Track disaster-prone conditions and stay alert
  • Consider if you’d benefit from flood insurance

For more detailed planning information about specific types of disasters and how to prepare for them, please visit our Disaster Preparedness page.


This kit can be used either in-home during a crisis or after a disaster for quick departure when evacuating. Place important documents in sealed plastic bags and pack emergency supplies in plastic storage bins sealed with duct tape.

Emergency Meal Kit


  • Water for a week: one gallon per person per day—plus extra for pets
  • Disaster meal kit for one week—see grocery list on the next page.


  • Change of clothes, rain gear, boots
  • Sleeping bags and pillows


  • List of illnesses, medications and allergies
  • Hygiene items, first aid and baby supplies


  • Birth certificates, social security numbers, passports
  • Important contact information
  • Mortgage or rental contracts, insurance information, retirement documents


  • Basic tools — wrench, pliers, scissors, waterproof matches, fire extinguisher
  • Battery-operated TV or radio, lantern, clock and extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra bulbs and batteries


  • Pet food, carrier, collars, leashes and bedding
  • Map of your area
  • Plastic garbage bags
emergency meal recipe cards


In times of disaster when electricity is out, use meats and dairy first, then items less likely to spoil quickly. Finally, move to disaster foods that can be stored for long periods of time. Have a grill or camp stove and fuel available.

Disaster Meal Grocery List

  • Canned or powdered milk, bottled juices, instant coffee, tea
  • Canned soups, meats, pasta, and vegetables
  • Dry rice and pasta, dry soups with flavor packets, macaroni and cheese with cheese pouch
  • Cereal, protein bars, oatmeal packets
  • Granola bars, crackers, cookies, jerky, canned and dried fruits, nuts
  • Peanut butter, jelly, cheese spreads
  • Sugar, salt and pepper
  • Can opener, fuel for grill and/or camp stove
  • Baby food and formula, pet food

Breakfast, Lunch & Snacks:

Dry cereal and powdered or canned milk, granola bars, nuts, dry fruits, dried meats, peanut and jelly with crackers, canned meats, canned fruits, canned vegetables, and soups.

Dinner ideas

  1. Canned stew with crackers
  2. Canned chili with crackers
  3. Baked Bean Surprise*
  4. Dry bean soup with flavor packet
  5. Spaghetti sauce with high protein noodles
  6. Macaroni and cheese with cheese pouch
  7. Speedy Southwest Chicken*

*See recipes below


Operation Blessing is a nonprofit, humanitarian organization dedicated to partnering with YOU to demonstrate God’s love by alleviating human suffering in the U.S. and around the world. For more than 40 years, your love has shown through OB as together we’ve provided hunger relief, medical care, clean water, and disaster relief to millions around the world.

Through compassionate, efficient, and locally-focused programs, we are able to target the specific needs of those we serve. Our partners have the opportunity to truly be the hands of feet of Jesus for people who are suffering and in need.

disaster relief
disaster planning non profit