Disaster Relief Kit: What’s Inside?

After a disaster occurs in one of our countries, we often raise money to help those affected. We do this to help provide things such as food and water, shelter, bedding, trauma counseling or medical treatment, among other needs. Many times we also send disaster relief kits.

Let me tell you what we mean when we say “disaster relief kit.”*

A couple of weeks ago there was an earthquake off the northern coast of Honduras. Buildings and homes were damaged, including some homes of Compassion-assisted children. (Don’t worry … if your child is affected, we will let you know individually.)

In response to the earthquake, the Compassion Honduras office provided disaster relief kits to the affected families and our communications guy sent me a picture. (Thanks, Yuri!) Anyway, I thought you might like to see it …

photo of disaster relief kit

*This is just an example of one disaster relief kit we recently provided. Contents of other kits may vary.

UPDATED: Feb. 9, 2010 – Disaster relief kits for our 15,000 beneficiaries and families affected by the Jan. 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake include two weeks worth of supplies for one family:

  • 14 pounds of rice
  • 14 pounds of beans
  • one gallon of cooking oil
  • four packages of pasta
  • two 16 ounce jars of peanut butter
  • bottled water
  • up to four packs of canned meat / tuna (when available)
  • baby formula (where applicable)

11 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Melissa Morales January 17, 2010

    This is so helpful! Could you let us know how much a disaster kit would cost us to purchase for the Haitians? Thanks & God bless!

  2. Judith Tremblay June 25, 2009

    @Becky – Thanks for the clarification. 🙂

  3. Becky June 25, 2009


    Yes, it’s one kit per family.

    The purpose of a disaster relief kit is to provide immediate relief and address critical needs in the wake of a disaster. It is not meant to sustain the family long term.

    In cases where there are additional long term needs, we follow up these immediate relief efforts with more sustainable solutions. This might include things like trauma counseling, income generation, or rebuilding homes.

  4. Judith Tremblay June 24, 2009

    @Becky – It’s wonderful that things are personalized based on need, and not cookie cutter: one kit for all disasters. You’re right; the needs are different based on the situation.

    But, is it one kit per family, and that’s it? or are additional supplies available if they run out of (food, diapers) before they can get more when things get back to normal?

  5. Juli Jarvis June 24, 2009

    Wow — this is so interesting! Thanks so much for writing about this —

  6. Dana June 24, 2009

    That’s neat to see. I’ve often heard about them but wondering what was actually in them, though I had a general idea. I love that there are cookies inside – something comforting in the midst of the calamity around them.

  7. Becky June 24, 2009

    Hi Judith,

    This kit was designed to address the specific needs after the hurricane in Honduras.

    Each time a disaster occurs, we tailor our response to best address the needs of that disaster.

    In Bangladesh, Compassion distributed Oral Rehydration Therapy and water purifier tablets to families since clean water was such a huge need.

    Each disaster will be different so it will call for a different response. I just wanted to share with you one recent response.


  8. Chuck Guth June 24, 2009

    Thanks! Very interesting as to what is supplied and the fact that Compassion is so reactive to these situations. Glad for the update on Honduras! 🙂

  9. Amy Wallace June 24, 2009

    I like how they put candy and cookies in there – those always brighten up my day, and I would hope they would do the same for the people affected by these disasters.

  10. Judith Tremblay June 24, 2009

    That’s great! Wonderful to see what actually happens in the countries where we work.

    Even here in the States, no matter whether we live along the Gulf or Atlantic Coast, or more inland, there’s always some kind of disaster. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods.

    I wonder…are these disaster relief kits given out one per family, or one per person…? It looks like the one in the picture would go for an entire family, but I’m mainly wondering what happens when the water runs out, if normal water service is not available yet. Like in Bangladesh after the cyclone.

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