Emergency Supply Kit...

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for a least three days, for drinking and sanitation.  Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
  • Flashlight and exra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
  • Manual can opener for food (if kit contains canned food).
  • Local maps.
  • Cell phone with chargers.

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses.
  • Infant formula and diapers.
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet.
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.  Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.  Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
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    Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper - When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant.  Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water.  Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher.
  • Matches in a waterproof container.
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels.
  • Paper and pencil.
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activites for children.

Maintaining Your Kit:

Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:
 
  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.
  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag.
  • Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented or corroded.
  • Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies.
  • Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
  • Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

Make a Plan:

Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.  Read more about Family Communication during an emergency.
 
Ready.gov has made it simple for you to make a family emergency plan. Download the Family Emergency Plan (FEP) (PDF - 450 Kb) and fill out the sections before printing it or emailing it to your family and friends.  You might also consider downloading the Childs Emergency Contacts Card (PDF - 998 Kb).
 
You should also inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time:  work, daycare and school, faith organizations, sports events and commuting.  If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.  Talk to community leaders, your colleagues, neighbors and members of faith or civic organizations about how you can work together in the event of an emergency.  You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.