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Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit

Emergencies arrive unexpectedly, so now is the time to prepare by gathering basic emergency and disaster supplies. To assemble a basic emergency supply kit, place your supplies in waterproof bags and store them in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as plastic tubs, unused trash cans or duffel bags. Your kit should contain enough supplies to last two to four weeks and should be stored in a designated place, where all family members can locate it.

Suggested items to keep in your basic emergency supply kit:

  • Food and drink that does not have to be refrigerated
  • At least three days’ supply of water – one gallon per person per day
  • Portable, battery-powered radio or weather radio, extra batteries
  • Several flashlights, extra batteries
  • Matches and waterproof container
  • Whistle or other noisemaker
  • Basic personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, feminine products and wipes)
  • Heavy-duty trash bags
  • First aid kit
  • Non-electric can opener and basic kitchen accessories (salt, sugar, aluminum foil, plastic storage bags, disposable utensils)
  • Bathroom and facial tissue
  • Extra clothing, shoes and socks
  • Waterproof coats or ponchos, boots
  • Towels, blankets, small or inflatable pillow
  • Chlorine bleach (pure, unscented)
  • Medication
  • Small repair kit (screwdriver, hammer, nails, duct tape)
  • Pens, pencils, paper, tape, whistle, needles, thread, safety pins

Documents and other information you should collect and keep in waterproof containers are as follows:

  • Copies of drivers’ licenses, immigration papers, work identification badges, social security cards, birth certificates, marriage licenses and other items
  • Current photos of family members and pets for identification; make sure medical identification bracelets are up to date; talk with your veterinarian about having an identification microchip placed in your animal
  • Copies of credit cards with company names and numbers
  • Copy of your family preparedness plan and family contact information
  • Medical prescriptions, including eyeglasses. An easy way to have a list of your medicines ready for an emergency is to put a copy of the drug information that comes with your medicines in a plastic bag. Replace the copies every year or when your medicine changes
  • Immunization records
  • Wills, insurance policies, stocks, bonds, bank account numbers
  • Inventory of valuable household goods—if you can, take photos or videotape your belongings and e-mail the pictures to a friend or family member for safekeeping
  • Deeds, titles and mortgage papers
  • State and local area maps
  • Backup of computer files

Page last updated: May 13, 2021