National Preparedness Month: Make a Plan for Yourself, Family, and Friends - Emergency Kit
National Preparedness Month
Week 1: Plan for Yourself, Family, and Friends
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
- Water - At least 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days
- Food - At least 3 day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First-aid kit
- Extra batteries
- 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
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and backup battery
Additional Emergency Supplies
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit:
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Glasses and contact lense solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencils
- Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children
Maintaining your Kit
After assembling your kit, remember to maintain it so it's ready when needed:
- Keep canned food in a cool and dry place
- Store boxed f in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
- Replace expired items as needed
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family's needs change
Kit Storage Locations
Because emergencies occur at any given place and time, it's important to prepare supplies for your home, work, and vehicles.
- Home: Keep your emergency kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the emergency kit is kept.
- Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water, and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a "grab and go" case.
- Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.