You may need different supplies for some types of emergencies, but there are some supplies that are useful in any situation. Food, water, medicine, hygiene and first aid supplies are things you will need to have available. Depending on the situation, additional supplies may be needed. Following are suggestions for the items you should include in your emergency supplies.
Food & Water (3 day supply minimum, 14 day supply preferred)
For drinking and sanitation purposes, you will need one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. Ideally, you should maintain a 14 day supply. Read more about the water supply.
You will need at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food per person. Ideally, you should maintain a 14 day supply. Read more about the food supply.
First Aid Kit
- Disposable dishes and eating utensils
- Manual can opener
- Medicines (including prescription medicines)
- Medical Devices (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Personal hygiene supplies (soap, moist towelettes, toilet paper, feminine supplies, etc.)
- At least one pair of sturdy shoes and one complete change of clothing for every member of your family. Depending on the emergency, you may need to include winter clothing or rain gear.
- Blankets and sleeping bags
- Battery-powered radio. Also consider a NOAA Weather Radio.
- Two-way radios
- Extra keys for your car and house
- Cleaning and disinfecting supplies. (Include regular household bleach. It is an effective disinfectant.)
- Plastic bucket with tight lid
- Plastic garbage bags
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Extra batteries for all electronic devices
- Books, games, and other activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
Make sure that everyone in your family knows who to contact in an emergency. Make sure they all have copies of this information and that they keep it with them at all times.
Forms you can use to help develop these emergency contact documents are available online:
- Ready.gov Make a Plan
- Red Cross information on Emergency Preparedness Planning
Keep these documents in a waterproof container:
- Copies of insurance policies, wills, identification and bank account records
- Proof of address
- Lists of medications and other pertinent medical information
- Maps (local and regional)
- Useful references, such as a book about first aid, or information you print out from Ready.gov.
Emergency Kit to keep in your Car
- Battery powered radio with batteries
- First aid kit
- Flashlight and batteries
- Jumper cables
- Bottled water
- High energy snacks
- Tire repair kit & pump
Emergency Travel Food & Water
Maintain a three day supply of food and water that you can take with you in case of an emergency evacuation.