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Build an Emergency Kit

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You should be prepared to provide your own basic necessities for three to five days during a disaster, whether you are evacuating or sheltering-in-place.

Before you begin to develop a kit, consider how a disaster will impact you and/or your family. Consider the individual needs of each person you are preparing for.

Emergency Supply Checklist

Make sure to modify this list to suit your own personal needs.

  • Two gallons of water per person per day
  • Nonperishable food that does not require preparation such as canned food
  • Manual can opener
  • Eating supplies such as paper plates, napkins, and plastic utensils
  • Baby supplies such as formula, bottles, and diapers
  • Books, toys, games or other activities
  • Food and water for pet
  • Shot records for your pets
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency reference material (first aid book)
  • Clothing for several days
  • Credit card
  • Cash
  • A whistle or air horn to signal for help
  • Battery or crank-operated radio
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Basic tool kit and work gloves
  • Spare pair of reading or prescription glasses
  • An air mattress and sheets for each member of the group
  • Toilet paper, moist towelettes, garbage bag and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Soap
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Female hygiene supplies
  • Local, regional, and state maps
  • Dust mask
  • Cell phone with charger

Additional Items and Considerations

Some items that you will need in an emergency kit may be too difficult to maintain within the kit, but those items should be readily available in your home if you need to shelter in place or evacuate. Some of those items include:

  • Consider creating a network to help you in an emergency or evacuation
  • Functional need items such as a walker, oxygen, wheelchair, or hearing aid
  • Instructions for the use of special medical equipment. Teach your network on how to use the equipment
  • Style and serial number of any medical devices
  • Size and weight of any special medical equipment
  • Contact your oxygen supply company about their emergency plans and how you will maintain your supply of oxygen.
  • Consider written instructions regarding your care if you have any special care needs
  • 30 days' worth of your prescription medications
  • Laptop or tablet and accessories
  • Patch kit for tires

Maintaining Emergency Kit Inventory

Once you have developed your emergency kit, consider developing a schedule to check the supplies in your kit, including rotation of your food and water supplies.

  • Also, reconsider the items in your kit and update with additional items as your personal situation changes.
  • It is recommended you check your kit inventory at least twice a year.


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