Build a Kit

After a large disaster, households may need to rely on themselves and what they have on hand for up to two weeks. Having an emergency kit can help you take care of yourself and people around you during and after a disaster.

Tailoring an emergency kit to your household or situation will help you be even more prepared. When you are building your emergency kit ask yourself 'what does my household rely on every day? If we can't access those supplies like we usually do, how can we adapt?' This will help tailor your kit to your specific needs.

This list will help with basic supplies everyone should have in case of an emergency, but it is not a complete list. 

Basic Disaster Supplies

Start with these basic disaster supplies that everyone should have.

  • Water - One gallon per person per day for at least 3 days for drinking and sanitation
  • Food - At least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food (don't forget a manual can opener)
  • NOAA Weather Radio with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Blanket and warm clothing
  • Flashlights or headlamps with extra batteries (don't use candles for light or heat)
  • Whistle
  • Dust masks
  • Sanitation supplies including moist towelettes, garbage bags, and feminine products
  • Non-sparking utility tool to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone chargers and backup batteries

Going shopping? Download the Recommended Supplies List(PDF, 271KB) .

Additional Supplies

Add extra items to your kit based on special considerations for your household.

  • Prescription medications and copies of prescriptions
  • Non-prescription medications
  • Extra glasses or contact lenses with solution
  • Extra toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Infant care items
  • Cash in small denominations
  • Copies of important documents like birth certificates, insurance information, bank records, identification, and other records in a fireproof lock box and stored electronically.
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Change of clothes including sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Waterproof matches
  • Cooking gear like a portable stove 
  • Portable dishes and silverware
  • Entertainment like books, games, or puzzles
  • Pen and paper

Kit Maintenance and Storage

Emergency Kit Maintenance 

Make sure your emergency kit is ready to use by maintaining and updating it regularly.

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
  • Store water in sturdy containers in locations that wont freeze (detached garages can freeze and break water containers)
  • Look through your kit annually and replace any expired items

Emergency Kit Storage

Disasters can strike no matter where you are, so keep a kit at home, at work, and in vehicles.

  • Home: Make sure everyone in the household knows where emergency supplies are and how to use them. Have some supplies ready to grab quickly in case the household needs to evacuate.
  • Work: Keep enough supplies to shelter at work for at least 24 hours in case you cannot get home. Include food, water, medications, comfortable walking shoes in a location you can quickly grab what you need.
  • VehicleKeep supplies in your vehicle in case you get stranded.

Emergency Preparedness