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Having an emergency kit can make a big difference as to how comfortable the first 72 hours after a disaster are for you and your family. First responders cannot get to everyone immediately, so be ready to have what you need with you for the first 3 days of a disaster. When building a kit, keep in mind that some disasters hit suddenly, so you may not have time to go shopping for extra supplies when the time comes. Check out this packing list to make a kit for you and your family. 

Emergency kit graphic   

The items in this section should form the core of your emergency kit. Feel free to add additional items that make your kit practical for your specific situation. 

 Kits should include: 

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).

  • Flashlight

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) 

  • Extra batteries

  • First aid kit 

  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items

  • Multi-purpose tool (a single tool that often contains a screwdriver, knife, and other tools into one)

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items

  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

  • Cell phone with chargers

  • Family and emergency contact information

  • Extra cash

  • Emergency blanket 

  • Map(s) of the area

  • Whistle

  • N95 or surgical masks

  • Matches

  • Rain gear

  • Towels

  • Work gloves

  • Tools/supplies for securing your home

  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Duct tape

  • Scissors

  • Household liquid bleach

  • Entertainment items

  • Blankets or sleeping bags

  • Extra set of car keys and house keys

  • Manual can opener

 kids  survival kit children  and younger

If you have children, enlist them to help make their own disaster supply kits. Use that time to talk to them about disaster preparedness, and review your family plans. Consider having children include the following in their kits: 

  • Extra changes of outfits, including shoes and cold weather gear.

  • Comfort items such as a stuffed animal or a blanket

  • Current photos of children with parents 

  • ID (ID bracelets with child's name, parent's names and phone numbers can be helpful)

  • List of contacts if parents are unable to be reached. Include people from out of the area. This list should be waterproofed. 

  •  Child-sized flashlight or headlamp

  • Entertainment - games, books, music and activities for children


Infants have special needs during a disaster. For more information about how to prepared for an emergency while pregnant or safely feed and care for your baby, click here.  You should also pack supplies for your baby in your emergency kit, including the following: 

  • Clothing (packing a size or two larger than they are currently wearing means the clothes are more likely to fit when you need them).

  • breast feeding supplies

    • For more information about breastfeeding during a disaster, check out this link.

  • formula and clean water for mixing in if needed

  • bottles and sterilizing supplies

  • baby food, spoons, and small container of dish soap

  • diapers, wipes, and bags for disposing of these

  • blankets and burp cloths

  • Medicines: diaper rash ointment, teething gel, etc. if needed


Don't forget to plan ahead for family members with functional and access needs, including people who rely on daily medication.  Functional and access needs can mean people who have medical or mental health conditions, are mobility or communication impaired, are non-English speaking, or do not have transportation in the event of an evacuation. More information about creating plans can be found here and here. The following items may be appropriate to include in an emergency kit. 

  • Several day supply of medicines along with a list of dosages and pertinent medical information

  • Contact information for caretakers

  • Spare communication aids and batteries if needed

  • Backup mobility devices such as canes, walkers, etc. 

  • A small pop up tent or other things such as headphones to decrease stimulation or provide privacy. 

  • Clearly label all assistive devices with your name and contact information using a method that is resistant to water and normal use. 


Elderly family members may need additional assistance or supplies in the wake of an emergency, especially if they live alone. The Red Cross recommends taking the following measures to help this population stay safe. 

  • Pack the following in your disaster supply kit:

    • Extra medications, along with a list of dosages. Make sure to change out these medications if they are discontinued or new ones are added. 

    • Extra batteries for assistive devices such as hearing aids. 

  • Clearly label all assistive devices such as wheelchairs or walkers with your name and contact information using a method that is resistant to water and normal use. 

  • Ensure someone local has a key to your home if you live alone, so they can check on you following a disaster. 

  • Store your disaster supply kit in an easily portable container, such as a backpack or a container with wheels. 


Do you have a pet? Make sure you have extra supplies on hand and have made plans to take care of your furry family members. Things to include in your pet's kit: 

  • Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a First Aid kit.

  • Extra collar with ID

  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can't escape.

  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.

  • Food, drinkable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, waste disposal bags, and manual can opener.

  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.

  • Toys and treats

  • Pet bed if easily transportable. If not, consider bringing extra towels or a blanket.

Note:  Make sure your evacuation planning includes plans to take your pet with you. If it's not safe for you to be there, it is not safe for them. Keep a list of pet-friendly hotels you can stay at along possible evacuation routes as well as ask friends and family outside of the affected area if they can shelter your pets in the event of an emergency. Pet evacuation kits should be kept in easily transported containers such as plastic boxes, backpacks, or luggage. Check out more information here