Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross recommend families stock their homes with 6 basics: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container, such as a covered trash container, a camping backpack or a duffel bag. The basics of survival are essential, but some of the following items may make a time of crisis more comfortable.

Supply Checklists
Basic Supplies
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery powered radio and extra batteries
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties and toilet paper for personal sanitation
  • First aid kit
  • Map of the area for evacuation or for locating shelters
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes
First Aid Supplies
  • Assemble a first aid kit for your home and 1 for each car that includes:
  • 20 adhesive bandages in various sizes
  • 5-inch by 9-inch sterile dressing
  • Conforming roller gauze bandage
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Roll of 3-inch cohesive bandage
  • Germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Large medical grade non-latex gloves
  • Adhesive tape, 2-inch width
  • Anti-bacterial ointment
  • Cold pack
  • Scissors (small, personal)
  • Tweezers
  • CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield
  • Non-prescription drugs, such as aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid (for stomach upset), syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
Clothing & Bedding
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies once a year to account for growing children and other family changes.

Have at least 1 complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person including:
  • A jacket or coat
  • Long pants
  • A long sleeve shirt
  • Sturdy shoes
  • A hat and gloves
  • A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or a print out of this information
  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Cash or traveler's checks, change
  • Non-electric can opener, utility knife
  • Paper towels
  • Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type
  • Tube tent
  • A set of pliers
  • A working compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper and pencil
  • Medicine dropper
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
  • Toilet paper, towelettes
  • Feminine supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach
You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted 9 parts water to 1 part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

Important Family Documents

Keep copies of important family records such as insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.

Water & Food
Nutritional Supplies
Food and water are essential elements that all human beings must have access to in order to live.

  • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water.
  • If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary.
  • Store water tightly in clean plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.
  • Keep at least a 3-day supply of water per person.
  • Store at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.
  • Pack a manual can opener and eating utensils.
  • Choose foods your family will eat
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods
Special Needs Items
Remember the special needs of your family members. Infants, the elderly and persons with disabilities need the same planning as everyone else, and sometimes a little more, to be prepared for an emergency.

For Baby
  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications
  • Moist towelettes
  • Diaper rash ointment
For Adults
  • Ask your doctor about storing prescription medications such as heart and high blood pressure medication, insulin and other prescription drugs.
  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses
For Seniors
  • Plan how you will evacuate or signal for help.
  • Plan emergency procedures with home health care agencies or workers.
  • Tell others where you keep your emergency supplies.
  • Teach others how to operate necessary equipment.
  • Label equipment like wheelchairs, canes or walkers.
  • List of prescription medications including dosage in your supply kits. Include any allergies.
  • Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries.
  • Extra wheelchair batteries or other special equipment in your supply kit.
  • A list of the style and serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers in your emergency supply kits.
  • Copies of medical insurance and Medicare cards.
  • List of doctors and emergency contacts.
For People with Disabilities
  • Create a support network to help in an emergency.
  • Tell these people where you keep your emergency supplies.
  • Give 1 member of your support network a key to your house or apartment.
  • Contact your city or county government's emergency information management office. Many local offices keep lists of people with disabilities so they can be located quickly in a sudden emergency.
  • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to help identify your disability.
  • If you are dependent on dialysis or other life sustaining treatment, know the location and availability of more than 1 facility.
  • Show others how to operate your wheelchair.
  • Know the size and weight of your wheelchair, in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.
  • Prescription medicines, list of medications including dosage, list of any allergies.
  • Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries.
  • Extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen.
  • Keep a list of the style and serial number of medical devices.
  • Medical insurance and Medicare cards.
  • List of doctors, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt.
For additional information from FEMA, check out