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Step 5: Assembling an Emergency Kit

By Sarah Anderson

In case of a disaster that will require you and your family to evacuate at a moment's notice you will need to take some essentials with you to make your life outside of your home more comfortable.

Why Do I Need an Emergency Kit?

Learn how to assemble an emergency kit for your families. Include food, medical equipment, hygiene items, extra clothing and blankets, money, documents, and more. How to store and maintain your kitWhen evacuating due to a disaster, you probably will not have the opportunity or the time to shop and search for the supplies you and your family will need. In this case, your emergency kit will become very handy and, for that reason, every household should assemble a supplies kit and keep it up to date.

What is an Emergency Kit?

An emergency kit is a collection of basic items your family would probably need to stay safe and be more comfortable during and after a disaster. It includes the basic supplies required to survive a disaster which requires an evacuation.

The Contents of an Emergency Kit

The following list includes the recommended contents for your emergency kit. If you don't have all of the items listed here, try to get them. If you cannot get everything on the list, gather whatever you can as it is better to have a small kit than no kit at all.

Assume that a disaster will displace your family from your home for up to three days. Pack a three-day supply of non-perishable food and a manual can opener. Take three-day supply of water based on the calculation of one gallon of water per person, per day.

Don't forget the supplies for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers. If you own a pet, pack enough pet supplies. Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils may become handy as well.

Medical Equipment and Hygiene Items

  • First aid kit and manual
  • Prescription medications
  • Eyeglasses or contact lens and contact lens solution
  • Hearing aid and spare batteries
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Moist wipes
  • Toilet paper

Extra clothing and blankets
If you live in a cold climate, think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat during or after a disaster. Think about your clothing and bedding needs. Be sure to include one set of the following for each person:

  • Jacket or coat
  • Long pants and long-sleeved shirts
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Hat, mittens, and scarf
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket

Money and Documents


  • Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Whistle
  • Tools
  • A map of the local area
  • Any other items to meet your unique family needs

Emergency Kit for Your Car

Consider having an additional emergency kit in your vehicle.

Here is a list of recommended items for your car kit:

  • Flashlight, extra batteries, and maps
  • First aid kit and manual
  • White distress flag
  • Tire repair kit, booster/jumper cables, pump, and flares
  • Bottled water and non-perishable foods such as granola bars
  • Clothes

Emergency Kit Placement and Maintenance

Disaster supplies kit items should be stored in a portable container as close as possible to the exit door or any other emergency exit. Review the contents of your kit at least once a year.

Recommended Reading
Step 4: Emergency Action Checklist
Step 6: Maintain Your Plan and Emergency Kit

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