Make A Supply Kit

Emergency Supply Kit

You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days.

Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. Or, you may have to evacuate at a moment's notice and take essentials with you. You probably will not have the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you need.

A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items that members of a household may need in the event of a disaster.

Making a Kit

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Supply Kit

•Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
• Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio and extra batteries for both.
• Flashlight and extra batteries.
• First aid kit.
• Latex Free Gloves.
• Whistle to signal for help.
• Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
• Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food).
• Local maps.

Additional Items to Consider Adding to Your Kit.

• Prescription medications and glasses.
• Infant formula and diapers.
• Pet food and extra water for your pet.
• Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
• Cash or traveler's checks and change.
• Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
• Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
• Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
• Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
• Fire Extinguisher.
• Matches in a waterproof container.
• Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
• Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels.
• Paper and pencil.
• Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.

Maintaining Your Kit

Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed. Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:

• Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
• Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.
• Throw out any canned good that becomes swollen, dented or corroded.
• Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies.
• Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
• Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.
• Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family's needs change.

Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag.

Kit Storage Locations

Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.


Your disaster supplies kit should contain essential food, water and supplies for at least three days.

Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.

Additionally, you may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks.


In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car. This kit should include:
• Jumper cables.
• Flashlights and extra batteries.
• First aid kit and necessary medications in case you are away from home for a prolonged time.
• Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener.
• Water for each person and pet in your car.
• AM/FM radio to listen to traffic reports and emergency messages.
• Cat litter or sand for better tire traction.
• Shovel.
• Ice scraper.
• Warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes.
• Blankets or sleeping bags.
Also consider:
• A fully-charged cell phone and phone charger.
• Flares or reflective triangle.
• Baby formula and diapers if you have a small child.
Be prepared for an emergency by keeping your gas tank full and if you find yourself stranded, be safe and stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.