Emergency Supply List

What to Include in an Emergency Supply Kit

Emergency Supplies. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

When disasters strike, it can take days to restore utilities and get relief efforts in place. Make sure all of your family's immediate needs are met by creating an emergency supply kit with food, water, a first aid kit and other essentials. Here's a complete list of supplies to include in your emergency kit:

Water (one gallon per person per day and enough for at least three days)
Non-perishable food (at least a three-day supply)
A can opener
Mess kits (or disposable plates, cups and utensils)
Dish soap
Trash bags
A first aid kit
A first aid book
Prescription meds
A flashlight
A radio (battery-powered or hand-crank)
Matches (waterproof or in a waterproof container)
A fire extinguisher
A whistle
Bedding (sleeping bags or warm blankets)
An extra change of clothes and shoes
Rain gear
Toiletries (toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine products, etc.)
Basic tools (hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, wrench, crowbar)
A shut-off wrench (to shut off gas or water supply)
Plastic tarps/sheeting, a staple gun, nails, screws, bungee cords, rope, duct tape (for securing your home)
A pocket knife
Chlorine bleach and an eye dropper (to disinfect or treat water)
dust or surgical masks (to protect against storm debris)
Plastic freezer bags (to keep things dry)
Cash (small bills and change)
Copies of important documents
Emergency contact numbers
Paper, a pen and a permanent marker
A cellphone and a charger
A backpack or duffel bag (one or more)

Optional Items:
A tent
A cook stove and fuel
Cooking tools

To Complete Your Emergency Supply Kit ...

  • Include food and extra water for your pets
  • If you have a baby, include diapers, wipes, formula, etc.
  • Be sure to factor in the needs of any seniors, pregnant or nursing moms, or special needs individuals in your household
  • Consider adding a few small toys or books to keep children entertained/comfort them
  • Place everything in a plastic bin (or waterproof container) to ensure your supplies stay dry
  • Store your kit in a cool, dry location that is easily accessible. Make sure everyone in your home knows where it is

Update Your Kit Regularly

FEMA recommends rotating the food and water in your emergency supply kit every six months. Also be sure to keep up with the expiration dates on meds and batteries, and to swap out clothes both seasonally and as children grow.