What to Pack in an Emergency Kit for Any Disaster

These emergency supplies are essential.

Emergency kit supplies.
Store your supplies in an easy-to-access location and make sure everyone in your household knows how to find it.

An emergency kit is essential to prepare for any disaster, including an earthquake, flood, or fire. recommends that every kit include these basics:

  • Water (one gallon per person for three days).
  • Food (nonperishable, enough for three days).
  • Can opener (if the above includes canned food).
  • Radio (battery powered or hand cranked).
  • Headlamp or flashlight.
  • Batteries for all electronic items in your kit.
  • First aid kit.
  • Whistle.
  • N95 respirator masks.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation).
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
  • Local maps.

Depending on your circumstances, you may also want to pack:

  • Medically necessary prescriptions (three days’ worth).
  • Copies of vital personal documents, including ID cards that verify your address.
  • Cash.
  • Sleeping bag or blanket for each family member.
  • Waterproof tarp.
  • Clothes (one change per person, appropriate for wherever you live).
  • Sturdy shoes such as a pair of retired sneakers.
  • Water-purifying tablets or chlorine bleach (with a medicine dropper) to disinfect water.
  • Waterproof matches in a waterproof container.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Personal hygiene items (including soap, hand sanitizer, and feminine care products).
  • Other medications (aspirin, diarrhea remedies, etc.).
  • Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses and solution.
  • If you have a baby: formula, bottles, diapers, and wipes.
  • If you have older kids: books, puzzles, games, and snacks.
  • If you have a pet: food (three days’ worth), water, food bowl, medicine, blanket, copies of important paperwork (pet adoption contract, microchip number, and vaccination and medical records), and a recent photo of you and Fluffy, should you need to prove ownership.