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What to Pack in an Emergency Kit for Any Disaster

These emergency supplies are essential.

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

GULCIN RAGIBOGLU/ ISTOCK

An emergency kit is essential to prepare for any disaster, including an earthquake, flood, or fire. Ready.gov 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.