Make a Kit. Make a Plan.

Emergency Supply Kit

In a disaster, you may need to survive on your own for up to three days before emergency services can assist you. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies for you and your family for at least three days. Although emergency responders and local relief agencies will be working hard on scene following a disaster, they may be greatly overwhelmed. Depending on the severity and spread of the disaster, help could arrive within minutes, hours, or days.

Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off. You may become stranded away from your home, have to evacuate at a moment’s notice, or have to shelter in place. You probably will not have the time or ability to shop for the supplies you need to keep you and your family safe and healthy, so your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during any of these outages.

Preparing a disaster supplies kit before a disaster strikes allows you peace of mind and the supplies you need to get through the first few days.

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


  • You need to store at least one gallon of water per person per day.
  • When determining water quantities, also take into consideration:
  • For hot climates, you may need to increase your water quantities
  • Medical emergencies might require additional water
  • Family pets will also require water


  • Gather foods that do not require refrigeration, cooking or special preparation.
  • If you store canned foods, make sure to include a can opener.
  • Make sure to include foods for family members with special dietary needs.
  • If you have a pet, make sure to include pet food.

The Basics of Your Disaster Supply Kit

  • Three-day supply of nonperishable food.
  • Three-day supply of water - one gallon of water per person, per day.
  • Portable, battery powered radio or television and extra batteries.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
  • Matches and waterproof container.
  • Whistle.
  • Extra clothing.
  • Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
  • Photocopies of credit, identification cards, insurance paperwork and other important documents.
  • Cash and coins.
  • Food, water, and medicine for your pet.
  • Special needs items; prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens, hearing aid batteries.
  • Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles and pacifiers.
  • Other items to meet your unique family needs.

Training and Maintenance

  • Show your family members where the kit is located and how to use its components.
  • Change out stored food and water every six months. Pay attention to expiration dates.
  • Reevaluate your disaster supply kit at least once a year. Do you or your family have new prescriptions, paperwork, or any other new unique needs?
  • For more information on creating an emergency kit, check out:

Your Family Disaster Plan

Creating a Disaster Plan is an essential part of preparing your family for a disaster or emergency situation. Discussing what you will do before, during, and after an emergency will empower your family to take control of their own safety and survival during a disaster.

Items you should discuss, write down and practice:

Escape Routes

If you have children, it is especially important to identify and practice your escape routes. Draw a floor plan of your home and mark the escape routes. Have the children practice escaping from their bedrooms. It is a good idea to practice this while crawling in the dark, so you know how to escape during a fire.

Meeting Points

Identify an area outside of your home where you will all meet up following an emergency. Also identify an area away from the home in case you become separated or are not at your home during the emergency. Ex: Maybe a nearby school parking lot.

Family Communications

It is quite possible that your entire family will not be at home when a disaster strikes. Make a plan for how you will get a hold of each other. Remember - After a disaster, phone lines will be busy. Make sure to identify an out-of-state contact person. This person may be more easily reached.

Safety Skills/First Aid

Learn First Aid and CPR. Contact your local American Red Cross to schedule a class. This is important for children and adults.

Make sure family members know how to use fire extinguishers and where it is located. (May not be appropriate for children)

Utility Shutoff

Following a disaster you may be instructed to turn off one or all of your utilities. Make sure household members know how to turn off utilities and have the tools necessary to complete the task. Label your utilities with tags and make sure the shutoff valves are in working order.

Remember: If you turn off your gas for any reason, a gas professional must turn it back on for you. Do not turn it on by yourself.

Caring For Animals

Making plans in advance for your pet(s) is an essential part of disaster planning. Make sure your disaster supply kit includes ample food for your pet. Following a large disaster, charitable organizations will normally set up feeding operations for you and your family. These feeding operations will not normally include food for your pet, so plan ahead. Include a leash in your disaster kit and possibly a pet carrier or crate. Find out which local hotels will allow pets in case you need to evacuate from your home. Many shelters will not allow pets other than service animals, so please plan ahead.