Emergency Care For You

Family Disaster Preparedness - Disaster Supply Kit

An important part of family disaster preparedness planning is putting together a disaster supply kit. All family members in your household should be made aware of the items in this kit, and it should be easily accessible to everyone. In addition, your family may want to consider assembling two types of kits — one for potential emergencies or disasters that may affect your particular geographical area (such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes) and another for a potential act of terrorism. You should store items together in a plastic tub or container that is easy to locate by all family members, and check the supply of items every six months or so, for items that may need replacement or replenishing.

Your family disaster supply kit should include the following: 

Food, Water and Essential Medicines

  • Water (one gallon per person for three days recommended)
  • Non-perishable foods (replace every six months) that require no refrigeration or preparation, such as:
    • Peanut butter
    • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruit, vegetables, milk and fish (10 cans per person recommended)
    • Bread and crackers stored in waterproof bags or containers
    • Cereal and granola bars
  • Special supplies for babies (diapers, formula, powdered milk, medications) or elderly people
  • Prescriptions and other medically necessary items that your family may require, including a minimal three-day supply of all prescription medicines and over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen (Keep a larger supply of any essential or daily-maintenance prescriptions on hand.) 

Evacuation Box 

Store the following items in a waterproof, portable container to use at home or to take with you if you are evacuated. 

  • Battery-powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual (for contents of first aid kit, see ACEP’s Home First aid Kit flyer. Personal identification, passports and copies of social security cards
  • Canned food and bottled water
  • Health information, such as prescription medications (one-month’s supply recommended), copies of prescriptions, children’s immunization records and lists of allergies
  • Extra pairs of eyeglasses or contact lenses and supplies
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Bank account numbers, insurance policies, a will, deeds, stocks and bonds 
  • Credit card account numbers and companies
  • Family records (births, marriages, death certificates)
  • Inventory of valuable household goods
  • Map of the area (to locate shelters)
  • Credit card, extra cash and change
  • Mess kits or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Non-electric can opener and utility knife
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes for each family member
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

Other Household Supplies

  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Spare set of car keys
  • Signal flare
  • Whistle
  • Masking or duct tape
  • Plain chlorine bleach or other method to Sanitize drinking water
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
  • Land-line corded telephone that does not require electricity to operate (in case electricity or cell phone service is unavailable)
  • Extra batteries of various sizes, e.g. AA, AAA, C, D, 9 volt
  • Hand crank charger, or other battery powered device to recharge cell phones\

For Your Pets

Remember that shelters can’t take pets, so plan for them in case you have to evacuate. You will need: 

  • A two-week supply of dry and canned food
  • Water (minimum half gallon per animal, per day recommended)
  • Litter box supplies
  • Travel crate or cage