How to Make an Emergency Kit

In The Community

An emergency kit is a collection of basic supplies you and your family may need in the event of a disaster. The kit should contain food, water and other items you may need to survive when you have to evacuate your home or live without basic services for several days. When a disaster strikes, you probably won’t have the time to gather all the supplies in a kit. Thus, it’s important to create the kit in advance and keep it in a safe but easy-to-reach place.

A basic emergency kit should include:

  • Water for drinking and sanitation to last at least 3 days; one gallon of water per person per day should suffice; sick people, children or nursing mothers may need more water, though;
  • Non-perishable food for at least 3 days; foods that make you thirsty should be avoided;
  • A first aid kit that may include prescription medication, scissors, tweezers, cloth tape, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, non-latex gloves, etc.;
  • Hand crank or battery-powered radio (tuned in to NOAA Weather Radio), as well as spare batteries;
  • Flashlight with extra batteries;
  • Whistle to call for help;
  • Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct-tape for shelter making;
  • Moist towelettes and garbage bags for sanitation;
  • Pliers or a wrench to turn off utilities;
  • Can opener;
  • Local map(s);
  • Cell phone with an extra charger.

Optional items to include in an emergency kit:

  • Essential documents, such as IDs, birth certificates, bank account records or insurance policies;
  • Extra clothes, warm blankets and sleeping bags if the climate you live in is usually cold;
  • An extra pair of glasses;
  • Infant formula and diapers;
  • Matches to light a fire;
  • Personal hygiene items for women;
  • Plastic plates, cups and cutlery;
  • Games, books and other items to pass time.

Other tips:

  • Keep an emergency kit at home, work and in your vehicle in a designated place. At home, make sure all family members know where the kit is.
  • Put the kit in one or more containers, such as a backpack or suitcase with wheels. Keep all sensitive items in the kit in airtight plastic bags to protect them.
  • Keep the food in a non-humid, cool place. Replace any foods that have gone bad or cans that have swollen. Replace water and food supplies every 6 months.
  • Throughout the year, maintain and update your kit, according to your family’s needs.

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Last edited on 16th of October 2023