You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days, up to a week is suggested. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days.
Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. Or, you may have to evacuate with little notice and take essentials with you. You probably will not have the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you need. Have a Go-Bag with basic items ready to go if you need to evacuate at a moment's notice.
What to Include in Your Kit
A more extensive kit should contain supplies to sustain your family for at least 3 days but preferably a week.
- Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
- Cash or traveler's checks and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from Ready.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person - consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate
- Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes - consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate
- Work gloves
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper
- When diluting nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water; do not use scented, color-safe, or bleaches with added cleaners
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children