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What to Put in your Emergency Kit

There are many excellent resources for building your emergency kit available on the internet. For example, The Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Ready.gov all have recommendations for emergency supplies.

Consider what items are important for your specific situation as you gather materials. Think about special needs for the elderly, young children, pets, and people with medical concerns.

Certain geographical locations may require additional supplies; for example, if you live in a location with very cold winters, consider adding stocking caps and other warm clothing to your kit. And if you live in a rural area that may be difficult to reach during a disaster, think about adding supplies that will last five or more days.

Here are some non-exclusive suggestions for building your emergency kit:

  • A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable food (which could include items that don’t require heating, such as granola bars and peanut butter), plus a manual can opener, and utensils
  • Cash in small denominations
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery-powered or crank radio with extra batteries
  • Crank, solar, or battery-operated power source for charging cell phone and other small electronics
  • Multi-purpose tool, such as a Swiss army knife
  • Emergency contact information for friends and family
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Whistle
  • Wrench or pliers
  • Local maps with evacuation routes marked
  • Personal hygiene supplies, such as trash bags, baby wipes, and feminine hygiene items
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Matches
  • Bug spray

A first aid kit is a very important component of any emergency kit. Again, consider what items might be necessary for your particular situation as you build your kit. Non-exclusive suggestions for building a first aid kit include:

  • Antiseptic cleansing wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment packs
  • Aspirin
  • Antacids
  • Bandages, sterile gauze, and tape
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Thermometer
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Prescription medications and a list of medications taken
  • Extra glasses

Once you’ve gathered these items, store them in a safe location. 

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