Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit


After a disaster, local officials and relief workers cannot reach everyone immediately. Would your family be prepared to cope with an emergency until help arrives?


Your family will cope best by preparing for disaster before it strikes. If you’ve gathered supplies in advance, your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.


Use the following lists to prepare your Disaster Supplies Kit. Place the supplies you would most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container, such as a duffel bag, backpack or trash container. These supplies are listed with an asterisk (*).



Store water in plastic containers, and avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Change your stored water supply every six months.

  • At least one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation)*
  • At least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.



Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Rotate your stored food every six months.


*Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Canned juices, soup or milk (if powdered, store extra water)
  • Staples – sugar, salt, pepper
  • High energy foods – peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
  • Vitamins
  • Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets
  • Comfort foods – cookies, hard candy, cereals, instant coffee, tea bags


First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car. A first aid kit* should include:

  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Triangular bandages (3)
  • Sterile roller bandages in assorted sizes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Antiseptic
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue blades (2)
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Latex gloves (2 pair)
  • Sunscreen


Non-prescription drugs

  • Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for stomach upset or discomfort)
  • Syrup of Ipecac (used to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
  • Laxative
  • Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)


Tools and Supplies

Mess kits, or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils*

Emergency preparedness manual*

Battery operated radio and extra batteries*

Flashlight and extra batteries*

  • Cash or traveler’s checks, change*
  • Non-electric can opener, utility knife*
  • Fire extinguisher – small canister, ABC type
  • Tube tent
  • Pliers
  • Tape
  • Compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Candles
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper, pencil, pen
  • Needles, thread
  • Medicine dropper
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Map of the area (for locating shelters)



  • Toilet paper, towelettes*
  • Soap, liquid detergent*
  • Feminine supplies*
  • Personal hygiene items*
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach


Clothing and Bedding

* Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

  • Sturdy shoes or work boots*
  • Rain gear*
  • Blankets or sleeping bags*
  • Hat and gloves
  • Thermal underwear
  • Sunglasses


Special Items

Entertainment – games and books

Important family documents – keep in waterproof, portable container

  • Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
  • Passports, social security cards, immunization records
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card account numbers and companies
  • Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)


Remember to prepare for pets and family members with special needs, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.


For Pets*

  • Water and dish
  • Non-perishable food and dish
  • Treats and toys
  • Blanket
  • ID tags
  • Leash or small kennel
  • Medications


For Baby*

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications


For Older Adults*

  • Heart and high blood pressure medication
  • Insulin
  • Prescription drugs (check storage requirements and rotate supply before expiration date)
  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses


More information about preparing a disaster supplies kit: