Build a Kit

Think first about the basics of survival
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below.

Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life.

Headed to the store? Download the printable version to take with you.

Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for 7-10 days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.


To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least 10 days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • At least a ten-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Radio
    Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
  • Flashlight
  • First Aid Kit
  • Extra Batteries
  • 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 with ties for personal sanitation.
  • Wrench or Pliers
    To turn off utilities.
  • Can Opener
    Manual can opener for food.
  • Local Maps
  • Cell Phone
    With chargers and a backup battery.
Bottled Water Non-perishable food RadioBatteriesFlashlightKitWhistleSwiss knifeMapCellphone


Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:

Listed in alphabetical order:

  • Chlorine Bleach
    Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water.
  • Clothing
    Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes.
  • Cash
    Or traveler’s checks.
  • Dining Utensils
    Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils.
  • Entertainment
    Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.
  • Feminine Supplies
    Personal hygiene items.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Glasses
    And contact lens solution.
  • Important Family Documents
    Such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Infant Specific
    Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Matches
    In a waterproof container.
  • Non-prescription Medication
    Such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives.
  • Paper and Pencil
  • Pet Specific Pet food and extra water for your pet.
  • Sleeping Bag
    Or warm blanket for each person.


After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:


Keep canned food in a cool, dry place


Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers


Replace expired items as needed


Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.


Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.


Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.


Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.


In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.


Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)