How to Build a Disaster Supplies Kit
It’s important to gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster strikes. You may need to survive on your own and a kit means you have your own food, water, and other supplies.
Most items you’ll want to put in your kit are inexpensive and easy to find. Use the checklist below to make sure you have everything you need. You can also download a printable version.
Disaster Supplies Kit Basics
When you assemble your kit, make sure to store the items in airtight plastic bags. Put your entire kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers.
Recommended items for a basic emergency supply kit:
- Water (one gallon 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 a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
- 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)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)
Maintaining Your Kit
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.
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and cars.
- Home: 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.
- Work: 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.
- Car: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
It doesn’t take too long to assembly a basic disaster supplies kit. Be prepared and take the time to start assembling yours.
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