So you have a plan, but do you have what it takes to survive on your own until the first responders arrive?

Though officials and relief workers will be at task right after a true disaster, they just can't reach everyone immediately. Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage, and telephones may not be in working order for days, or weeks. You may even be in a situation where you'll have to leave at a moment's notice.


When deciding what to include in your emergency kit, take into account your specific situation and think of the supplies you need to keep yourself clean, well-fed and healthy for three days.  Don't forget special medications, perscriptions, supplies or equipment you may need.  

Start with sturdy, portable, containers that you can carry without assitance. You may find it easier to have more than one container in order to store food items separate from toiletries & hygiene supplies. Remember that your family may need more items than listed below, but is a list to help you get started: 

  • Water (one gallon per person per day) in a food safe container.
  • Food (High energy, non-perishable, canned or dried). Prepare about 2000 calories per peson per day.
  • Change of clothing
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • First aid kit
  • Portable radio, flashlight & batteries
  • Matches & Candles
  • Perscription and non-perscription medications
  • List of important contacts (family, friends, etc.) 
  • Simple Tools (hammer, plyers, screwdrivers, etc.)
  • Rope or paracord
  • Utensils & can opener
  • Extra strength garbage bags & sealable sandwich bags
  • Toiletries & cleaning supplies (soap, wash clothes, bleach, towels, hygiene products)
  • Special items for infants, senior citizens or disabled family members.
  • Vital documents (wills, deeds, vaccination records, insurance information)
  • Books, toys & comfort items for children
  • Cash for transactions
  • Pen, paper & notebooks
  • Cell phone & charger

Water Storage: The Absolute Necessity

Stocking water reserves should be among your top priorities in preparing for an emergency. You should store at least a three-day supply of water for each member of your family.

Build a Water Storage Kit

Food Storage: Preparing an Emergency Stockpile

If activity is reduced, healthy people can survive on half their usual food intake for an extended period and without any food for many days. Food may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women.

Build a Food Storage Kit


In a situation where a serious hazardous chemical spill has quickly caused a toxic atmosphere, it may be more dangerous to go through those toxic vapors or to attempt to outrun them than to stay in an existing structure.

Build a Shelter Kit