This guide walks you through the basic items so you can build a kit yourself--mostly with items you’ll find around your home. At the end there are further resources to dive into your planning efforts.
One gallon, per person, per day for three days
Keep in air-tight, plastic containers that are easy to access
Three-day supply of non-perishable foods
Camping Cooks has a great emergency food guide for Eating and Cooking When the Power Goes Out
Don’t forget food for your pets
In an emergency, you or a family member may be injured. An adequate First Aid kit can keep a minor injury from turning major. You may want to take a basic first aid class though the Red Cross or online through the National Safety Council.
Basic First Aid Items in Your Kit:
Adequate sanitation is a significant environmental concern after a disaster. When sewer pipes are damaged or the sanitation system goes off-line, entire communities, including people and habitats are at risk. Be prepared to take care of your waste for the same period of time as you’ve prepared food and water. A basic sanitation kit should include:
Tools & Supplies
What you need can vary greatly based on where you live, the type of disaster you expect and your family unit. Talk with your family about items they wouldn’t want to be without in an emergency. Here are some basic items that most people will need in a disaster:
In preparation, scan valuable documents and store them securely online so they can’t be ruined by a disaster. It may be helpful to have copies of key items (like insurance cards, social security number, passwords and insurance policies) in your kit as well. Take short videos to catalogue valuables in your home, such as vehicles, computers, furniture and artwork, for insurance purposes. Key documents include:
Finally, being disaster-ready requires additional accommodations for older adults. Visit the National Council on Aging's website for more resources for older adults.
Sources: Ready America, California Department of Public Health, American Red Cross, Make a Plan