Things to Have on Hand in Case of Emergency
Do you know which items you’d need most in an emergency? From food to first aid supplies, experts suggest gathering certain essentials — including some items that may be off your radar — and assembling an emergency kit to help you through tough times.
In the event of an emergency, you may find yourself either cooped up at home or needing to evacuate to a different location for several days. Ready.gov suggests choosing a portable container, such as a duffel bag or plastic bin, to hold the contents of your emergency kit in case you need to carry it out of your home.
Here’s a look at some of the items you may want to pack in your emergency kit:
The American Red Cross recommends storing at least one gallon of water per person, per day. The organization suggests having at least a three-day supply for an evacuation and a two-week supply for your home. The water may be needed for drinking as well as sanitation, Ready.gov says.
Keep enough nonperishable food for at least three days in your kit, Ready.gov advises. Look for foods that are simple to prepare, such as cans of soup and powdered milk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests. And don’t forget to include a manual can opener, the CDC says.
A number of other items may come in handy in the event of an emergency. These are some of the supplies the Red Cross suggests including in your emergency kit:
- First aid kit
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- One-week supply of medications
- Personal hygiene items
- Multi-purpose tool
Consider storing copies of important documents in your emergency kit, the Red Cross says. Those may include paperwork showing proof of address, the deed to your home, birth certificates, passports and insurance policies.
You may want to create a separate emergency kit for your pets, says Ready.gov. The kit should include essentials like at least three days’ worth of food and water for each pet, medications, first aid supplies, toys and a photo of you with your pet, which may help if you become separated. Ready.gov has some additional emergency tips for pets.
An emergency situation can throw a wrench in your routine, but with a little advance planning, you and your family may be better prepared to face an unexpected situation. Visit Ready.gov, read the Red Cross or CDC’s online resources or download FEMA’s printable emergency supply checklist for more help in creating your emergency kit.
Originally published on May 4, 2018.
Top-down shot of emergency items on a rug
Hand sets a duffle bag in the middle of all the items
Hand picks up water and places it in the bag
Item: nonperishable food
Hand picks up cans of food and places them in the bag
Item: can opener
Hand picks up can opener and places it in the bag
Hand picks up flashlight and places it in the bag
Item: first aid kit
Hand picks up first aid kit and places it in the bag
Hand picks up radio and places it in the bag
Hand picks up batteries and places them in the bag
Item: one-week supply of medication
Hand picks up medication and places them in the bag
Item: personal hygiene items
Hand picks up bag containing deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste and shampoo and places it in the bag
Hand picks up wallet of cash and places it in the bag
Item: multi-purpose tool
Hand picks up multi-purpose tool and places it in the bag
Item: important documents
Hand picks up folder containing important documents and places it in the bag
Item: pet supplies
Hand picks up a bag of pet food, a bone, a dog bowl, a toy and a photo of a pet and their owner and places them in the bag
Hands zip up the bag and pick it up