Build a Kit

What goes into an Emergency Kit?

Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. An emergency supplies kit is a collection of basic items you or your household may need in the event of an emergency.

To assemble your kit store items in several airtight plastic bags and put your entire emergency supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers. We recommend a backpack, duffel bag, or plastic tote.

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

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • 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)
  • 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

Maintaining your Emergency Kit

After assembling your kit, it's important to remember to maintain it so it’s always ready when you need it. Here's what to do to keep your kit up to date:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
  • Store boxed food in plastic or metal containers that close tightly
  • Check for expired items and replace as needed
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change

Emergency Kit Storage Locations

Since you don't know where you will be when an emergency occurs, it's a good idea to prepare an emergency kit for your home, work and car.

  • 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” container.
  • Car: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.