Emergency Kits and Disaster Preparedness for Households

Emergency Kits and Disaster Preparedness for Households

In the event of an emergency or disaster, your household should have enough food, water, and basic supplies to last at least 72 hours. Whether you’re putting together your very first emergency kit or are looking for items to add to your current kit, here are some essential emergency supplies to include.

Emergency Supplies for Every Household

  • First aid kit
  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day minimum, 2-weeks if space is available)
  • Food: non-perishable and easy to prepare (3-day minimum, 2-weeks if space is available)
  • Headlamp and flashlights (one per member of the family)
  • Extra batteries
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Manual can opener
  • Personal hygiene items (hand sanitizer, toilet paper, feminine products, etc.)
  • Cell phone charger
  • Written contact information for family/friends
  • Cash in small bills
  • Two-way radios
  • Copies of personal documents (birth certificates, driver’s license, deed to home or lease, insurance policies, prescriptions)

The following items should be included based on the needs of your family and local environment:

    Baby supplies
  • Activities for children
  • Pet supplies
  • Contact lens supplies or spare eyeglasses
  • Whistle
  • Face masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Sturdy shoes comfortable for walking
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Liquid bleach
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

Keep in mind that you don’t have to purchase all or even most of these items at one time. Start with food and water, then other items as time and money allow. Your kit should be stored in a cool, dry place inside a duffle bag or other type of container that would allow easy transport in case of evacuation. Make sure to check supplies – especially water and batteries – every six months, replacing them as needed. If time and resources allow, a small emergency kit for your vehicle and/or workplace is a good idea, too. It’s recommended that this kit get you through 24 hours, so it should include food and water as well as comfortable walking shoes and medications, if applicable.

First Aid Training

In addition to being well-stocked, it’s important that you’re well-informed and trained in first aid procedures. During any emergency or disaster, medical services could be hours or even days away. Having some medical knowledge and first aid training can make a big difference when minutes count. The Emergency First Response (EFR) Primary and Secondary Care course is an accredited CPR and First Aid program that teaches the skills you’ll need to know in an emergency. These skills include:

  • Basic life support (BLS) CPR and rescue breathing at the layperson level
  • Automated external defibrillator (AED) use (optional)
  • Caring for a person in shock
  • Spinal injury management
  • Use of barriers to reduce disease transmission risk
  • Basic first aid, including illness and injury assessment, bandaging, management of fractures and dislocations, and first aid kit considerations

In an EFR course, you’ll be able to get hands-on practice using a CPR mannequin. You’ll also role-play emergency scenarios, practice wound bandaging, splinting, and other skills.

Make sure that you’re ready in case of an emergency.