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A disaster of any kind may interfere with normal supplies of food, water, heat and other day-to-day necessities. It is important to keep a stock of emergency supplies on hand that will be sufficient to meet your family’s needs for at least a three-day period.
It is important to update your kit regularly. You should replace the water supply and any food that may have reached its use-by or expiration date. An easy way to remember is to use Daylight Savings Time, so that when you change the clocks, you also update your kits.
An emergency supply kit should include the following:
- A battery-powered radio, weather alert radio and flashlights, with extra batteries
- Bottled drinking water: one gallon per day per person with at least a three-day supply for each person in your household
- At least a three-day supply of canned or sealed foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking
- First-aid kit and manual
- Non-electric can opener and utility knife
- Mess kits or other basic eating and cooking utensils
- Paper towels, toilet paper, soap and detergent
- Household laundry bleach (unscented)
- A blanket or sleeping bag for each member of the family
- One change of clothing and footwear per person
- Fire extinguisher
- Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
- Signal flare, matches and whistle
- Cell phone and car charger
- An extra set of car keys, credit card and cash
- A list of family physicians
- Medications or special foods needed by family members, such as insulin, heart medication, dietetic food and baby food. Do not store these items in your kit for a long period of time but add at the last minute.
- If needed, formula, diapers and bottles
- Denture needs, extra eye glasses and contact lens supplies
- You can store additional water by filling bathtubs and sinks with water if an emergency is declared. Clean water is also available in toilet tanks, presuming chemicals and other cleaning agents are not used in the water tank.
If you have pets, include the following items in your kit:
- Identification collar and rabies tag
- Pet carrier or cage
- Newspaper, litter and trash bags for waste
- Two-week supply of food and water
- Veterinary records (necessary if your pet has to go to a shelter)