In order to be prepared for unexpected emergencies, it is crucial to have an emergency supply kit stocked with essential items. From first aid supplies to non-perishable food, this kit should contain necessary items that can sustain you and your loved ones during any unforeseen circumstances. By having an emergency supply kit readily available, you can ensure your safety and well-being in times of crisis.

Food and Water

Non-perishable food

In an emergency, it’s crucial to have a supply of non-perishable food that can provide sustenance for you and your loved ones. Look for items that have a long shelf life and require little to no preparation. Canned goods such as beans, soups, and vegetables are excellent choices as they can be easily stored and have a long shelf life. Don’t forget to include foods that meet special dietary needs, such as baby formula, gluten-free options, or foods for individuals with allergies. It’s recommended to have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person in your household.


Water is an absolute necessity in any emergency situation. You should aim to have at least one gallon of water per person per day, accounting for both drinking and sanitation needs. It’s essential to store water in a safe and accessible place, away from direct sunlight and chemicals. Additionally, be mindful of expiration dates on commercially bottled water and replace them as needed. If you prefer to use tap water, remember to sanitize it before consumption by boiling it for at least one minute or using water purification tablets.

Water purification tablets

Water purification tablets are an excellent addition to your emergency supply kit. These small, portable tablets can effectively eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses from water sources that may be contaminated during emergencies. They are easy to use and can provide you with clean drinking water when other sources may not be available. It’s advisable to follow the instructions provided with the tablets carefully to ensure proper usage and effectiveness. Having a backup plan to purify water is essential for your health and well-being during an emergency.

First Aid and Medications

First aid kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is essential in any emergency situation. It should include essential items such as adhesive bandages, gauze pads, sterile gloves, antiseptic wipes, scissors, tweezers, and adhesive tape. Additionally, consider including any necessary prescription medications and emergency contact information for medical professionals. Familiarize yourself with the contents of the first aid kit and ensure that everyone in your household knows where it is located. Regularly check the kit for expired items and replace them as necessary.

Prescription medications

If you or anyone in your household requires prescription medications, it’s crucial to have an ample supply on hand during an emergency. Make sure to store them in a cool, dry place and keep them in their original containers to ensure dosage accuracy. It’s advisable to periodically check the expiration dates of your medications and replace them as needed. If possible, consult with your healthcare provider beforehand to discuss the appropriate quantity of medication to keep in your emergency supply kit.

Over-the-counter medications

Stocking up on over-the-counter medications is another essential step in preparing your emergency supply kit. These may include pain relievers, fever reducers, antacids, anti-diarrheal medications, cough syrup, and allergy medication. Make sure to check the expiration dates regularly and replace them as necessary to ensure their efficacy. Including a basic first aid manual can also be helpful in providing guidance on medical treatments during emergency situations.

Emergency Communication

Battery-powered radio

During an emergency, it’s crucial to stay informed about the situation and receive updates from local authorities. A battery-powered radio can be a lifesaver when electricity is out, and other means of communication are unavailable. Look for a radio that operates on batteries and includes AM/FM bands, as well as the NOAA weather band for receiving important weather alerts and updates. Familiarize yourself with the operation of the radio beforehand and store extra batteries in your emergency supply kit.


A whistle may seem like a simple tool, but it can be invaluable in attracting attention during an emergency. It can help you signal for help, especially in situations where voice communication may not be possible or effective. Look for a durable and loud whistle that is easy to use and carry. Having a whistle attached to each person’s keychain or backpack can ensure that everyone in your household has access to this essential communication tool.

Cell phone with chargers

In today’s digital age, a cell phone has become a lifeline for many of us. It’s essential to have a fully charged cell phone in your emergency supply kit. However, during extended power outages, the battery life of your cell phone may become a concern. To mitigate this, include a portable phone charger or a solar charger in your kit. These devices can help extend the battery life of your cell phone and ensure that you can stay connected to emergency services, loved ones, and the latest news during a crisis.

Tools and Supplies


A reliable flashlight is a must-have in any emergency supply kit. Power outages are common during emergencies, and having a source of light can provide a sense of security and assist with navigation. Opt for LED flashlights as they are more energy-efficient and have a longer battery life. Make sure to store extra batteries for the flashlight and regularly check them to ensure they are functional when needed.


Stocking up on extra batteries is essential for powering various devices and tools in your emergency supply kit. Make sure to have a variety of battery sizes, including AAA, AA, and D batteries, as different devices may require different sizes. It’s advisable to store batteries in a cool, dry place and check their expiration dates periodically. Consider using rechargeable batteries and having a reliable battery charger to reduce long-term costs and environmental impact.


A multi-tool is a versatile tool that combines different functions into one compact device. Having a multi-tool in your emergency supply kit can be incredibly useful during unexpected situations. Look for a multi-tool that includes features such as pliers, knife blades, screwdrivers, can openers, and wire cutters. It can assist with minor repairs, opening canned goods, or even serving as a self-defense tool if necessary. Familiarize yourself with the functions of the multi-tool and ensure it is easily accessible in your emergency supply kit.

Sanitation and Hygiene

Toilet paper

Maintaining proper sanitation and hygiene is crucial during emergencies to prevent the spread of germs and disease. Include an ample supply of toilet paper in your emergency supply kit to ensure you have access to this essential commodity when needed. It’s advisable to store toilet paper in a waterproof bag or container to protect it from moisture or damage.

Hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is an excellent alternative to handwashing when soap and water are not readily available. During emergencies, where access to clean water may be limited, having hand sanitizer can significantly reduce the risk of infection. Choose a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content for maximum effectiveness. Ensure that each member of your household has a personal-sized bottle of hand sanitizer in their emergency supply kit.

Personal hygiene items

Don’t overlook the importance of personal hygiene items in your emergency supply kit. Include items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene products, and any other personal care items that you and your loved ones may need. Consider storing these items in travel-sized containers to save space and make them easily transportable. Periodically check and replace these items to ensure their freshness and usability when needed.

Clothing and Bedding

Extra clothing

Having extra clothing in your emergency supply kit can provide comfort and protection during unexpected situations. Include a change of clothing for each member of your household, including underwear, socks, and sturdy shoes. Consider including additional warm clothing, such as jackets, hats, and gloves, depending on the climate and the time of year. It’s advisable to choose clothing made from durable and moisture-wicking materials for maximum comfort.


Blankets are essential for providing warmth, comfort, and protection during emergencies. Include lightweight, yet warm blankets in your emergency supply kit, ensuring you have enough for each member of your household. Opt for blankets made from insulating materials that can trap heat effectively. You may also consider including emergency thermal blankets, which are compact and designed to retain body heat in cold conditions.

Rain gear

Being prepared for inclement weather is crucial during emergencies, especially if you may need to evacuate or spend extended periods outdoors. Include rain gear such as waterproof jackets, pants, and boots in your emergency supply kit. Look for items that are breathable, durable, and waterproof to ensure they can withstand harsh weather conditions. Stay dry and protected by having rain gear readily available in your emergency preparations.

Important Documents

Identification documents

In an emergency, having identification documents readily available can help facilitate various processes, such as evacuation, seeking medical assistance, or accessing resources. Gather important identification documents such as passports, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, and social security cards, and store them together in a waterproof and portable container. It’s advisable to make copies of these documents and keep them in a separate location or upload them to a secure cloud storage platform.

Insurance policies

Having insurance policies readily available during emergencies can expedite the process of filing claims and accessing coverage for any damages or losses incurred. Include copies of your insurance policies, including home, auto, and health insurance, in your emergency supply kit. Additionally, consider including contact information for your insurance providers to make the claim process more efficient.

Emergency contact information

Maintaining a list of emergency contacts is crucial during times of crisis. Compile a comprehensive list of emergency contact information, including the names, phone numbers, and addresses of family members, friends, neighbors, and other essential individuals. Consider laminating the list or storing it in a waterproof container for protection. It’s also helpful to include the contact information for local emergency services, such as the police department, fire department, and hospital, for easy reference.

Cash and Coins

During emergencies, access to electronic payment methods may be limited due to power outages or disruptions in telecommunication networks. Having a stash of cash and coins in your emergency supply kit can be invaluable for purchasing essential items or services when other payment methods are unavailable. Aim to store a mix of small bills and coins to ensure you can make exact change and have flexibility in various situations.


Deck of cards

Having some form of entertainment in your emergency supply kit can help alleviate stress and boredom during extended periods of waiting or isolation. A simple deck of cards can provide endless entertainment for individuals or the whole family. From traditional card games to inventing your own, playing cards can be a great way to bond and distract yourself from the stress of the situation.


Keeping a few books in your emergency supply kit is an excellent way to pass the time and keep your mind occupied during an emergency. Choose books that you or your family members enjoy, whether they are novels, non-fiction, or even magazines. Reading can provide a sense of escape and help maintain a positive mental state during challenging times.


Including small and compact games in your emergency supply kit can add an element of fun and levity to an otherwise stressful situation. Consider portable games such as travel-sized board games, puzzles, or brain teasers that can be enjoyed by individuals or the whole family. Games can serve as a valuable distraction and help maintain a sense of normalcy during uncertain times.

Special Needs

Individuals with special needs, whether medical, dietary, or mobility-related, should ensure their emergency supply kits are tailored to their specific requirements. For individuals with medical conditions, include any necessary medical equipment, extra medications, and copies of medical records. Those with dietary restrictions should include specific food items or meal replacement options that meet their dietary needs. Additionally, consider any mobility aids or assistive devices that may be necessary during an emergency. It’s vital to communicate these special needs with your household members and emergency responders to ensure proper care and support during an emergency situation.

In conclusion, building a comprehensive emergency supply kit is an essential step in preparing for unexpected situations. By including the outlined items in each category, you can ensure the safety, comfort, and well-being of yourself and your loved ones during times of crisis. Remember to regularly check and update your kit, replacing expired items and considering any changes in your needs or circumstances. Stay prepared, stay safe, and be ready for whatever challenges may come your way.