Emergency essentials: Putting together a survival kit

Emergency essentials kits can help you respond to natural disasters or other serious situations. Prepare for the unexpected by putting together a survival kit that could be useful if you needed to evacuate your home. Pack enough supplies to last three days, and keep your emergency essentials handy. Make sure your family members know where to find the kit. Consider keeping basic emergency essentials in your car as well.

A basic emergency essentials kit includes:

  • Small, waterproof flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
  • Waterproof matches
  • Water, 1 gallon a person for each day
  • Food that won't spoil, including baby food if needed
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Pet food and supplies, such as a leash, if needed
  • Small notepad and waterproof writing instrument
  • Blanket
  • Cellphone with solar charger
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and a weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Insect repellent
  • Whistle
  • First-aid kit
  • Dust mask
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape for improvised shelter
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Medicine, a week's supply
  • Extra medical supplies or equipment, as needed
  • Soap, toothbrush, feminine supplies and other personal care items
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Emergency health information for you and your family
  • Phone numbers for professional emergency contacts, such as your family doctor and pediatrician
  • Phone numbers for a personal emergency contact, such as a friend or a family member you've asked to serve in this role
  • Copy of insurance cards
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Maps of the area
  • An extra set of car keys and house keys

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