Gather Supplies

Get some supplies together now so you and your loved ones are ready during an emergency. You probably already have most of what you need. Sometimes it's just a matter of putting everything in one place.

Be 2-Weeks Ready


Emergency supplies are laid out on a wooden floor. Includes flashlight, shoes, sweater, cell charger, cash, passport, water bottle, glasses, prescription drugs, chocolate, and a blanket.



Keep Supplies in Several Places

As we've seen recently, anything can happen. Have an emergency kit ready in case you need to evacuate or shelter in place without utilities. Try to have enough supplies in your kit to last two weeks. It's also good to have a few smaller kits, including:

  • A "go kit" in case you need to leave home quickly.
  • An under-the-bed kit, so you can get out of the house safely if there's an earthquake or other emergency at night.
  • Work and car kits, in case you're not home when an emergency happens.


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Water and Bleach
Water is essential for staying healthy during a disaster. Store at least one gallon per person (and animal), per day, for at least 14 days. Also store unscented bleach and a dropper so you can sanitize unclean water (eight drops of bleach per gallon of water). Visit for more info about water storage and treatment.
tent and vehicle
Shelter and Warmth
Keeping warm is crucial. Blankets and sleeping bags will help you stay warm if the power goes out. A tent or tarp shelter (or a car) might be needed if your home isn’t safe to enter.
Warm Clothes, Shoes, and Socks
You never know what you might (or might not) be wearing when an emergency occurs. Keep clean clothes, sturdy walking shoes, and spare socks in your kit. If you can, include several items for different weather conditions.
Non-Perishable Food
Store food that you like to eat. Get items that will last a long time without refrigeration and are highly nutritious. Keep a manual can opener in your emergency kit if you're storing canned food.
fire starting equipment
Fire-Starting Materials
You may need to start a campfire for warmth or light a grill for food. Keep lighters or matches in a waterproof container. Be safe! Use Smokey Bear's Campfire Safety Guide.
First aid
First Aid Supplies
We might need to treat our own wounds until help arrives. Include First Aid items that you know how to use. Consider taking a First Aid class so you can better help yourself and those around you.
Fire extinguisher
Fire Extinguishers
House fires are the most common type of emergency. An earthquake could break gas lines and lead to a house fire. Have an extinguisher in the kitchen and by your front door. Make sure you know how to use a fire extinguisher safely.
Bound notebook open to a blank page with pencil
Your Emergency Plan
Have a printed copy of your emergency plan. Keep it in a plastic bag or other waterproof container.
Prescription drugs and glasses
Prescription Medications & Glasses
37% of Americans can go a week or less without their medications or medical devices before facing a crisis. Think about your Additional Needs and plan for them. If possible, store a two-week backup supply, and know your prescription details (including dosage and prescribing doctor) in case you can't access your emergency kit.
Personal Hygiene Items
Keeping clean helps us stay healthy and improves our spirits. Include a toothbrush, feminine supplies, toilet paper, soap, moist towelettes, hand sanitizer, and unscented bleach in your kit.
Financial documents
Personal & Financial Documents
Put copies of important personal and financial documents in a portable, waterproof container. Store them digitally and/or make photocopies. Read the Financial Preparedness Checklist and check out FEMA's Emergency Financial First Aid Kit.
Poo and pee buckets
Emergency Toilet Items
Diseases like cholera can spread when human waste is not stored safely. Read the Emergency Toilet Guidebook to learn about checking your septic system, digging a latrine, and using the Twin Bucket method. Have buckets, heavy-duty garbage bags, and layering materials on hand, just in case.
Backpack full of infant care items
Infant Care Items
Diapers, wipes, rash cream, formula, extra clothes, etc. You might already have many of these items in a diaper bag. Store extra water to assist with milk preparation and keeping baby clean.
Dog bowl and bone
Animal Care Items
For many of us, our animals are an important part of our lives. Make a plan for your pets and livestock. Store extra water, food, leashes, cages, medication, identification, and bedding in a kit that you can grab during an emergency.
Cloth face covering
COVID-19 Materials
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a good idea to include a face covering in your emergency kit. Now, it's extra important. Also include hand sanitizer, soap, extra water, and supplies for in case you get sick. 
Flashlight and Extra Batteries
The power may go out during an emergency. Candles can be dangerous. LED flashlights are affordable and last longer. Store batteries separately.
AM FM hand crank radio
AM/FM Radio
Feeling safe starts with knowing what’s going on. Tune in to 91.5FM for updates. Radios can be powered by batteries, hand-crank, and solar energy. Store extra batteries separately. Consider getting a NOAA Weather Radio, which has a loud tone that will alert you when there’s an important update.
Cell phone cord
Cell Phone Charger
Cell phone service might not be available. But if it is, you’ll want to use your phone to stay informed, take photos, and communicate. Get a battery-operated phone charger (or one that plugs into your car). If you can afford it, consider buying a solar charger as well.
Red whistle
You may need to signal for help, and it’s hard to shout for very long. Keep a whistle in each of your kits (home, car, work, under the bed).
Red toolbox with a hammer and wrench in front of it
Tools and Gloves
A basic tool kit with items like a hammer, a wrench, a pry bar, and a multi-tool will help you turn off the gas, repair broken windows, or board up your home. Rope and duct tape have countless uses. Durable work gloves will help keep your hands in good shape.
Dust mask
Dust Masks and Other Barriers
Masks are important if the air quality is poor. If you need to shelter in place, you may need plastic sheeting and duct tape to keep bad air out of your house.
Credit cards might not work during an emergency. Put small bills in your kit. Include as much as you can afford and feel comfortable storing.
Bottle of bleach
Eating and Cleaning Supplies
Cups, plates, utensils, paper towels, and other items needed to cook, eat, and clean.
Pen and paper
Pen, Paper, Local Maps
Store pen and paper so you can leave a note, draw a map, keep track of supplies, or draw a picture. A paper map will help you get around when you can't access the map on your phone.
First Aid manual
Emergency Reference Materials
You may be glad to have reference materials on hand, such as a First Aid guide, the Emergency Toilet Guidebook, a knot-tying guide, water sanitizing instructions, etc.
What unique items would make your family feel better in an emergency? Books? Puzzles? Favorite games? Special toys? A musical instrument? Chocolate? Little things can make a big difference. The more we can create a sense of normalcy, the better we’ll all feel.

If you need...

  • Prescription medication
  • Medical, hearing, or vision devices
  • Special food
  • Translation or interpretation services
  • Public transportation
  • Public assistance for food and health services
  • Help from a caretaker
  • Regular support from behavior health or medical professionals

If you're responsible for...

  • Infants or small children
  • An older adult or someone with physical challenges
  • Someone with physical, behavioral, or cognitive health issues
  • Pets or livestock may have "Additional Needs"

You may need to do extra planning and put extra items in your emergency kit. Visit the Additional Needs page for more information.


Don't Get Overwhelmed


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Use a Calendar

Making an emergency supply kit might seem like a lot of work, but it's really pretty easy once you get started. Get the most essential items (like water) first. Add other items over time. Use a Preparedness Calendar to keep you on track. Take your list with you every time you go to the store.

Find Ways to Trim Costs

Making a kit doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many ways to get supplies for free or at a discount. Get creative about using things that may already be in your home. Work with your friends, family, and neighbors. See how you can help each other. Check out these tips for buying Emergency Supplies on a Budget.

Get Creative With Storage

Where you store your supplies depends on your situation. If you live in an apartment or small home, it may be hard to find space for your supplies. Use these tips for Storing Emergency Supplies.