The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Ready Campaign has outlined the top 10 items for a basic emergency supply kit: water, food, a radio, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, a whistle, moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties, a wrench or pliers, local maps and personal items. More information is available at
-- Linda Shepard, Rochester Post, April 10, 2008, p. 17A

Supply checklist

Consider including the following in your emergency supply kit:

  • water (enough for 3 days)
  • food (ready to eat, won't spoil, enough for 3 days)
  • radio (battery powered)
  • flashlight
  • extra batteries for the radio and flashlight (another option is the new, wind-up appliances)
  • first-aid kit
    • aspirin, other painkillers
    • sprain, wrap bandages
    • 4" square bandages and tape
    • antibiotic cream
    • soap
    • other??
  • whistle or air horn
  • moist towelettes
  • garbage bags and plastic ties
  • wrench or pliers
  • local maps
  • at least one change of clothes per person
  • at least one blanket or sleeping bag per person (consider including an emergency "space" blanket too)
  • key family documents in water proof container (might want to have extra copies in a ziploc bag with the emergency supplies)

Also include something to provide comfort, like a stuffed animal for a child or a game for amusement, especially during a bad weather season, when you might be in the basement or shelter for awhile.

Special needs

Are there any special things that people in the home will need?

  • diapers for infants
  • prescription medicines
    especially any medication that might be needed during a stressful event, like an asthma inhaler or heart medication

Other things to have handy

  • phone numbers


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