The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that all Americans have some basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs. It is recommended that the Home Emergency/Ready Kit should be assembled well in advance of an emergency.
The concept is to be able to survive for at least 72 hours until local officials and relief workers arrive on the scene. The disaster could be wide-spread and involve a lot of people that makes it difficult for relief workers to reach everyone immediately.
- Water, one gallon per person per day for at least three days
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (prescription and basic)
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Pet supplies if necessary
Click here for a print version of this list and additional items to consider adding to an emergency ready kit. The American Red Cross has a suggested list for first aid kits and has other items available for purchase at their online store.