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An essential component of preparedness is to build and maintain a disaster supplies kit. This kit should include supplies that will last for several days after a disaster, for everyone in your home.

“Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly,” said Installation Emergency Manager Essie Washington-Bennett.

“Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.”

Make a plan and assemble a kit

Before creating a kit, meet with members of your household to create a plan and discuss needed supplies. There is a list available at which you can print and take with you to the store.

To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag. Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready if you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.

Basic emergency supplies

  • A basic emergency supply kit should include the following recommended items:
  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • 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
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • 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 and a backup battery

Additional emergency supplies

Consider adding the following items based on the individual needs of your household. Include items to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other viruses and the flu. When building a kit, people with disabilities should consider the things they use daily, as well as life-sustaining items. Visit for more information.

  • Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Maintaining your kit:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
  • Replace expired items as needed.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

Additionally, consider creating kits for work and for your vehicle.

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