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Get A Kit

You can take steps to decrease the impact of a disaster by planning in advance and learning about potential threats. It is important to make sure that your plans are adequate for your familys situation. Practice your plans regularly.

Having a basic kit on hand to sustain yourself and your family after an emergency is an essential part of preparation. Think first about basic survival needs: fresh water, food, clean air, and warmth. Store your supplies in a portable container as close as possible to an exit and review the contents of your kit at least once a year. Include in your kit:

  • 3-day supply of water: at least 1 gallon per person per day
  • 3-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Manual can opener and eating utensils
  • Supplies to care for your pets including 3-day supply of food and water, ID tags, proof of vaccinations, and veterinarian contact information
  • Flashlight
  • Portable, battery-powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Basic first aid kit and manual
  • Warm clothing and blankets
  • Whistle
  • Filter face masks (N95 rating)
  • List of emergency contact information
  • Photocopies of important documents (birth certificate, licenses, insurance information, etc.)
  • Cash and coins
  • Sanitation and hygiene items (hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper: 9 parts water to 1 part bleach can be used as a disinfectant, 16 drops of bleach to 1 gallon of water can be used to treat water in an emergency (do not use scented, color safe, or bleaches with added cleaners)
  • Items for infants (formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers) if applicable
  • See ReallyReady Disabilities for more information on building a kit and making a plan if an individual in your family has special needs

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Make A Plan

Creating a plan will help you respond to an emergency and find your family if you become separated. Be sure to share your plan with others and include a copy in your kit.


  • Learn about potential threats. Understanding the characteristics of an emergency and how to respond is critical to survival
  • Identify your communitys plan for notifying citizens when a disaster is on its way or actually occurring. Find local information.
  • Learn about emergency response plans in locations you and your family members regularly spend time (e.g. work, school)


  • Have an out-of-town contact that every member of your family will call after a disaster
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows this contacts phone number


  • Identify primary and secondary evacuation routes in buildings you frequent
  • Identify family meeting places; choose a location close to your home and another outside your neighborhood.
  • If you have a car, keep at least a half tank of gas in it in case you need to evacuate
  • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to
  • Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area (Find local information)
  • When evacuating:
    • If you are a member of a support network for a disabled individual, be sure to follow your plan to assist them
    • Take your emergency supply kit with you
    • Lock the door behind you and leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going
    • If there is time and space in your car, check with neighbors who may need a ride, especially those who are elderly or disabled


  • Designate a safe room in your home; it should be an interior room where you are able to close and seal all doors, windows, and vents
  • Pets, except for service animals, are not allowed in public shelters; if possible, plan your evacuation in advance to find lodging where you may take your pets  
  • If you must go to a public shelter, leave your pet behind with plenty of food and water, and a note on the door

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Be Informed

Learn about potential threats.

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